new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
View allAll Photos Tagged kesari+varieties

 

230,208 items / 1,933,323 views

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Hanuman (Sanskrit: हनुमान्, Hanumān), is a Hindu deity who is an ardent devotee of Rama, the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu, and a central character in the Indian epic Ramayan. A general among the vanaras, Hanuman is a disciple of Lord Rama in the war against the demon king Ravan. Also known as Anjaneya, Maruti, Maharudra, Pavanputra, Kesharinandan, Arbiter, Anjaniputra, Bajrang Bali and Hanumat, Hanuman's exploits are much celebrated in a variety of religious and cultural traditions,[1] particularly in Hinduism, to the extent that he is often the object of worship according to some bhakti traditions,[2] and is the prime deity in many temples known as Hanuman Mandirs.

 

Hanuman was born to Anjana, a female vanara, and Kesari, a male vanara, in Anjana Giri mountain. Another name for Hanuman is "Anjaniputra" which means son of Anjana. His mother was an apsara who was born on Earth as a female vanara due to a curse. She would be redeemed from this curse on her giving birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva, and endowed with the Supreme Power of exalted devotion to Bhagwan Hari. Hanuman is endowed with 28 transcendental divine opulences, with perfection in each. Anjana, along with her husband Kesari, performed intense prayers to Lord Shiva to beget Him as her Child. Pleased with their devotion, Shiva granted them the boon they sought.[3] Hence, Hanuman is also known as "Maharudra" because he was born of the boon given to Anjana by Shiva, who is also known as Rudra. The Valmiki Ramayana states that Kesari is the son of Brihaspati and that Kesari also fought on Rama's side in the war against Ravana.[4]

Several different traditions account for Hanuman's birth. One is that at the time that Anjana was worshipping Lord Shiva, elsewhere, Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya, was performing the Putrakama Yagna in order to have children. As a result, he received some sacred pudding, payasam, to be shared by his three wives, leading to the births of Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. By divine ordinance, a kite snatched a fragment of that pudding and dropped it while flying over the forest where Anjana was engaged in worship. Vayu, the Hindu deity of the wind, delivered the falling pudding to the outstretched hands of Anjana, who consumed it. Hanuman was born to her as a result.[4][5]

Hanuman, in one interpretation, is the incarnation or reflection of Shiva.[6] Other interpretations, such as that of Dvaita, consider Hanuman to be the son of, or a manifestation of, Vayu, god of wind.

Another story of Hanuman's origins is derived from the Vishnu Purana and Naradeya Purana. Narada, infatuated with a princess, went to his God Lord Vishnu, to make him look like Sri Vishnu, so that the princess would garland him at Swayamvara. He asked for a Hari-Mukh. Hari is the name of Lord Vishnu and Mukh means face. But Vishnu instead bestowed him with the face of a monkey. Unaware of this, Narada went to the princess, who burst into laughter at the sight of his monkey face before all the king's court. Narada, unable to bear the humiliation, cursed Vishnu, that Vishnu would one day be dependent upon a vanara. Vishnu replied that what he had done was for Narada's own good, as he would have undermined his own powers if he were to enter matrimony. Vishnu also noted that Narada's request for Hari has the dual Sanskrit meaning of vanara. Upon hearing this, Narada repented for cursing his idol. But Vishnu told him not repent as the curse would act as a boon, for it would lead to the birth of Hanuman, an avatar of Shiva, without whose help Rama (Vishnu's avatar) could not kill Ravana. Since there are two distinct sects in Hinduism, Shaivas and Vaishnavas. some believe that the story that Hanuman is an avatar of Shiva might have come to link both the sects in harmony.

References to Hanuman in classical literature could be found as early as those of 5th to 1st century BC in Panini's Astadhyayi, Abhiseka Nataka, Pratima Nataka, and Kālidāsa's Raghuvaṃśa.

[edit]Birth place

Multiple places in India are claimed as the birth place of Hanuman. Hanuman was born on 'Anjaneya Hill', in Hampi, Karnataka.[7] This is located near the Risyamukha mountain on the banks of the Pampa, where Sugreeva and Sri Rama are said to have met in Valmiki Ramayana's Kishkinda Kanda. There is a temple that marks the spot.Even Trimbakeshwar, Anjan, a small village about 18 km away from Gumla, houses "Anjan Dham", which is said to be the birth place of Hanuman.[8] The name of the village is derived from the name of the goddess Anjani, mother of Mahaveer Hanuman. Aanjani Gufa (cave), 4 km from the village, is believed to be the place where Anjani once lived. Many objects of archaeological importance obtained from this site are now held at the Patna Museum. Another belief is that Anjaneri (or Anjneri) mountain, located 7 km from Trimbakeshwar in the Nashik district, is also claimed as the birthplace of Hanuman.[9] A cave in a hill near Gokarna, one of the oldest temple towns of India, is also said to be the birth place of Hanuman. This cave has had a Hanuman temple for a long time. Gokarna, situated in west coast of Karnataka, is known for Atma Linga of Shiva, installed by Ganapathi to save it from the hands of Ravana long before Ramayana days. Sri Ramachandra Pura Math one of the leading Shankara Peethas is situated 3 kilometers away from this birth place of Hanuman.

 

As a child, believing the sun to be a ripe mango, Hanuman pursued it in order to eat it. Rahu, a Vedic planet corresponding to an eclipse, was at that time seeking out the sun as well, and he clashed with Hanuman. In the nature of Rahu, the Tamas Guṇa predominated. To convey a message to the universe that Satva Guṇa always prevails, Hanuman thrashed Rahu and goes to take sun in his abode.[10] Indra, king of devas, was approached by defeated Rahu with disappointment, complaining that a monkey child stopped him from taking on Sun, as is permitted by you so that Solar eclipse could not take place. This enraged Indra, who responded by throwing the Vajra (thunderbolt) at Hanuman, which struck his jaw. He fell back down to the earth and became unconscious. Upset, Vayu deva went into seclusion, withdrawing air along with. As living beings began to asphyxiate, Indra withdrew the effect of his thunderbolt, and the devas revived Hanuman and blessed him with multiple boons.[4]

Brahma then gave Hanuman a boon that would protect him from the proverbial irrevocable curse called Brahma’s curse-Brahmashap. Brahma also said: "Nobody will be able to kill you with any weapon in war." From Brahma he obtained the power of inducing fear in enemies, of destroying fear in friends, to be able to change his form at will and to be able to easily travel wherever he wished. From Shiva he obtained the boons of longevity, scriptural wisdom and ability to cross the ocean. Lord Shiva assured safety of Hanuman with a band (kavach) that would protect him for life. Indra blessed him that his weapon Vajra, will no longer be effective on him and his body would become stronger than Vajra. Varuna blessed baby Hanuman with a boon that he would always be protected from water. Agni blessed him, Saying, "Fire will never burn you." Surya gave him two siddhis of yoga namely "laghima" and "garima", to be able to attain the smallest or to attain the biggest form . Vayu blessed him with more speed than he himself had. Yama, the God of Death blessed him healthy life and free from his weapon Yama Danda, thus death would not come to him. Kubera showered his blessings declaring that Hanuman would always remain happy and contented. Vishwakarma blessed him that Hanuman would be protected from all his creations in the form of objects or weapons A permanent mark was left on his chin (हनुः hanuḥ "jaw" in Sanskrit), due to impact of Vajra, explaining his name.[4][11]

On ascertaining Surya to be an all-knowing teacher, Hanuman raised his body into an orbit around the sun and requested to Surya to accept him as a student. Surya refused and explained claiming that he always had to be on the move in his chariot, it would be impossible for Hanuman to learn well. Undeterred, Hanuman enlarged his form, with one leg on the eastern ranges and the other on the western ranges, and facing Surya again pleaded. Pleased by his persistence, Surya agreed. Hanuman then learned all of the latter's knowledge. When Hanuman then requested Surya to quote his "guru-dakshina" (teacher's fee), the latter refused, saying that the pleasure of teaching one as dedicated as him was the fee in itself. Hanuman insisted, whereupon Surya asked him to help his (Surya's) spiritual son Sugriva. Hanuman's choice of Surya as his teacher is said to signify Surya as a Karma Saakshi, an eternal witness of all deeds. Hanuman later became Sugriva's minister.[4][12]

Hanuman was mischievous in his childhood, and sometimes teased the meditating sages in the forests by snatching their personal belongings and by disturbing their well-arranged articles of worship. Finding his antics unbearable, but realizing that Hanuman was but a child, (albeit invincible), the sages placed a mild curse on him by which he became unable to remember his own ability unless reminded by another person. It is hypothesised that without this curse, the entire course of the Ramayana war might have been different, for he demonstrated phenomenal abilities during the war. The curse is highlighted in Kishkindha Kanda and Sundara Kanda when Jambavantha reminds Hanuman of his abilities and encourages him to go and find Sita.[4] The specific verse that is recited by Jambavantha is:

You are as powerful as the wind;

You are intelligent, illustrious & an inventor.

There is nothing in this world that’s too difficult for you;

Whenever stuck, you are the one who can help.

 

Meeting Rama

Hanuman meets Rama during the Rama's 14-year exile.[13] With his brother Lakshmana, Rama is searching for his wife Sita who had been abducted by Ravana. Their search brings them to the vicinity of the mountain Rishyamukha, where Sugriva, along with his followers and friends, are in hiding from his older brother Vali.

Having seen Rama and Lakshmana, Sugriva sends Hanuman to ascertain their identities. Hanuman approaches the two brothers in the guise of a brahmin. His first words to them are such that Rama says to Lakshmana that none could speak the way the brahmin did unless he or she had mastered the Vedas. He notes that there is no defect in the brahmin's countenance, eyes, forehead, brows, or any limb. He points out to Lakshmana that his accent is captivating, adding that even an enemy with sword drawn would be moved. He praises the disguised Hanuman further, saying that sure success awaited the king whose emissaries were as accomplished as he was.[13]

When Rama introduces himself, the brahman identitifies himself as Hanuman and falls prostrate before Rama, who embraces him warmly. Thereafter, Hanuman's life becomes interwoven with that of Rama. Hanuman then brings about friendship and alliance between Rama and Sugriva; Rama helps Sugriva regain his honour and makes him king of Kishkindha. Sugriva and his vanaras, most notably Hanuman, help Rama defeat Ravana and reunite with Sita.

In their search for Sita, a group of Vanaras reaches the southern seashore. Upon encountering the vast ocean, every vanara begins to lament his inability to jump across the water. Hanuman too is saddened at the possible failure of his mission, until the other vanaras and the wise bear Jambavantha begin to extol his virtues. Hanuman then recollects his own powers, enlarges his body, and flies across the ocean. On his way, he encounters a mountain that rises from the sea, proclaims that it owed his father a debt, and asks him to rest a while before proceeding. Not wanting to waste any time, Hanuman thanks the mountain and carries on. He then encounters a sea-monster, Surasa, who challenges him to enter her mouth. When Hanuman outwits her, she admits that her challenge was merely a test of his courage. After killing Simhika, a rakshasa, he reaches Lanka.

[edit]Locating Sita

  

Hanuman encounters Sita in Ashokavana

Hanuman reaches Lanka and marvels at its beauty. After he finds Sita in captivity in a garden, Hanuman reveals his identity to her, reassures her that Rama has been looking for her, and uplifts her spirits. He offers to carry her back to Rama, but she refuses his offer, saying it would be an insult to Rama as his honour is at stake. After meeting Sita, Hanuman begins to wreak havoc, gradually destroying the palaces and properties of Lanka. He kills many rakshasas, including Jambumali and Aksha Kumar. To subdue him, Ravana's son Indrajit uses the Brahmastra. Though immune to the effects of this weapon Hanuman, out of respect to Brahma, allows himself be bound. Deciding to use the opportunity to meet Ravana, and to assess the strength of Ravana's hordes, Hanuman allows the rakshasa warriors to parade him through the streets. He conveys Rama's message of warning and demands the safe return of Sita. He also informs Ravana that Rama would be willing to forgive him if he returns Sita honourably.

