General Info About Bali Island
BALI AS A MAIN TOURIST DESTINATION
Bali known as one of the main tourist destination in the world. Bali also known as the island of thousand temple, island of paradise or morning of the world.
Bali, one of 13,677 islands that comprise the archipelago of Indonesia, lies 8 degrees South
of Equator and 115 degrees East of longitude in the central Indonesian archipelago; it is one of 26 provinces of the Republic of Indonesia. The so-called “Wallace Line” serves the separate tropical Asian flora and fauna from that typical of Australia, and runs between Bali and Lombok, to the East. Roughly diamond shaped, with a width of 120 km (75 miles), the island is dominated by towering volcanic peaks. The caldera of the central mountain, Gunung (mount) Batur, holds a vast lake which feed most of the rivers. Gorged out valleys radiate from the volcano and tens of thousands of spring help irrigate the land. Gunung Agung is Bali’s highest mountain, standing at 3,142 m (10,300 ft). A good part of itstop blew off in 1963, and some of the devastation is still visible in the northern and eastern parts of Bali.
Bali’s big draw is its unusual and vivid culture, and its beautiful and creative people, numbering around 3 million. The origins of the people seem to be a mixture of Malay, Melanesia, Indian, Chinese and Indonesian aboriginal ancestry.
The Predominant religion – inspirable from many aspects of daily life is a kind of Hinduism uniqueto Bali, with strong currents of Buddhism, Animism, magic and ancestor worship.Culture highlights are Bali’s music, dance, theatre and spectacular religious ceremonies which take place almost all year round.The culture has remained virtually undisturbed by outside influences. Until recently, as the tourism industry, modern technology and Bali participation in a developing republic all assert their challenge to traditions.
Bali is really a wonderful island with very nice beaches, very nice lakes, mountain, hill and beautiful paddy rice terraces. Bali is very nice green and clean island.
Seasons move from hot to rainy (November to March) to cooler and dry (June to August). May is green and fresh; October is hot and dry. The average annual temperature is 26oC (78oF). The high season for tourists from Europe and the USA is July to August; from Australia, December to January. Book well in advance for cheap flights and accommodations.
CULTURE AND RELIGION
Bali’s religion, Hindu Dharma, is expressed in ritual concerned with the five spheres of attention – the Gods and ancestors; the “demons”; stage of human growth; the dead; and the consecration of Priest. There are also cyclical holidays honoring crops, books, tools, musical instruments, and so forth. Essential to these rituals are copious offering of food, flowers, and ingeniously fashioned abstract figures of palm leaves.
Offerings are consecrated by priests, known as Pemangku, with incense, sacred incantations (mantra) and holy water. Temple festivals, called odalan, and cremations are the most conspicuous ceremonial occasions, and tourists are welcome to watch, as long as they dress and behave respectfully.
The complex Balinese calendar follows two coincidental system; one based on a lunar year of 355 days with a 13th month added every three years, while the other is the wuku year of 210 days. These 210 days year are further divided into 30, 7 day weeks, each with its own name. Within this 210 day – year are further concentric cycles with “weeks” of varying length, the conjunctions of which are of mystical importance.
The dense amount of information on the printed calendar give a visual clue to the complexity of the system. Usually, when people have an important ritual event looming, they look at the calendar and then consult a priest of the appropriate grade: a high priest or pendeta, for such things as marriage, cremation and important rituals pertaining to ancestors; or a balian – healer – sorcerer – for more domestic problem, like destroying a nest of wasps or putting a ring in the nose of a calf.
The Balinese insist that their religion is monotheistic – in accordance with the national philosophy Pancasila, one of the five principles of which is the belief in one God – but the manifestations of God are myriad: they in clued not only the Hindu trinity (Brahma, Wisnu, Siva), but also deified kings, saint and ancestors, and a vast variety of elemental spirits.