Bali, the most Western of the islands of Sunda islands, counts more than 2,5 million inhabitants on a surface of 5600 km2 only. The principal cultural characteristic of its population is to have kept a religion of the hindouist type. Bali is famous for its landscapes, for the beauty of its dances and its musics, for the way of life of its inhabitants turned towards the love of nature and art. The island is separated from Java only by a strait of 3 km.
MengwiMengwi is one of the most beautiful Balinese temples, dated from 1643, surrounded by ditches. This temple contains many divinities dedicated to the mountains and the forests.
The irrigation of the
rice fields is conditioned by the Subak, perimeter irrigated, starting
from a dam on a river, with as bases calculation the Kesit, the smallest
unit of area irrigated in same a Subak. This unit is directed by the Klian
Subak assisted by employees; free of chores, it is in charge of the
execution of the religious obligations (maintenance of small altars).
In Bali, all the events of the life are marked by religious ceremonies. At the birth, the child is blessed by the pédanda. He will touch the ground only at the end of the third month, and will pass his early childhood in the fields or the rice plantations while living in a village community. About 7 or 8 years, it will learn the dance or the music at the school in the village. Arrived at adolescence, it will have to undergo the filing of its six more beautiful teeth to drive out the six sins (idleness, indifference, indecision, taste for the material goods, pleasure of the senses, taste of luxury).
Procession in Besakih.
This temple is at the foot of the " centre of the universe ", the
frightening Mount Agung, the highest volcano of Bali (3142 m). the main temple
is at 1000 m of altitude and includes three sanctuaries, in north the black
temple of Vishnou, in the south the white temple of Shiva and in the center the
red temple of Brahma.
BesakihIn Bali, the hindouism was adjusted on the social elements peculiar to the island with however the worship of a supreme god, Ida Sanghyang. It appears in the form of a trinity, or Trisakti, gathering Vishnou, Shiva and Brahma. Apart from this trinity, Balinese adore various divinities of the mountains, the sea and the rivers, but also of the specific gods to each village, each house, for all the aspects of the everyday life.
In the most modest families and in the villages, in edge of sea, among the rice plantations, the cemeteries, the markets, the beaches, the caves or even the roots of banyan, the temples balinese decorated with fresh flowers every morning, are the most important institution of the island. There exists more than 10000 temples of all kinds and all forms.
BesakihHinduism came in Bali by the means of Indian tradesmen around of the beginning of our era. The island remains the refuge of Hinduism, but through a ritual different from that of India. One finds there the three large Hindu divinities, the system of the castes, but here death is not as tragic as in Benares (Varanasi). In addition, the island is populated by supernatural beings as well spirits as demons, which are the manifestations of nature and the life.
Tanah LotThe temple of Tanah Lot is raised on an eroded black cliff, with its two frail meru. The snakes coiled in anfractuosities of the rock are crowned and are the guards of this temple, devoted to the spirits of the sea.
Lake BaturView of the lake Batur and cones of the Mounts Batur (1717 m) and Abang (2152 m). Bali are almost entirely volcanic, dominated by Gunung Agung (3142 m) whose eruption of 1963 made 1500 dead and a sixth of the cultivated grounds was destroyed.
UbudBali is dissymmetrical on two points:
- its climate: the summer is wet (from November to May) because of the monsoon of the North-West, but the coastal plain of north has a dry winter whereas the same winter is wet in the south.
- its cultures: the plain of north presents a larger variety of cultures.
SanurSanur is located at 8 km in the east of the capital of Bali (Denpasar) and its beach is protected from the rollers by a barrier of reefs.
TampaksiringThe temple of Tampaksiring. It is said that here, the giant Indra pierced the ground and made spout out the amrita or the elixir of immortality. The site includes the baths, the temple (restored in 1959) and a monastery.
SelatThe village and the area were saved by the volcanic eruption of 1963. The rice plantations in terraces are stretched on the sides of the mountains overhung by majestic Gunung Agung.
SanurSunrise on the beach of Sanur. Sanur is stretched on 3 km along a coast facing east, punctuated of gardens carefully drawn and restaurants of the hotels giving directly on the beach.
Goa GajahGoa Gajah are caves discovered in 1954 at the bottom of a valley, in particular composed of the Elephant cave which dates from second century and which was used as retirement to the monks and to hermits.
Mount BaturThe Mount Batur is a very characteristic active volcano because of its broken peak. The last important eruption of the volcano goes back to 1926. It entirely destroyed the Batur village which was never rebuilt.
UbudBalinese in the rice plantations of Ubud. The legendary rice terrace plantations of Bali are the object of the pride of the inhabitants of the island.
RendangThe village of Rendang in the south of Bali. The cosmic order articulates the life of the village with its system of temples, the layout of the houses, the irrigation of the rice plantations and the links between the social groups.
BesakihA procession in Besakih. In Bali, the religion permeates all the acts of the everyday life. The offerings and the rites take place everywhere and constantly.