  

Hanuman then allows himself to be captured by Ravana, who sets his tail on fire; bazaar art, c.1910's

Enraged, Ravana orders Hanuman's execution, whereupon Ravana's brother Vibhishana intervenes, pointing out that it is against the rules of engagement to kill a messenger. Ravana then orders Hanuman's tail be lit afire. As Ravana's forces attempted to wrap cloth around his tail, Hanuman begins to lengthen it. After frustrating them for a while, he allows it to burn, then escapes from his captors, and with his tail on fire he burns down large parts of Lanka. After extinguishing his flaming tail in the sea, he returns to Rama.

[edit]Shapeshifting

In the Ramayana Hanuman changes shape several times. For example, while he searches for the kidnapped Sita in Ravana's palaces on Lanka, he contracts himself to the size of a cat, so that he will not be detected by the enemy. Later on, he takes on the size of a mountain, blazing with radiance, to show his true power to Sita.[14]

Also he enlarges & immediately afterwards contracts his body to out-wit Sirsa, the she-demon, who blocked his path while crossing the sea to reach Lanka. Again, he turns his body microscopically small to enter Lanka before killing Lankini, the she-demon guarding the gates of Lanka.

He achieved this shape-shifting by the powers of two siddhis; Anima and Garima bestowed upon him in his childhood by Sun-God, Surya.

[edit]Lifting a mountain

When Lakshmana is severely wounded during the battle against Ravana, Hanuman is sent to fetch the Sanjivani, a powerful life-restoring herb, from Dronagiri mountain in the Himalayas, to revive him. Ravana realises that if Lakshmana dies, a distraught Rama would probably give up, and so he dispatches the sorcerer Kalanemi to intercept Hanuman.[15] Kalanemi, in the guise of a sage, deceives Hanuman, but Hanuman uncovers his plot with the help of an apsara, whom he rescues from her accursed state as a crocodile.[15]

  

Hanuman fetches the herb-bearing mountain, in a print from the Ravi Varma Press, 1910's

Ravana, upon learning that Kalanemi has been slain by Hanuman, summons Surya to rise before its appointed time because the physician Sushena had said that Lakshmana would perish if untreated by daybreak. Hanuman realizes the danger, however, and, becoming many times his normal size, detains the Sun God to prevent the break of day. He then resumes his search for the precious herb, but, when he finds himself unable to identify which herb it is, he lifts the entire mountain and delivers it to the battlefield in Lanka. Sushena then identifies and administers the herb, and Lakshmana is saved. Rama embraces Hanuman, declaring him as dear to him as his own brother. Hanuman releases Surya from his grip, and asks forgiveness, as the Sun was also his Guru.

Hanuman was also called "langra veer"; langra in Hindi means leaping and veer means "bravest of brave". The story behind Hanuman being called langra is as follows. He was injured when he was crossing the Ayodhya with the mountain in his hands. As he was crossing over Ayodhya, Bharat, Rama's young brother, saw him and assumed that some Rakshasa was taking this mountain to attack Ayodhya. Bharat then shot Hanuman with an arrow, which was engraved with Rama's name. Hanuman did not stop this arrow as it had Rama's name written on it, and it injured his leg. Hanuman landed and explained to Bharat that he was moving the mountain to save his own brother, Lakshmana. Bharat, very sorry, offered to fire an arrow to Lanka, which Hanuman could ride in order to reach his destination more easily. But Hanuman declined the offer, preferring to fly on his own, and he continued his journey with his injured leg.

[edit]Patala incident

  

Sculpture of Hanuman carrying the mountain, in a Haridwar temple.

In another incident during the war, Rama and Lakshmana are captured by the rakshasa Mahiravana (or Ahiravan), brother of Ravana, who held them captive in their palace in Patala (or Patalpuri)--the netherworld. Mahiravana keeps them as offerings to his deity. Searching for them, Hanuman reaches Patala, the gates of which are guarded by a young creature called Makardhwaja (known also as Makar-Dhwaja or Magar Dhwaja), who is part reptile and part Vanara.

The story of Makardhwaja's birth is said to be that when Hanuman extinguished his burning tail in the ocean, a drop of his sweat fell into the waters, eventually becoming Makardhwaja, who perceives Hanuman as his father. When Hanuman introduces himself to Makardhwaja, the latter asks his blessings, but fights him to fulfill the task of guarding the gate. Hanuman defeats and imprisons him to gain entry.

Upon entering Patala, Hanuman discovers that to kill Mahiravana, he must simultaneously extinguish five lamps burning in different directions. Hanuman assumes the Panchamukha or five-faced form of Sri Varaha facing north, Sri Narasimha facing south, Sri Garuda facing west, Sri Hayagriva facing the sky and his own facing the east, and blows out the lamps. Hanuman then rescues Rama and Lakshmana. Afterwards, Rama asks Hanuman to crown Makardhwaja king of Patala. Hanuman then instructs Makardhwaja to rule Patala with justice and wisdom.

To date Panchamukha Anjaneya mandir is located at Panchmukhi a small village 20 km from Mantralayam, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh. A divine place where Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy rests.

[edit]Bharata's vow

  

Javanese wayang representation of Hanuman.

When the war ends, Rama's 14-year exile has almost elapsed. Rama then remembers Bharata's vow to immolate himself if Rama does not return to rule Ayodhya immediately, on completion of the stipulated period. Realising that it would be a little later than the last day of the 14 years when he would reach Ayodhya, Rama is anxious to prevent Bharata from giving up his life. Hanuman therefore flies to Ayodhya to inform Bharata that Rama is on his way home.

[edit]Honours

Shortly after he is crowned Emperor upon his return to Ayodhya, Rama decides to ceremoniously reward all his well-wishers. At a grand ceremony in his court, all his friends and allies take turns being honoured at the throne. Hanuman approaches without desiring a reward. Seeing Hanuman come up to him, an emotionally overwhelmed Rama embraces him warmly, declaring that he could never adequately honour or repay Hanuman for the help and services he received from the noble Vanara. Sita, however, insists that Hanuman deserved honour more than anyone else, and Sita gives him a necklace of precious stones adorning her neck.

When he receives it, Hanuman immediately takes it apart, and peers into each stone. Taken aback, many of those present demand to know why he is destroying the precious gift. Hanuman answers that he was looking into the stones to make sure that Rama and Sita are in them, because if they are not, the necklace is of no value to him. At this, a few mock Hanuman, saying his reverence and love for Rama and Sita could not possibly be as deep as he implies. In response, Hanuman tears his chest open, and everyone is stunned to see Rama and Sita literally in his heart.

[edit]Hanuman Ramayana

  

Hanuman beheads Trisiras-from The Freer Ramayana

After the victory of Rama over Ravana, Hanuman went to the Himalayas to continue his worship of the Lord. There he scripted a version of the Ramayana on the Himalayan mountains using his nails, recording every detail of Rama's deeds. When Maharishi Valmiki visited him to show him his own version of the Ramayana, he saw Hanuman's version and became very disappointed.

When Hanuman asked Valmiki the cause of his sorrow, the sage said that his version, which he had created very laboriously, was no match for the splendour of Hanuman's, and would therefore go ignored. At this, Hanuman discarded his own version, which is called the Hanumad Ramayana. Maharishi Valmiki was so taken aback that he said he would take another birth to sing the glory of Hanuman which he had understated in his version.

Later, one tablet is said to have floated ashore during the period of Mahakavi Kalidasa, and hung at a public place to be deciphered by scholars. Kalidasa is said to have deciphered it and recognised that it was from the Hanumad Ramayana recorded by Hanuman in an extinct script, and considered himself very fortunate to see at least one pada of the stanza.

[edit]After the Ramayana war

After the war, and after reigning for several years, the time arrived for Rama to depart to his heavenly abode. Many of Rama's entourage, including Sugriva, decided to depart with him. Hanuman, however, requested Rama that he will remain on earth as long as Rama's name was venerated by people. Sita accorded Hanuman that desire, and granted that his image would be installed at various public places, so he could listen to people chanting Rama's name. He is one of the immortals of Hinduism.[16]

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.

 

With a population of 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and 4,225,000 as of January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 83.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, followed by 13.4% Muslim, Christianity at 2.5%, and Buddhism 0.5%.

 

Bali is a popular tourist destination, which has seen a significant rise in numbers since the 1980s. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali.

 

Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. There is a wide range of dive sites with high quality reefs, all with their own specific attractions. Many sites can have strong currents and swell, so diving without a knowledgeable guide is inadvisable. Most recently, Bali was the host of the 2011 ASEAN Summit, 2013 APEC and Miss World 2013.

 

HISTORY

ANCIENT

Bali was inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people who migrated originally from Southeast Asia and Oceania through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Oceania. Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.

 

In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Pasupata, Bhairawa, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Bodha, Brahma, Resi, Sora and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead.

 

Inscriptions from 896 and 911 don't mention a king, until 914, when Sri Kesarivarma is mentioned. They also reveal an independent Bali, with a distinct dialect, where Buddhism and Sivaism were practiced simultaneously. Mpu Sindok's great granddaughter, Mahendradatta (Gunapriyadharmapatni), married the Bali king Udayana Warmadewa (Dharmodayanavarmadeva) around 989, giving birth to Airlangga around 1001. This marriage also brought more Hinduism and Javanese culture to Bali. Princess Sakalendukirana appeared in 1098. Suradhipa reigned from 1115 to 1119, and Jayasakti from 1146 until 1150. Jayapangus appears on inscriptions between 1178 and 1181, while Adikuntiketana and his son Paramesvara in 1204.

 

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the people developed their complex irrigation system subak to grow rice in wet-field cultivation. Some religious and cultural traditions still practised today can be traced to this period.

 

The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. The uncle of Hayam Wuruk is mentioned in the charters of 1384-86. A mass Javanese emigration occurred in the next century.

 

PORTUGUESE CONTACTS

The first known European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1512, when a Portuguese expedition led by Antonio Abreu and Francisco Serrão sighted its northern shores. It was the first expedition of a series of bi-annual fleets to the Moluccas, that throughout the 16th century usually traveled along the coasts of the Sunda Islands. Bali was also mapped in 1512, in the chart of Francisco Rodrigues, aboard the expedition. In 1585, a ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung.

 

DUTCH EAST INDIA

In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali, and the Dutch East India Company was established in 1602. The Dutch government expanded its control across the Indonesian archipelago during the second half of the 19th century (see Dutch East Indies). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island's north coast, when the Dutch pitted various competing Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island's south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

 

In June 1860 the famous Welsh naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, travelled to Bali from Singapore, landing at Buleleng on the northcoast of the island. Wallace's trip to Bali was instrumental in helping him devise his Wallace Line theory. The Wallace Line is a faunal boundary that runs through the strait between Bali and Lombok. It has been found to be a boundary between species of Asiatic origin in the east and a mixture of Australian and Asian species to the west. In his travel memoir The Malay Archipelago, Wallace wrote of his experience in Bali:

 

I was both astonished and delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well-cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast about ten or twelve miles inland, where it is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of coconut palms, tamarind and other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between them extend luxurious rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe.

 

The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 200 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. In the Dutch intervention in Bali, a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung.

 

AFTERWARD THE DUTCH GOVERNORS

exercised administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.

 

n the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee all spent time here. Their accounts of the island and its peoples created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature." Western tourists began to visit the island.

 

Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II. It was not originally a target in their Netherlands East Indies Campaign, but as the airfields on Borneo were inoperative due to heavy rains, the Imperial Japanese Army decided to occupy Bali, which did not suffer from comparable weather. The island had no regular Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) troops. There was only a Native Auxiliary Corps Prajoda (Korps Prajoda) consisting of about 600 native soldiers and several Dutch KNIL officers under command of KNIL Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Roodenburg. On 19 February 1942 the Japanese forces landed near the town of Senoer [Senur]. The island was quickly captured.

 

During the Japanese occupation, a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'. The harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule more resented than Dutch rule. Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch returned to Indonesia, including Bali, to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels, who now used recovered Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance.

 

INDIPENDENCE FROM THE DUTCH

In 1946, the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia, which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

 

CONTEMPORARY

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting this system. Politically, the opposition was represented by supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI's land reform programs. An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto.

 

The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island's population. With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.

 

As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency. His "New Order" government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as "paradise" was revived in a modern form. The resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely reduced tourism, producing much economic hardship to the island.

 

GEOGRAPHY

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km wide and spans approximately 112 km north to south; administratively it covers 5,780 km2, or 5,577 km2 without Nusa Penida District, its population density is roughly 750 people/km2.

 

Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 metres in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung (3,031 m), known as the "mother mountain" which is an active volcano rated as one of the world's most likely sites for a massive eruption within the next 100 years. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali's volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali's large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.

 

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.

 

The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500 (2002). Bali's second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar's urban area, and Ubud, situated at the north of Denpasar, is the island's cultural centre.

 

Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.

 

To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok Island and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.

 

CLIMATE

Being just 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali has a fairly even climate year round.

 

Day time temperatures at low elevations vary between 20-33⁰ C although it can be much cooler than that in the mountains. The west monsoon is in place from approximately October to April and this can bring significant rain, particularly from December to March. Outside of the monsoon period, humidity is relatively low and any rain unlikely in lowland areas.

 

ECOLOGY

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna that is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the yellow-crested cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali myna, which is endemic. Others Include barn swallow, black-naped oriole, black racket-tailed treepie, crested serpent-eagle, crested treeswift, dollarbird, Java sparrow, lesser adjutant, long-tailed shrike, milky stork, Pacific swallow, red-rumped swallow, sacred kingfisher, sea eagle, woodswallow, savanna nightjar, stork-billed kingfisher, yellow-vented bulbul and great egret.

 

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild banteng, leopard and the endemic Bali tiger. The banteng still occurs in its domestic form, whereas leopards are found only in neighbouring Java, and the Bali tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s. The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Bali tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, whereas few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan rusa deer and the wild boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian muntjac, also occurs. Saltwater crocodiles were once present on the island, but became locally extinct sometime during the last century.

 

Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often is the Asian palm civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi Luwak. Bats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The crab-eating macaque, known locally as "kera", is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three "monkey forest" temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, endemic to Java and some surrounding islands such as Bali, is far rarer and more elusive is the Javan langur, locally known as "lutung". They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. They are born an orange colour, though by their first year they would have already changed to a more blackish colouration. In Java however, there is more of a tendency for this species to retain its juvenile orange colour into adulthood, and so you can see a mixture of black and orange monkeys together as a family. Other rarer mammals include the leopard cat, Sunda pangolin and black giant squirrel.

 

Snakes include the king cobra and reticulated python. The water monitor can grow to at least 1.5 m in length and 50 kg and can move quickly.

 

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighbouring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance hawksbill turtle, giant sunfish, giant manta ray, giant moray eel, bumphead parrotfish, hammerhead shark, reef shark, barracuda, and sea snakes. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina.

 

A team of scientists conducted a survey from 29 April 2011 to 11 May 2011 at 33 sea sites around Bali. They discovered 952 species of reef fish of which 8 were new discoveries at Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, Nusa Dua, Tulamben and Candidasa, and 393 coral species, including two new ones at Padangbai and between Padangbai and Amed. The average coverage level of healthy coral was 36% (better than in Raja Ampat and Halmahera by 29% or in Fakfak and Kaimana by 25%) with the highest coverage found in Gili Selang and Gili Mimpang in Candidasa, Karangasem regency.

 

Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native.[citation needed] Among the larger trees the most common are: banyan trees, jackfruit, coconuts, bamboo species, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, lotus, roses, begonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salak, mangosteen, corn, kintamani orange, coffee and water spinach.

 

ENVIRONMENT

Some of the worst erosion has occurred in Lebih Beach, where up to 7 metres of land is lost every year. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach.

 

From ranked third in previous review, in 2010 Bali got score 99.65 of Indonesia's environmental quality index and the highest of all the 33 provinces. The score measured 3 water quality parameters: the level of total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).

 

Because of over-exploitation by the tourist industry which covers a massive land area, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up and based on research, the southern part of Bali would face a water shortage up to 2,500 litres of clean water per second by 2015. To ease the shortage, the central government plans to build a water catchment and processing facility at Petanu River in Gianyar. The 300 litres capacity of water per second will be channelled to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar in 2013.

 

ECONOMY

Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia's wealthiest regions. In 2003, around 80% of Bali's economy was tourism related. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali were 2.23%, lower than the average of Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan (about 5%). The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry has since recovered from these events.

 

AGRICULTURE

Although tourism produces the GDP's largest output, agriculture is still the island's biggest employer; most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

 

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavours include lemon and other citrus notes. Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana". According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.

 

TOURISM

The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.

 

The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. The Australian government issued an advice on Friday, 4 May 2012. The overall level of the advice was lowered to 'Exercise a high degree of caution'. The Swedish government issued a new warning on Sunday, 10 June 2012 because of one more tourist who was killed by methanol poisoning. Australia last issued an advice on Monday, 5 January 2015 due to new terrorist threats.

 

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable.

 

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry, but not due to any travel warnings.

 

Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. In 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists, which surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65%, so the island is still able to accommodate tourists for some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.

 

Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, ranking second after Santorini, Greece.

 

In August 2010, the film Eat Pray Love was released in theatres. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, had already fuelled a boom in Eat, Pray, Love-related tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love.

 

In January 2016, after music icon David Bowie died, it was revealed that in his will, Bowie asked for his ashes to be scattered in Bali, conforming to Buddhist rituals. He had visited and performed in a number of Southest Asian cities early in his career, including Bangkok and Singapore.

 

Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. Chinese tourists increased by 17% from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali. In January 2012, Chinese tourists year on year (yoy) increased by 222.18% compared to January 2011, while Japanese tourists declined by 23.54% yoy.

 

Bali reported that it has 2.88 million foreign tourists and 5 million domestic tourists in 2012, marginally surpassing the expectations of 2.8 million foreign tourists. Forecasts for 2013 are at 3.1 million.

 

Based on Bank Indonesia survey in May 2013, 34.39 percent of tourists are upper-middle class with spending between $1,286 to $5,592 and dominated by Australia, France, China, Germany and the US with some China tourists move from low spending before to higher spending currently. While 30.26 percent are middle class with spending between $662 to $1,285.

 

SEX TOURISM

In the twentieth century the incidence of tourism specifically for sex was regularly observed in the era of mass tourism in Indonesia In Bali, prostitution is conducted by both men and women. Bali in particular is notorious for its 'Kuta Cowboys', local gigolos targeting foreign female tourists.

 

Tens of thousands of single women throng the beaches of Bali in Indonesia every year. For decades, young Balinese men have taken advantage of the louche and laid-back atmosphere to find love and lucre from female tourists—Japanese, European and Australian for the most part—who by all accounts seem perfectly happy with the arrangement.

 

By 2013, Indonesia was reportedly the number one destination for Australian child sex tourists, mostly starting in Bali but also travelling to other parts of the country. The problem in Bali was highlighted by Luh Ketut Suryani, head of Psychiatry at Udayana University, as early as 2003. Surayani warned that a low level of awareness of paedophilia in Bali had made it the target of international paedophile organisations. On 19 February 2013, government officials announced measures to combat paedophilia in Bali.

 

TRANSPORTATION

The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus at the southernmost part of the island. Lt.Col. Wisnu Airfield is found in north-west Bali.

 

A coastal road circles the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar. Bali has no railway lines.

 

In December 2010 the Government of Indonesia invited investors to build a new Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal at Karangasem, Bali with a projected worth of $30 million. On 17 July 2011 the first cruise ship (Sun Princess) anchored about 400 meters away from the wharf of Tanah Ampo harbour. The current pier is only 154 meters but will eventually be extended to 300–350 meters to accommodate international cruise ships. The harbour here is safer than the existing facility at Benoa and has a scenic backdrop of east Bali mountains and green rice fields. The tender for improvement was subject to delays, and as of July 2013 the situation remained unclear with cruise line operators complaining and even refusing to use the existing facility at Tanah Ampo.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by two ministers, Bali's Governor and Indonesian Train Company to build 565 kilometres of railway along the coast around the island. As of July 2015, no details of this proposed railways have been released.

 

On 16 March 2011 (Tanjung) Benoa port received the "Best Port Welcome 2010" award from London's "Dream World Cruise Destination" magazine. Government plans to expand the role of Benoa port as export-import port to boost Bali's trade and industry sector. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has confirmed that 306 cruise liners are heading for Indonesia in 2013 – an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.

 

In May 2011, an integrated Areal Traffic Control System (ATCS) was implemented to reduce traffic jams at four crossing points: Ngurah Rai statue, Dewa Ruci Kuta crossing, Jimbaran crossing and Sanur crossing. ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters. It has successfully been implemented in other ASEAN countries and will be implemented at other crossings in Bali.

 

On 21 December 2011 construction started on the Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai International Airport toll road which will also provide a special lane for motorcycles. This has been done by seven state-owned enterprises led by PT Jasa Marga with 60% of shares. PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol will construct the 9.91 kilometres toll road (totally 12.7 kilometres with access road). The construction is estimated to cost Rp.2.49 trillion ($273.9 million). The project goes through 2 kilometres of mangrove forest and through 2.3 kilometres of beach, both within 5.4 hectares area. The elevated toll road is built over the mangrove forest on 18,000 concrete pillars which occupied 2 hectares of mangroves forest. It compensated by new planting of 300,000 mangrove trees along the road. On 21 December 2011 the Dewa Ruci 450 meters underpass has also started on the busy Dewa Ruci junction near Bali Kuta Galeria with an estimated cost of Rp136 billion ($14.9 million) from the state budget. On 23 September 2013, the Bali Mandara Toll Road is opened and the Dewa Ruci Junction (Simpang Siur) underpass is opened before. Both are ease the heavy traffic congestion.

 

To solve chronic traffic problems, the province will also build a toll road connecting Serangan with Tohpati, a toll road connecting Kuta, Denpasar and Tohpati and a flyover connecting Kuta and Ngurah Rai Airport.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The population of Bali was 3,890,757 as of the 2010 Census; the latest estimate (for January 2014) is 4,225,384. There are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living in Bali.

 

ETHNIC ORIGINS

A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al. found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin. The study does not correlate the DNA samples to the Balinese caste system.

 

CASTE SYSTEM

Bali has a caste system based on the Indian Hindu model, with four castes:

 

- Sudra (Shudra) – peasants constituting close to 93% of Bali's population.

- Wesia (Vaishyas) – the caste of merchants and administrative officials

- Ksatrias (Kshatriyas) – the kingly and warrior caste

- Brahmana (Bramhin) – holy men and priests

 

RELIGION

Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 83.5% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (13.3%), Christianity (1.7%), and Buddhism (0.5%). These figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.

 

Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practised in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the "Island of a Thousand Puras", or "Island of the Gods". This is refer to Mahabarata story that behind Bali became island of god or "pulau dewata" in Indonesian language.

 

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, and adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behaviour.

 

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chinese immigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism, but also find a way to harmonise it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple's odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese. Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.

 

LANGUAGE

Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. The most common spoken language around the tourist areas is Indonesian, as many people in the tourist sector are not solely Balinese, but migrants from Java, Lombok, Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing. Kawi and Sanskrit are also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, for Hinduism literature was mostly written in Sanskrit.

 

English and Chinese are the next most common languages (and the primary foreign languages) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry, as well as the English-speaking community and huge Chinese-Indonesian population. Other foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, French, Russian or German are often used in multilingual signs for foreign tourists.

 

CULTURE

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese cuisine is also distinctive. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.

 

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. On the day before New Year, large and colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.

 

Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context. Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Often two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.

 

Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island's largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja and kelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.

 

Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardised in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.

 

Tourism, Bali's chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.

 

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family's ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including "kasepekang", or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratisation and decentralisation of Indonesia since 1998.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.

 

With a population of 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and 4,225,000 as of January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 83.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, followed by 13.4% Muslim, Christianity at 2.5%, and Buddhism 0.5%.

 

Bali is a popular tourist destination, which has seen a significant rise in numbers since the 1980s. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali.

 

Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. There is a wide range of dive sites with high quality reefs, all with their own specific attractions. Many sites can have strong currents and swell, so diving without a knowledgeable guide is inadvisable. Most recently, Bali was the host of the 2011 ASEAN Summit, 2013 APEC and Miss World 2013.

 

HISTORY

ANCIENT

Bali was inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people who migrated originally from Southeast Asia and Oceania through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Oceania. Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.

 

In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Pasupata, Bhairawa, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Bodha, Brahma, Resi, Sora and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead.

 

Inscriptions from 896 and 911 don't mention a king, until 914, when Sri Kesarivarma is mentioned. They also reveal an independent Bali, with a distinct dialect, where Buddhism and Sivaism were practiced simultaneously. Mpu Sindok's great granddaughter, Mahendradatta (Gunapriyadharmapatni), married the Bali king Udayana Warmadewa (Dharmodayanavarmadeva) around 989, giving birth to Airlangga around 1001. This marriage also brought more Hinduism and Javanese culture to Bali. Princess Sakalendukirana appeared in 1098. Suradhipa reigned from 1115 to 1119, and Jayasakti from 1146 until 1150. Jayapangus appears on inscriptions between 1178 and 1181, while Adikuntiketana and his son Paramesvara in 1204.

 

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the people developed their complex irrigation system subak to grow rice in wet-field cultivation. Some religious and cultural traditions still practised today can be traced to this period.

 

The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. The uncle of Hayam Wuruk is mentioned in the charters of 1384-86. A mass Javanese emigration occurred in the next century.

 

PORTUGUESE CONTACTS

The first known European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1512, when a Portuguese expedition led by Antonio Abreu and Francisco Serrão sighted its northern shores. It was the first expedition of a series of bi-annual fleets to the Moluccas, that throughout the 16th century usually traveled along the coasts of the Sunda Islands. Bali was also mapped in 1512, in the chart of Francisco Rodrigues, aboard the expedition. In 1585, a ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung.

 

DUTCH EAST INDIA

In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali, and the Dutch East India Company was established in 1602. The Dutch government expanded its control across the Indonesian archipelago during the second half of the 19th century (see Dutch East Indies). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island's north coast, when the Dutch pitted various competing Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island's south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

 

In June 1860 the famous Welsh naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, travelled to Bali from Singapore, landing at Buleleng on the northcoast of the island. Wallace's trip to Bali was instrumental in helping him devise his Wallace Line theory. The Wallace Line is a faunal boundary that runs through the strait between Bali and Lombok. It has been found to be a boundary between species of Asiatic origin in the east and a mixture of Australian and Asian species to the west. In his travel memoir The Malay Archipelago, Wallace wrote of his experience in Bali:

 

I was both astonished and delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well-cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast about ten or twelve miles inland, where it is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of coconut palms, tamarind and other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between them extend luxurious rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe.

 

The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 200 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. In the Dutch intervention in Bali, a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung.

 

AFTERWARD THE DUTCH GOVERNORS

exercised administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.

 

n the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee all spent time here. Their accounts of the island and its peoples created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature." Western tourists began to visit the island.

 

Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II. It was not originally a target in their Netherlands East Indies Campaign, but as the airfields on Borneo were inoperative due to heavy rains, the Imperial Japanese Army decided to occupy Bali, which did not suffer from comparable weather. The island had no regular Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) troops. There was only a Native Auxiliary Corps Prajoda (Korps Prajoda) consisting of about 600 native soldiers and several Dutch KNIL officers under command of KNIL Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Roodenburg. On 19 February 1942 the Japanese forces landed near the town of Senoer [Senur]. The island was quickly captured.

 

During the Japanese occupation, a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'. The harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule more resented than Dutch rule. Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch returned to Indonesia, including Bali, to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels, who now used recovered Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance.

 

INDIPENDENCE FROM THE DUTCH

In 1946, the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia, which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

 

CONTEMPORARY

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting this system. Politically, the opposition was represented by supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI's land reform programs. An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto.

 

The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island's population. With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.

 

As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency. His "New Order" government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as "paradise" was revived in a modern form. The resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely reduced tourism, producing much economic hardship to the island.

 

GEOGRAPHY

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km wide and spans approximately 112 km north to south; administratively it covers 5,780 km2, or 5,577 km2 without Nusa Penida District, its population density is roughly 750 people/km2.

 

Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 metres in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung (3,031 m), known as the "mother mountain" which is an active volcano rated as one of the world's most likely sites for a massive eruption within the next 100 years. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali's volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali's large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.

 

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.

 

The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500 (2002). Bali's second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar's urban area, and Ubud, situated at the north of Denpasar, is the island's cultural centre.

 

Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.

 

To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok Island and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.

 

CLIMATE

Being just 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali has a fairly even climate year round.

 

Day time temperatures at low elevations vary between 20-33⁰ C although it can be much cooler than that in the mountains. The west monsoon is in place from approximately October to April and this can bring significant rain, particularly from December to March. Outside of the monsoon period, humidity is relatively low and any rain unlikely in lowland areas.

 

ECOLOGY

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna that is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the yellow-crested cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali myna, which is endemic. Others Include barn swallow, black-naped oriole, black racket-tailed treepie, crested serpent-eagle, crested treeswift, dollarbird, Java sparrow, lesser adjutant, long-tailed shrike, milky stork, Pacific swallow, red-rumped swallow, sacred kingfisher, sea eagle, woodswallow, savanna nightjar, stork-billed kingfisher, yellow-vented bulbul and great egret.

 

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild banteng, leopard and the endemic Bali tiger. The banteng still occurs in its domestic form, whereas leopards are found only in neighbouring Java, and the Bali tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s. The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Bali tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, whereas few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan rusa deer and the wild boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian muntjac, also occurs. Saltwater crocodiles were once present on the island, but became locally extinct sometime during the last century.

 

Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often is the Asian palm civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi Luwak. Bats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The crab-eating macaque, known locally as "kera", is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three "monkey forest" temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, endemic to Java and some surrounding islands such as Bali, is far rarer and more elusive is the Javan langur, locally known as "lutung". They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. They are born an orange colour, though by their first year they would have already changed to a more blackish colouration. In Java however, there is more of a tendency for this species to retain its juvenile orange colour into adulthood, and so you can see a mixture of black and orange monkeys together as a family. Other rarer mammals include the leopard cat, Sunda pangolin and black giant squirrel.

 

Snakes include the king cobra and reticulated python. The water monitor can grow to at least 1.5 m in length and 50 kg and can move quickly.

 

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighbouring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance hawksbill turtle, giant sunfish, giant manta ray, giant moray eel, bumphead parrotfish, hammerhead shark, reef shark, barracuda, and sea snakes. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina.

 

A team of scientists conducted a survey from 29 April 2011 to 11 May 2011 at 33 sea sites around Bali. They discovered 952 species of reef fish of which 8 were new discoveries at Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, Nusa Dua, Tulamben and Candidasa, and 393 coral species, including two new ones at Padangbai and between Padangbai and Amed. The average coverage level of healthy coral was 36% (better than in Raja Ampat and Halmahera by 29% or in Fakfak and Kaimana by 25%) with the highest coverage found in Gili Selang and Gili Mimpang in Candidasa, Karangasem regency.

 

Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native.[citation needed] Among the larger trees the most common are: banyan trees, jackfruit, coconuts, bamboo species, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, lotus, roses, begonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salak, mangosteen, corn, kintamani orange, coffee and water spinach.

 

ENVIRONMENT

Some of the worst erosion has occurred in Lebih Beach, where up to 7 metres of land is lost every year. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach.

 

From ranked third in previous review, in 2010 Bali got score 99.65 of Indonesia's environmental quality index and the highest of all the 33 provinces. The score measured 3 water quality parameters: the level of total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).

 

Because of over-exploitation by the tourist industry which covers a massive land area, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up and based on research, the southern part of Bali would face a water shortage up to 2,500 litres of clean water per second by 2015. To ease the shortage, the central government plans to build a water catchment and processing facility at Petanu River in Gianyar. The 300 litres capacity of water per second will be channelled to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar in 2013.

 

ECONOMY

Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia's wealthiest regions. In 2003, around 80% of Bali's economy was tourism related. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali were 2.23%, lower than the average of Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan (about 5%). The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry has since recovered from these events.

 

AGRICULTURE

Although tourism produces the GDP's largest output, agriculture is still the island's biggest employer; most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

 

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavours include lemon and other citrus notes. Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana". According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.

 

TOURISM

The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.

 

The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. The Australian government issued an advice on Friday, 4 May 2012. The overall level of the advice was lowered to 'Exercise a high degree of caution'. The Swedish government issued a new warning on Sunday, 10 June 2012 because of one more tourist who was killed by methanol poisoning. Australia last issued an advice on Monday, 5 January 2015 due to new terrorist threats.

 

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable.

 

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry, but not due to any travel warnings.

 

Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. In 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists, which surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65%, so the island is still able to accommodate tourists for some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.

 

Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, ranking second after Santorini, Greece.

 

In August 2010, the film Eat Pray Love was released in theatres. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, had already fuelled a boom in Eat, Pray, Love-related tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love.

 

In January 2016, after music icon David Bowie died, it was revealed that in his will, Bowie asked for his ashes to be scattered in Bali, conforming to Buddhist rituals. He had visited and performed in a number of Southest Asian cities early in his career, including Bangkok and Singapore.

 

Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. Chinese tourists increased by 17% from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali. In January 2012, Chinese tourists year on year (yoy) increased by 222.18% compared to January 2011, while Japanese tourists declined by 23.54% yoy.

 

Bali reported that it has 2.88 million foreign tourists and 5 million domestic tourists in 2012, marginally surpassing the expectations of 2.8 million foreign tourists. Forecasts for 2013 are at 3.1 million.

 

Based on Bank Indonesia survey in May 2013, 34.39 percent of tourists are upper-middle class with spending between $1,286 to $5,592 and dominated by Australia, France, China, Germany and the US with some China tourists move from low spending before to higher spending currently. While 30.26 percent are middle class with spending between $662 to $1,285.

 

SEX TOURISM

In the twentieth century the incidence of tourism specifically for sex was regularly observed in the era of mass tourism in Indonesia In Bali, prostitution is conducted by both men and women. Bali in particular is notorious for its 'Kuta Cowboys', local gigolos targeting foreign female tourists.

 

Tens of thousands of single women throng the beaches of Bali in Indonesia every year. For decades, young Balinese men have taken advantage of the louche and laid-back atmosphere to find love and lucre from female tourists—Japanese, European and Australian for the most part—who by all accounts seem perfectly happy with the arrangement.

 

By 2013, Indonesia was reportedly the number one destination for Australian child sex tourists, mostly starting in Bali but also travelling to other parts of the country. The problem in Bali was highlighted by Luh Ketut Suryani, head of Psychiatry at Udayana University, as early as 2003. Surayani warned that a low level of awareness of paedophilia in Bali had made it the target of international paedophile organisations. On 19 February 2013, government officials announced measures to combat paedophilia in Bali.

 

TRANSPORTATION

The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus at the southernmost part of the island. Lt.Col. Wisnu Airfield is found in north-west Bali.

 

A coastal road circles the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar. Bali has no railway lines.

 

In December 2010 the Government of Indonesia invited investors to build a new Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal at Karangasem, Bali with a projected worth of $30 million. On 17 July 2011 the first cruise ship (Sun Princess) anchored about 400 meters away from the wharf of Tanah Ampo harbour. The current pier is only 154 meters but will eventually be extended to 300–350 meters to accommodate international cruise ships. The harbour here is safer than the existing facility at Benoa and has a scenic backdrop of east Bali mountains and green rice fields. The tender for improvement was subject to delays, and as of July 2013 the situation remained unclear with cruise line operators complaining and even refusing to use the existing facility at Tanah Ampo.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by two ministers, Bali's Governor and Indonesian Train Company to build 565 kilometres of railway along the coast around the island. As of July 2015, no details of this proposed railways have been released.

 

On 16 March 2011 (Tanjung) Benoa port received the "Best Port Welcome 2010" award from London's "Dream World Cruise Destination" magazine. Government plans to expand the role of Benoa port as export-import port to boost Bali's trade and industry sector. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has confirmed that 306 cruise liners are heading for Indonesia in 2013 – an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.

 

In May 2011, an integrated Areal Traffic Control System (ATCS) was implemented to reduce traffic jams at four crossing points: Ngurah Rai statue, Dewa Ruci Kuta crossing, Jimbaran crossing and Sanur crossing. ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters. It has successfully been implemented in other ASEAN countries and will be implemented at other crossings in Bali.

 

On 21 December 2011 construction started on the Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai International Airport toll road which will also provide a special lane for motorcycles. This has been done by seven state-owned enterprises led by PT Jasa Marga with 60% of shares. PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol will construct the 9.91 kilometres toll road (totally 12.7 kilometres with access road). The construction is estimated to cost Rp.2.49 trillion ($273.9 million). The project goes through 2 kilometres of mangrove forest and through 2.3 kilometres of beach, both within 5.4 hectares area. The elevated toll road is built over the mangrove forest on 18,000 concrete pillars which occupied 2 hectares of mangroves forest. It compensated by new planting of 300,000 mangrove trees along the road. On 21 December 2011 the Dewa Ruci 450 meters underpass has also started on the busy Dewa Ruci junction near Bali Kuta Galeria with an estimated cost of Rp136 billion ($14.9 million) from the state budget. On 23 September 2013, the Bali Mandara Toll Road is opened and the Dewa Ruci Junction (Simpang Siur) underpass is opened before. Both are ease the heavy traffic congestion.

 

To solve chronic traffic problems, the province will also build a toll road connecting Serangan with Tohpati, a toll road connecting Kuta, Denpasar and Tohpati and a flyover connecting Kuta and Ngurah Rai Airport.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The population of Bali was 3,890,757 as of the 2010 Census; the latest estimate (for January 2014) is 4,225,384. There are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living in Bali.

 

ETHNIC ORIGINS

A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al. found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin. The study does not correlate the DNA samples to the Balinese caste system.

 

CASTE SYSTEM

Bali has a caste system based on the Indian Hindu model, with four castes:

 

- Sudra (Shudra) – peasants constituting close to 93% of Bali's population.

- Wesia (Vaishyas) – the caste of merchants and administrative officials

- Ksatrias (Kshatriyas) – the kingly and warrior caste

- Brahmana (Bramhin) – holy men and priests

 

RELIGION

Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 83.5% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (13.3%), Christianity (1.7%), and Buddhism (0.5%). These figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.

 

Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practised in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the "Island of a Thousand Puras", or "Island of the Gods". This is refer to Mahabarata story that behind Bali became island of god or "pulau dewata" in Indonesian language.

 

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, and adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behaviour.

 

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chinese immigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism, but also find a way to harmonise it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple's odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese. Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.

 

LANGUAGE

Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. The most common spoken language around the tourist areas is Indonesian, as many people in the tourist sector are not solely Balinese, but migrants from Java, Lombok, Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing. Kawi and Sanskrit are also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, for Hinduism literature was mostly written in Sanskrit.

 

English and Chinese are the next most common languages (and the primary foreign languages) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry, as well as the English-speaking community and huge Chinese-Indonesian population. Other foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, French, Russian or German are often used in multilingual signs for foreign tourists.

 

CULTURE

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese cuisine is also distinctive. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.

 

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. On the day before New Year, large and colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.

 

Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context. Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Often two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.

 

Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island's largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja and kelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.

 

Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardised in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.

 

Tourism, Bali's chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.

 

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family's ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including "kasepekang", or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratisation and decentralisation of Indonesia since 1998.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.

 

With a population of 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and 4,225,000 as of January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 83.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, followed by 13.4% Muslim, Christianity at 2.5%, and Buddhism 0.5%.

 

Bali is a popular tourist destination, which has seen a significant rise in numbers since the 1980s. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali.

 

Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. There is a wide range of dive sites with high quality reefs, all with their own specific attractions. Many sites can have strong currents and swell, so diving without a knowledgeable guide is inadvisable. Most recently, Bali was the host of the 2011 ASEAN Summit, 2013 APEC and Miss World 2013.

 

HISTORY

ANCIENT

Bali was inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people who migrated originally from Southeast Asia and Oceania through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Oceania. Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.

 

In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Pasupata, Bhairawa, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Bodha, Brahma, Resi, Sora and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead.

 

Inscriptions from 896 and 911 don't mention a king, until 914, when Sri Kesarivarma is mentioned. They also reveal an independent Bali, with a distinct dialect, where Buddhism and Sivaism were practiced simultaneously. Mpu Sindok's great granddaughter, Mahendradatta (Gunapriyadharmapatni), married the Bali king Udayana Warmadewa (Dharmodayanavarmadeva) around 989, giving birth to Airlangga around 1001. This marriage also brought more Hinduism and Javanese culture to Bali. Princess Sakalendukirana appeared in 1098. Suradhipa reigned from 1115 to 1119, and Jayasakti from 1146 until 1150. Jayapangus appears on inscriptions between 1178 and 1181, while Adikuntiketana and his son Paramesvara in 1204.

 

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the people developed their complex irrigation system subak to grow rice in wet-field cultivation. Some religious and cultural traditions still practised today can be traced to this period.

 

The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. The uncle of Hayam Wuruk is mentioned in the charters of 1384-86. A mass Javanese emigration occurred in the next century.

 

PORTUGUESE CONTACTS

The first known European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1512, when a Portuguese expedition led by Antonio Abreu and Francisco Serrão sighted its northern shores. It was the first expedition of a series of bi-annual fleets to the Moluccas, that throughout the 16th century usually traveled along the coasts of the Sunda Islands. Bali was also mapped in 1512, in the chart of Francisco Rodrigues, aboard the expedition. In 1585, a ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung.

 

DUTCH EAST INDIA

In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali, and the Dutch East India Company was established in 1602. The Dutch government expanded its control across the Indonesian archipelago during the second half of the 19th century (see Dutch East Indies). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island's north coast, when the Dutch pitted various competing Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island's south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

 

In June 1860 the famous Welsh naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, travelled to Bali from Singapore, landing at Buleleng on the northcoast of the island. Wallace's trip to Bali was instrumental in helping him devise his Wallace Line theory. The Wallace Line is a faunal boundary that runs through the strait between Bali and Lombok. It has been found to be a boundary between species of Asiatic origin in the east and a mixture of Australian and Asian species to the west. In his travel memoir The Malay Archipelago, Wallace wrote of his experience in Bali:

 

I was both astonished and delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well-cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast about ten or twelve miles inland, where it is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of coconut palms, tamarind and other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between them extend luxurious rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe.

 

The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 200 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. In the Dutch intervention in Bali, a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung.

 

AFTERWARD THE DUTCH GOVERNORS

exercised administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.

 

n the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee all spent time here. Their accounts of the island and its peoples created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature." Western tourists began to visit the island.

 

Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II. It was not originally a target in their Netherlands East Indies Campaign, but as the airfields on Borneo were inoperative due to heavy rains, the Imperial Japanese Army decided to occupy Bali, which did not suffer from comparable weather. The island had no regular Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) troops. There was only a Native Auxiliary Corps Prajoda (Korps Prajoda) consisting of about 600 native soldiers and several Dutch KNIL officers under command of KNIL Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Roodenburg. On 19 February 1942 the Japanese forces landed near the town of Senoer [Senur]. The island was quickly captured.

 

During the Japanese occupation, a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'. The harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule more resented than Dutch rule. Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch returned to Indonesia, including Bali, to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels, who now used recovered Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance.

 

INDIPENDENCE FROM THE DUTCH

In 1946, the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia, which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

 

CONTEMPORARY

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting this system. Politically, the opposition was represented by supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI's land reform programs. An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto.

 

The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island's population. With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.

 

As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency. His "New Order" government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as "paradise" was revived in a modern form. The resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely reduced tourism, producing much economic hardship to the island.

 

GEOGRAPHY

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km wide and spans approximately 112 km north to south; administratively it covers 5,780 km2, or 5,577 km2 without Nusa Penida District, its population density is roughly 750 people/km2.

 

Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 metres in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung (3,031 m), known as the "mother mountain" which is an active volcano rated as one of the world's most likely sites for a massive eruption within the next 100 years. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali's volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali's large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.

 

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.

 

The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500 (2002). Bali's second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar's urban area, and Ubud, situated at the north of Denpasar, is the island's cultural centre.

 

Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.

 

To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok Island and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.

 

CLIMATE

Being just 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali has a fairly even climate year round.

 

Day time temperatures at low elevations vary between 20-33⁰ C although it can be much cooler than that in the mountains. The west monsoon is in place from approximately October to April and this can bring significant rain, particularly from December to March. Outside of the monsoon period, humidity is relatively low and any rain unlikely in lowland areas.

 

ECOLOGY

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna that is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the yellow-crested cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali myna, which is endemic. Others Include barn swallow, black-naped oriole, black racket-tailed treepie, crested serpent-eagle, crested treeswift, dollarbird, Java sparrow, lesser adjutant, long-tailed shrike, milky stork, Pacific swallow, red-rumped swallow, sacred kingfisher, sea eagle, woodswallow, savanna nightjar, stork-billed kingfisher, yellow-vented bulbul and great egret.

 

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild banteng, leopard and the endemic Bali tiger. The banteng still occurs in its domestic form, whereas leopards are found only in neighbouring Java, and the Bali tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s. The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Bali tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, whereas few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan rusa deer and the wild boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian muntjac, also occurs. Saltwater crocodiles were once present on the island, but became locally extinct sometime during the last century.

 

Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often is the Asian palm civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi Luwak. Bats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The crab-eating macaque, known locally as "kera", is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three "monkey forest" temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, endemic to Java and some surrounding islands such as Bali, is far rarer and more elusive is the Javan langur, locally known as "lutung". They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. They are born an orange colour, though by their first year they would have already changed to a more blackish colouration. In Java however, there is more of a tendency for this species to retain its juvenile orange colour into adulthood, and so you can see a mixture of black and orange monkeys together as a family. Other rarer mammals include the leopard cat, Sunda pangolin and black giant squirrel.

 

Snakes include the king cobra and reticulated python. The water monitor can grow to at least 1.5 m in length and 50 kg and can move quickly.

 

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighbouring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance hawksbill turtle, giant sunfish, giant manta ray, giant moray eel, bumphead parrotfish, hammerhead shark, reef shark, barracuda, and sea snakes. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina.

 

A team of scientists conducted a survey from 29 April 2011 to 11 May 2011 at 33 sea sites around Bali. They discovered 952 species of reef fish of which 8 were new discoveries at Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, Nusa Dua, Tulamben and Candidasa, and 393 coral species, including two new ones at Padangbai and between Padangbai and Amed. The average coverage level of healthy coral was 36% (better than in Raja Ampat and Halmahera by 29% or in Fakfak and Kaimana by 25%) with the highest coverage found in Gili Selang and Gili Mimpang in Candidasa, Karangasem regency.

 

Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native.[citation needed] Among the larger trees the most common are: banyan trees, jackfruit, coconuts, bamboo species, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, lotus, roses, begonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salak, mangosteen, corn, kintamani orange, coffee and water spinach.

 

ENVIRONMENT

Some of the worst erosion has occurred in Lebih Beach, where up to 7 metres of land is lost every year. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach.

 

From ranked third in previous review, in 2010 Bali got score 99.65 of Indonesia's environmental quality index and the highest of all the 33 provinces. The score measured 3 water quality parameters: the level of total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).

 

Because of over-exploitation by the tourist industry which covers a massive land area, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up and based on research, the southern part of Bali would face a water shortage up to 2,500 litres of clean water per second by 2015. To ease the shortage, the central government plans to build a water catchment and processing facility at Petanu River in Gianyar. The 300 litres capacity of water per second will be channelled to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar in 2013.

 

ECONOMY

Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia's wealthiest regions. In 2003, around 80% of Bali's economy was tourism related. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali were 2.23%, lower than the average of Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan (about 5%). The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry has since recovered from these events.

 

AGRICULTURE

Although tourism produces the GDP's largest output, agriculture is still the island's biggest employer; most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

 

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavours include lemon and other citrus notes. Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana". According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.

 

TOURISM

The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.

 

The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. The Australian government issued an advice on Friday, 4 May 2012. The overall level of the advice was lowered to 'Exercise a high degree of caution'. The Swedish government issued a new warning on Sunday, 10 June 2012 because of one more tourist who was killed by methanol poisoning. Australia last issued an advice on Monday, 5 January 2015 due to new terrorist threats.

 

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable.

 

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry, but not due to any travel warnings.

 

Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. In 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists, which surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65%, so the island is still able to accommodate tourists for some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.

 

Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, ranking second after Santorini, Greece.

 

In August 2010, the film Eat Pray Love was released in theatres. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, had already fuelled a boom in Eat, Pray, Love-related tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love.

 

In January 2016, after music icon David Bowie died, it was revealed that in his will, Bowie asked for his ashes to be scattered in Bali, conforming to Buddhist rituals. He had visited and performed in a number of Southest Asian cities early in his career, including Bangkok and Singapore.

 

Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. Chinese tourists increased by 17% from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali. In January 2012, Chinese tourists year on year (yoy) increased by 222.18% compared to January 2011, while Japanese tourists declined by 23.54% yoy.

 

Bali reported that it has 2.88 million foreign tourists and 5 million domestic tourists in 2012, marginally surpassing the expectations of 2.8 million foreign tourists. Forecasts for 2013 are at 3.1 million.

 

Based on Bank Indonesia survey in May 2013, 34.39 percent of tourists are upper-middle class with spending between $1,286 to $5,592 and dominated by Australia, France, China, Germany and the US with some China tourists move from low spending before to higher spending currently. While 30.26 percent are middle class with spending between $662 to $1,285.

 

SEX TOURISM

In the twentieth century the incidence of tourism specifically for sex was regularly observed in the era of mass tourism in Indonesia In Bali, prostitution is conducted by both men and women. Bali in particular is notorious for its 'Kuta Cowboys', local gigolos targeting foreign female tourists.

 

Tens of thousands of single women throng the beaches of Bali in Indonesia every year. For decades, young Balinese men have taken advantage of the louche and laid-back atmosphere to find love and lucre from female tourists—Japanese, European and Australian for the most part—who by all accounts seem perfectly happy with the arrangement.

 

By 2013, Indonesia was reportedly the number one destination for Australian child sex tourists, mostly starting in Bali but also travelling to other parts of the country. The problem in Bali was highlighted by Luh Ketut Suryani, head of Psychiatry at Udayana University, as early as 2003. Surayani warned that a low level of awareness of paedophilia in Bali had made it the target of international paedophile organisations. On 19 February 2013, government officials announced measures to combat paedophilia in Bali.

 

TRANSPORTATION

The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus at the southernmost part of the island. Lt.Col. Wisnu Airfield is found in north-west Bali.

 

A coastal road circles the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar. Bali has no railway lines.

 

In December 2010 the Government of Indonesia invited investors to build a new Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal at Karangasem, Bali with a projected worth of $30 million. On 17 July 2011 the first cruise ship (Sun Princess) anchored about 400 meters away from the wharf of Tanah Ampo harbour. The current pier is only 154 meters but will eventually be extended to 300–350 meters to accommodate international cruise ships. The harbour here is safer than the existing facility at Benoa and has a scenic backdrop of east Bali mountains and green rice fields. The tender for improvement was subject to delays, and as of July 2013 the situation remained unclear with cruise line operators complaining and even refusing to use the existing facility at Tanah Ampo.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by two ministers, Bali's Governor and Indonesian Train Company to build 565 kilometres of railway along the coast around the island. As of July 2015, no details of this proposed railways have been released.

 

On 16 March 2011 (Tanjung) Benoa port received the "Best Port Welcome 2010" award from London's "Dream World Cruise Destination" magazine. Government plans to expand the role of Benoa port as export-import port to boost Bali's trade and industry sector. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has confirmed that 306 cruise liners are heading for Indonesia in 2013 – an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.

 

In May 2011, an integrated Areal Traffic Control System (ATCS) was implemented to reduce traffic jams at four crossing points: Ngurah Rai statue, Dewa Ruci Kuta crossing, Jimbaran crossing and Sanur crossing. ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters. It has successfully been implemented in other ASEAN countries and will be implemented at other crossings in Bali.

 

On 21 December 2011 construction started on the Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai International Airport toll road which will also provide a special lane for motorcycles. This has been done by seven state-owned enterprises led by PT Jasa Marga with 60% of shares. PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol will construct the 9.91 kilometres toll road (totally 12.7 kilometres with access road). The construction is estimated to cost Rp.2.49 trillion ($273.9 million). The project goes through 2 kilometres of mangrove forest and through 2.3 kilometres of beach, both within 5.4 hectares area. The elevated toll road is built over the mangrove forest on 18,000 concrete pillars which occupied 2 hectares of mangroves forest. It compensated by new planting of 300,000 mangrove trees along the road. On 21 December 2011 the Dewa Ruci 450 meters underpass has also started on the busy Dewa Ruci junction near Bali Kuta Galeria with an estimated cost of Rp136 billion ($14.9 million) from the state budget. On 23 September 2013, the Bali Mandara Toll Road is opened and the Dewa Ruci Junction (Simpang Siur) underpass is opened before. Both are ease the heavy traffic congestion.

 

To solve chronic traffic problems, the province will also build a toll road connecting Serangan with Tohpati, a toll road connecting Kuta, Denpasar and Tohpati and a flyover connecting Kuta and Ngurah Rai Airport.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The population of Bali was 3,890,757 as of the 2010 Census; the latest estimate (for January 2014) is 4,225,384. There are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living in Bali.

 

ETHNIC ORIGINS

A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al. found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin. The study does not correlate the DNA samples to the Balinese caste system.

 

CASTE SYSTEM

Bali has a caste system based on the Indian Hindu model, with four castes:

 

- Sudra (Shudra) – peasants constituting close to 93% of Bali's population.

- Wesia (Vaishyas) – the caste of merchants and administrative officials

- Ksatrias (Kshatriyas) – the kingly and warrior caste

- Brahmana (Bramhin) – holy men and priests

 

RELIGION

Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 83.5% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (13.3%), Christianity (1.7%), and Buddhism (0.5%). These figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.

 

Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practised in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the "Island of a Thousand Puras", or "Island of the Gods". This is refer to Mahabarata story that behind Bali became island of god or "pulau dewata" in Indonesian language.

 

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, and adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behaviour.

 

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chinese immigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism, but also find a way to harmonise it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple's odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese. Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.

 

LANGUAGE

Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. The most common spoken language around the tourist areas is Indonesian, as many people in the tourist sector are not solely Balinese, but migrants from Java, Lombok, Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing. Kawi and Sanskrit are also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, for Hinduism literature was mostly written in Sanskrit.

 

English and Chinese are the next most common languages (and the primary foreign languages) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry, as well as the English-speaking community and huge Chinese-Indonesian population. Other foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, French, Russian or German are often used in multilingual signs for foreign tourists.

 

CULTURE

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese cuisine is also distinctive. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.

 

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. On the day before New Year, large and colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.

 

Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context. Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Often two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.

 

Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island's largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja and kelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.

 

Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardised in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.

 

Tourism, Bali's chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.

 

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family's ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including "kasepekang", or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratisation and decentralisation of Indonesia since 1998.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.

 

With a population of 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and 4,225,000 as of January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 83.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, followed by 13.4% Muslim, Christianity at 2.5%, and Buddhism 0.5%.

 

Bali is a popular tourist destination, which has seen a significant rise in numbers since the 1980s. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali.

 

Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. There is a wide range of dive sites with high quality reefs, all with their own specific attractions. Many sites can have strong currents and swell, so diving without a knowledgeable guide is inadvisable. Most recently, Bali was the host of the 2011 ASEAN Summit, 2013 APEC and Miss World 2013.

 

HISTORY

ANCIENT

Bali was inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people who migrated originally from Southeast Asia and Oceania through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Oceania. Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.

 

In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Pasupata, Bhairawa, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Bodha, Brahma, Resi, Sora and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead.

 

Inscriptions from 896 and 911 don't mention a king, until 914, when Sri Kesarivarma is mentioned. They also reveal an independent Bali, with a distinct dialect, where Buddhism and Sivaism were practiced simultaneously. Mpu Sindok's great granddaughter, Mahendradatta (Gunapriyadharmapatni), married the Bali king Udayana Warmadewa (Dharmodayanavarmadeva) around 989, giving birth to Airlangga around 1001. This marriage also brought more Hinduism and Javanese culture to Bali. Princess Sakalendukirana appeared in 1098. Suradhipa reigned from 1115 to 1119, and Jayasakti from 1146 until 1150. Jayapangus appears on inscriptions between 1178 and 1181, while Adikuntiketana and his son Paramesvara in 1204.

 

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the people developed their complex irrigation system subak to grow rice in wet-field cultivation. Some religious and cultural traditions still practised today can be traced to this period.

 

The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. The uncle of Hayam Wuruk is mentioned in the charters of 1384-86. A mass Javanese emigration occurred in the next century.

 

PORTUGUESE CONTACTS

The first known European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1512, when a Portuguese expedition led by Antonio Abreu and Francisco Serrão sighted its northern shores. It was the first expedition of a series of bi-annual fleets to the Moluccas, that throughout the 16th century usually traveled along the coasts of the Sunda Islands. Bali was also mapped in 1512, in the chart of Francisco Rodrigues, aboard the expedition. In 1585, a ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung.

 

DUTCH EAST INDIA

In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali, and the Dutch East India Company was established in 1602. The Dutch government expanded its control across the Indonesian archipelago during the second half of the 19th century (see Dutch East Indies). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island's north coast, when the Dutch pitted various competing Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island's south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

 

In June 1860 the famous Welsh naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, travelled to Bali from Singapore, landing at Buleleng on the northcoast of the island. Wallace's trip to Bali was instrumental in helping him devise his Wallace Line theory. The Wallace Line is a faunal boundary that runs through the strait between Bali and Lombok. It has been found to be a boundary between species of Asiatic origin in the east and a mixture of Australian and Asian species to the west. In his travel memoir The Malay Archipelago, Wallace wrote of his experience in Bali:

 

I was both astonished and delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well-cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast about ten or twelve miles inland, where it is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of coconut palms, tamarind and other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between them extend luxurious rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe.

 

The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 200 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. In the Dutch intervention in Bali, a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung.

 

AFTERWARD THE DUTCH GOVERNORS

exercised administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.

 

n the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee all spent time here. Their accounts of the island and its peoples created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature." Western tourists began to visit the island.

 

Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II. It was not originally a target in their Netherlands East Indies Campaign, but as the airfields on Borneo were inoperative due to heavy rains, the Imperial Japanese Army decided to occupy Bali, which did not suffer from comparable weather. The island had no regular Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) troops. There was only a Native Auxiliary Corps Prajoda (Korps Prajoda) consisting of about 600 native soldiers and several Dutch KNIL officers under command of KNIL Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Roodenburg. On 19 February 1942 the Japanese forces landed near the town of Senoer [Senur]. The island was quickly captured.

 

During the Japanese occupation, a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'. The harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule more resented than Dutch rule. Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch returned to Indonesia, including Bali, to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels, who now used recovered Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance.

 

INDIPENDENCE FROM THE DUTCH

In 1946, the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia, which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

 

CONTEMPORARY

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting this system. Politically, the opposition was represented by supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI's land reform programs. An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto.

 

The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island's population. With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.

 

As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency. His "New Order" government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as "paradise" was revived in a modern form. The resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely reduced tourism, producing much economic hardship to the island.

 

GEOGRAPHY

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km wide and spans approximately 112 km north to south; administratively it covers 5,780 km2, or 5,577 km2 without Nusa Penida District, its population density is roughly 750 people/km2.

 

Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 metres in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung (3,031 m), known as the "mother mountain" which is an active volcano rated as one of the world's most likely sites for a massive eruption within the next 100 years. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali's volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali's large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.

 

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.

 

The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500 (2002). Bali's second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar's urban area, and Ubud, situated at the north of Denpasar, is the island's cultural centre.

 

Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.

 

To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok Island and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.

 

CLIMATE

Being just 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali has a fairly even climate year round.

 

Day time temperatures at low elevations vary between 20-33⁰ C although it can be much cooler than that in the mountains. The west monsoon is in place from approximately October to April and this can bring significant rain, particularly from December to March. Outside of the monsoon period, humidity is relatively low and any rain unlikely in lowland areas.

 

ECOLOGY

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna that is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the yellow-crested cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali myna, which is endemic. Others Include barn swallow, black-naped oriole, black racket-tailed treepie, crested serpent-eagle, crested treeswift, dollarbird, Java sparrow, lesser adjutant, long-tailed shrike, milky stork, Pacific swallow, red-rumped swallow, sacred kingfisher, sea eagle, woodswallow, savanna nightjar, stork-billed kingfisher, yellow-vented bulbul and great egret.

 

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild banteng, leopard and the endemic Bali tiger. The banteng still occurs in its domestic form, whereas leopards are found only in neighbouring Java, and the Bali tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s. The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Bali tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, whereas few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan rusa deer and the wild boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian muntjac, also occurs. Saltwater crocodiles were once present on the island, but became locally extinct sometime during the last century.

 

Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often is the Asian palm civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi Luwak. Bats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The crab-eating macaque, known locally as "kera", is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three "monkey forest" temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, endemic to Java and some surrounding islands such as Bali, is far rarer and more elusive is the Javan langur, locally known as "lutung". They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. They are born an orange colour, though by their first year they would have already changed to a more blackish colouration. In Java however, there is more of a tendency for this species to retain its juvenile orange colour into adulthood, and so you can see a mixture of black and orange monkeys together as a family. Other rarer mammals include the leopard cat, Sunda pangolin and black giant squirrel.

 

Snakes include the king cobra and reticulated python. The water monitor can grow to at least 1.5 m in length and 50 kg and can move quickly.

 

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighbouring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance hawksbill turtle, giant sunfish, giant manta ray, giant moray eel, bumphead parrotfish, hammerhead shark, reef shark, barracuda, and sea snakes. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina.

 

A team of scientists conducted a survey from 29 April 2011 to 11 May 2011 at 33 sea sites around Bali. They discovered 952 species of reef fish of which 8 were new discoveries at Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, Nusa Dua, Tulamben and Candidasa, and 393 coral species, including two new ones at Padangbai and between Padangbai and Amed. The average coverage level of healthy coral was 36% (better than in Raja Ampat and Halmahera by 29% or in Fakfak and Kaimana by 25%) with the highest coverage found in Gili Selang and Gili Mimpang in Candidasa, Karangasem regency.

 

Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native.[citation needed] Among the larger trees the most common are: banyan trees, jackfruit, coconuts, bamboo species, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, lotus, roses, begonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salak, mangosteen, corn, kintamani orange, coffee and water spinach.

 

ENVIRONMENT

Some of the worst erosion has occurred in Lebih Beach, where up to 7 metres of land is lost every year. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach.

 

From ranked third in previous review, in 2010 Bali got score 99.65 of Indonesia's environmental quality index and the highest of all the 33 provinces. The score measured 3 water quality parameters: the level of total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).

 

Because of over-exploitation by the tourist industry which covers a massive land area, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up and based on research, the southern part of Bali would face a water shortage up to 2,500 litres of clean water per second by 2015. To ease the shortage, the central government plans to build a water catchment and processing facility at Petanu River in Gianyar. The 300 litres capacity of water per second will be channelled to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar in 2013.

 

ECONOMY

Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia's wealthiest regions. In 2003, around 80% of Bali's economy was tourism related. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali were 2.23%, lower than the average of Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan (about 5%). The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry has since recovered from these events.

 

AGRICULTURE

Although tourism produces the GDP's largest output, agriculture is still the island's biggest employer; most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

 

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavours include lemon and other citrus notes. Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana". According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.

 

TOURISM

The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.

 

The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. The Australian government issued an advice on Friday, 4 May 2012. The overall level of the advice was lowered to 'Exercise a high degree of caution'. The Swedish government issued a new warning on Sunday, 10 June 2012 because of one more tourist who was killed by methanol poisoning. Australia last issued an advice on Monday, 5 January 2015 due to new terrorist threats.

 

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable.

 

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry, but not due to any travel warnings.

 

Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. In 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists, which surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65%, so the island is still able to accommodate tourists for some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.

 

Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, ranking second after Santorini, Greece.

 

In August 2010, the film Eat Pray Love was released in theatres. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, had already fuelled a boom in Eat, Pray, Love-related tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love.

 

In January 2016, after music icon David Bowie died, it was revealed that in his will, Bowie asked for his ashes to be scattered in Bali, conforming to Buddhist rituals. He had visited and performed in a number of Southest Asian cities early in his career, including Bangkok and Singapore.

 

Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. Chinese tourists increased by 17% from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali. In January 2012, Chinese tourists year on year (yoy) increased by 222.18% compared to January 2011, while Japanese tourists declined by 23.54% yoy.

 

Bali reported that it has 2.88 million foreign tourists and 5 million domestic tourists in 2012, marginally surpassing the expectations of 2.8 million foreign tourists. Forecasts for 2013 are at 3.1 million.

 

Based on Bank Indonesia survey in May 2013, 34.39 percent of tourists are upper-middle class with spending between $1,286 to $5,592 and dominated by Australia, France, China, Germany and the US with some China tourists move from low spending before to higher spending currently. While 30.26 percent are middle class with spending between $662 to $1,285.

 

SEX TOURISM

In the twentieth century the incidence of tourism specifically for sex was regularly observed in the era of mass tourism in Indonesia In Bali, prostitution is conducted by both men and women. Bali in particular is notorious for its 'Kuta Cowboys', local gigolos targeting foreign female tourists.

 

Tens of thousands of single women throng the beaches of Bali in Indonesia every year. For decades, young Balinese men have taken advantage of the louche and laid-back atmosphere to find love and lucre from female tourists—Japanese, European and Australian for the most part—who by all accounts seem perfectly happy with the arrangement.

 

By 2013, Indonesia was reportedly the number one destination for Australian child sex tourists, mostly starting in Bali but also travelling to other parts of the country. The problem in Bali was highlighted by Luh Ketut Suryani, head of Psychiatry at Udayana University, as early as 2003. Surayani warned that a low level of awareness of paedophilia in Bali had made it the target of international paedophile organisations. On 19 February 2013, government officials announced measures to combat paedophilia in Bali.

 

TRANSPORTATION

The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus at the southernmost part of the island. Lt.Col. Wisnu Airfield is found in north-west Bali.

 

A coastal road circles the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar. Bali has no railway lines.

 

In December 2010 the Government of Indonesia invited investors to build a new Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal at Karangasem, Bali with a projected worth of $30 million. On 17 July 2011 the first cruise ship (Sun Princess) anchored about 400 meters away from the wharf of Tanah Ampo harbour. The current pier is only 154 meters but will eventually be extended to 300–350 meters to accommodate international cruise ships. The harbour here is safer than the existing facility at Benoa and has a scenic backdrop of east Bali mountains and green rice fields. The tender for improvement was subject to delays, and as of July 2013 the situation remained unclear with cruise line operators complaining and even refusing to use the existing facility at Tanah Ampo.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by two ministers, Bali's Governor and Indonesian Train Company to build 565 kilometres of railway along the coast around the island. As of July 2015, no details of this proposed railways have been released.

 

On 16 March 2011 (Tanjung) Benoa port received the "Best Port Welcome 2010" award from London's "Dream World Cruise Destination" magazine. Government plans to expand the role of Benoa port as export-import port to boost Bali's trade and industry sector. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has confirmed that 306 cruise liners are heading for Indonesia in 2013 – an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.

 

In May 2011, an integrated Areal Traffic Control System (ATCS) was implemented to reduce traffic jams at four crossing points: Ngurah Rai statue, Dewa Ruci Kuta crossing, Jimbaran crossing and Sanur crossing. ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters. It has successfully been implemented in other ASEAN countries and will be implemented at other crossings in Bali.

 

On 21 December 2011 construction started on the Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai International Airport toll road which will also provide a special lane for motorcycles. This has been done by seven state-owned enterprises led by PT Jasa Marga with 60% of shares. PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol will construct the 9.91 kilometres toll road (totally 12.7 kilometres with access road). The construction is estimated to cost Rp.2.49 trillion ($273.9 million). The project goes through 2 kilometres of mangrove forest and through 2.3 kilometres of beach, both within 5.4 hectares area. The elevated toll road is built over the mangrove forest on 18,000 concrete pillars which occupied 2 hectares of mangroves forest. It compensated by new planting of 300,000 mangrove trees along the road. On 21 December 2011 the Dewa Ruci 450 meters underpass has also started on the busy Dewa Ruci junction near Bali Kuta Galeria with an estimated cost of Rp136 billion ($14.9 million) from the state budget. On 23 September 2013, the Bali Mandara Toll Road is opened and the Dewa Ruci Junction (Simpang Siur) underpass is opened before. Both are ease the heavy traffic congestion.

 

To solve chronic traffic problems, the province will also build a toll road connecting Serangan with Tohpati, a toll road connecting Kuta, Denpasar and Tohpati and a flyover connecting Kuta and Ngurah Rai Airport.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The population of Bali was 3,890,757 as of the 2010 Census; the latest estimate (for January 2014) is 4,225,384. There are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living in Bali.

 

ETHNIC ORIGINS

A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al. found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin. The study does not correlate the DNA samples to the Balinese caste system.

 

CASTE SYSTEM

Bali has a caste system based on the Indian Hindu model, with four castes:

 

- Sudra (Shudra) – peasants constituting close to 93% of Bali's population.

- Wesia (Vaishyas) – the caste of merchants and administrative officials

- Ksatrias (Kshatriyas) – the kingly and warrior caste

- Brahmana (Bramhin) – holy men and priests

 

RELIGION

Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 83.5% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (13.3%), Christianity (1.7%), and Buddhism (0.5%). These figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.

 

Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practised in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the "Island of a Thousand Puras", or "Island of the Gods". This is refer to Mahabarata story that behind Bali became island of god or "pulau dewata" in Indonesian language.

 

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, and adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behaviour.

 

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chinese immigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism, but also find a way to harmonise it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple's odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese. Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.

 

LANGUAGE

Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. The most common spoken language around the tourist areas is Indonesian, as many people in the tourist sector are not solely Balinese, but migrants from Java, Lombok, Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing. Kawi and Sanskrit are also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, for Hinduism literature was mostly written in Sanskrit.

 

English and Chinese are the next most common languages (and the primary foreign languages) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry, as well as the English-speaking community and huge Chinese-Indonesian population. Other foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, French, Russian or German are often used in multilingual signs for foreign tourists.

 

CULTURE

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese cuisine is also distinctive. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.

 

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. On the day before New Year, large and colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.

 

Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context. Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Often two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.

 

Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island's largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja and kelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.

 

Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardised in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.

 

Tourism, Bali's chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.

 

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family's ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including "kasepekang", or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratisation and decentralisation of Indonesia since 1998.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.

 

With a population of 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and 4,225,000 as of January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 83.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, followed by 13.4% Muslim, Christianity at 2.5%, and Buddhism 0.5%.

 

Bali is a popular tourist destination, which has seen a significant rise in numbers since the 1980s. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali.

 

Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. There is a wide range of dive sites with high quality reefs, all with their own specific attractions. Many sites can have strong currents and swell, so diving without a knowledgeable guide is inadvisable. Most recently, Bali was the host of the 2011 ASEAN Summit, 2013 APEC and Miss World 2013.

 

HISTORY

ANCIENT

Bali was inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people who migrated originally from Southeast Asia and Oceania through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Oceania. Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.

 

In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Pasupata, Bhairawa, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Bodha, Brahma, Resi, Sora and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead.

 

Inscriptions from 896 and 911 don't mention a king, until 914, when Sri Kesarivarma is mentioned. They also reveal an independent Bali, with a distinct dialect, where Buddhism and Sivaism were practiced simultaneously. Mpu Sindok's great granddaughter, Mahendradatta (Gunapriyadharmapatni), married the Bali king Udayana Warmadewa (Dharmodayanavarmadeva) around 989, giving birth to Airlangga around 1001. This marriage also brought more Hinduism and Javanese culture to Bali. Princess Sakalendukirana appeared in 1098. Suradhipa reigned from 1115 to 1119, and Jayasakti from 1146 until 1150. Jayapangus appears on inscriptions between 1178 and 1181, while Adikuntiketana and his son Paramesvara in 1204.

 

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the people developed their complex irrigation system subak to grow rice in wet-field cultivation. Some religious and cultural traditions still practised today can be traced to this period.

 

The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. The uncle of Hayam Wuruk is mentioned in the charters of 1384-86. A mass Javanese emigration occurred in the next century.

 

PORTUGUESE CONTACTS

The first known European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1512, when a Portuguese expedition led by Antonio Abreu and Francisco Serrão sighted its northern shores. It was the first expedition of a series of bi-annual fleets to the Moluccas, that throughout the 16th century usually traveled along the coasts of the Sunda Islands. Bali was also mapped in 1512, in the chart of Francisco Rodrigues, aboard the expedition. In 1585, a ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung.

 

DUTCH EAST INDIA

In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali, and the Dutch East India Company was established in 1602. The Dutch government expanded its control across the Indonesian archipelago during the second half of the 19th century (see Dutch East Indies). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island's north coast, when the Dutch pitted various competing Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island's south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

 

In June 1860 the famous Welsh naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, travelled to Bali from Singapore, landing at Buleleng on the northcoast of the island. Wallace's trip to Bali was instrumental in helping him devise his Wallace Line theory. The Wallace Line is a faunal boundary that runs through the strait between Bali and Lombok. It has been found to be a boundary between species of Asiatic origin in the east and a mixture of Australian and Asian species to the west. In his travel memoir The Malay Archipelago, Wallace wrote of his experience in Bali:

 

I was both astonished and delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well-cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast about ten or twelve miles inland, where it is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of coconut palms, tamarind and other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between them extend luxurious rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe.

 

The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 200 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. In the Dutch intervention in Bali, a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung.

 

AFTERWARD THE DUTCH GOVERNORS

exercised administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.

 

n the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee all spent time here. Their accounts of the island and its peoples created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature." Western tourists began to visit the island.

 

Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II. It was not originally a target in their Netherlands East Indies Campaign, but as the airfields on Borneo were inoperative due to heavy rains, the Imperial Japanese Army decided to occupy Bali, which did not suffer from comparable weather. The island had no regular Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) troops. There was only a Native Auxiliary Corps Prajoda (Korps Prajoda) consisting of about 600 native soldiers and several Dutch KNIL officers under command of KNIL Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Roodenburg. On 19 February 1942 the Japanese forces landed near the town of Senoer [Senur]. The island was quickly captured.

 

During the Japanese occupation, a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'. The harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule more resented than Dutch rule. Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch returned to Indonesia, including Bali, to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels, who now used recovered Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance.

 

INDIPENDENCE FROM THE DUTCH

In 1946, the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia, which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

 

CONTEMPORARY

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting this system. Politically, the opposition was represented by supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI's land reform programs. An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto.

 

The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island's population. With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.

 

As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency. His "New Order" government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as "paradise" was revived in a modern form. The resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely reduced tourism, producing much economic hardship to the island.

 

GEOGRAPHY

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km wide and spans approximately 112 km north to south; administratively it covers 5,780 km2, or 5,577 km2 without Nusa Penida District, its population density is roughly 750 people/km2.

 

Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 metres in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung (3,031 m), known as the "mother mountain" which is an active volcano rated as one of the world's most likely sites for a massive eruption within the next 100 years. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali's volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali's large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.

 

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.

 

The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500 (2002). Bali's second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar's urban area, and Ubud, situated at the north of Denpasar, is the island's cultural centre.

 

Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.

 

To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok Island and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.

 

CLIMATE

Being just 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali has a fairly even climate year round.

 

Day time temperatures at low elevations vary between 20-33⁰ C although it can be much cooler than that in the mountains. The west monsoon is in place from approximately October to April and this can bring significant rain, particularly from December to March. Outside of the monsoon period, humidity is relatively low and any rain unlikely in lowland areas.

 

ECOLOGY

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna that is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the yellow-crested cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali myna, which is endemic. Others Include barn swallow, black-naped oriole, black racket-tailed treepie, crested serpent-eagle, crested treeswift, dollarbird, Java sparrow, lesser adjutant, long-tailed shrike, milky stork, Pacific swallow, red-rumped swallow, sacred kingfisher, sea eagle, woodswallow, savanna nightjar, stork-billed kingfisher, yellow-vented bulbul and great egret.

 

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild banteng, leopard and the endemic Bali tiger. The banteng still occurs in its domestic form, whereas leopards are found only in neighbouring Java, and the Bali tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s. The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Bali tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, whereas few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan rusa deer and the wild boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian muntjac, also occurs. Saltwater crocodiles were once present on the island, but became locally extinct sometime during the last century.

 

Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often is the Asian palm civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi Luwak. Bats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The crab-eating macaque, known locally as "kera", is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three "monkey forest" temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, endemic to Java and some surrounding islands such as Bali, is far rarer and more elusive is the Javan langur, locally known as "lutung". They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. They are born an orange colour, though by their first year they would have already changed to a more blackish colouration. In Java however, there is more of a tendency for this species to retain its juvenile orange colour into adulthood, and so you can see a mixture of black and orange monkeys together as a family. Other rarer mammals include the leopard cat, Sunda pangolin and black giant squirrel.

 

Snakes include the king cobra and reticulated python. The water monitor can grow to at least 1.5 m in length and 50 kg and can move quickly.

 

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighbouring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance hawksbill turtle, giant sunfish, giant manta ray, giant moray eel, bumphead parrotfish, hammerhead shark, reef shark, barracuda, and sea snakes. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina.

 

A team of scientists conducted a survey from 29 April 2011 to 11 May 2011 at 33 sea sites around Bali. They discovered 952 species of reef fish of which 8 were new discoveries at Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, Nusa Dua, Tulamben and Candidasa, and 393 coral species, including two new ones at Padangbai and between Padangbai and Amed. The average coverage level of healthy coral was 36% (better than in Raja Ampat and Halmahera by 29% or in Fakfak and Kaimana by 25%) with the highest coverage found in Gili Selang and Gili Mimpang in Candidasa, Karangasem regency.

 

Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native.[citation needed] Among the larger trees the most common are: banyan trees, jackfruit, coconuts, bamboo species, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, lotus, roses, begonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salak, mangosteen, corn, kintamani orange, coffee and water spinach.

 

ENVIRONMENT

Some of the worst erosion has occurred in Lebih Beach, where up to 7 metres of land is lost every year. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach.

 

From ranked third in previous review, in 2010 Bali got score 99.65 of Indonesia's environmental quality index and the highest of all the 33 provinces. The score measured 3 water quality parameters: the level of total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).

 

Because of over-exploitation by the tourist industry which covers a massive land area, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up and based on research, the southern part of Bali would face a water shortage up to 2,500 litres of clean water per second by 2015. To ease the shortage, the central government plans to build a water catchment and processing facility at Petanu River in Gianyar. The 300 litres capacity of water per second will be channelled to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar in 2013.

 

ECONOMY

Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia's wealthiest regions. In 2003, around 80% of Bali's economy was tourism related. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali were 2.23%, lower than the average of Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan (about 5%). The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry has since recovered from these events.

 

AGRICULTURE

Although tourism produces the GDP's largest output, agriculture is still the island's biggest employer; most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

 

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavours include lemon and other citrus notes. Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana". According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.

 

TOURISM

The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.

 

The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. The Australian government issued an advice on Friday, 4 May 2012. The overall level of the advice was lowered to 'Exercise a high degree of caution'. The Swedish government issued a new warning on Sunday, 10 June 2012 because of one more tourist who was killed by methanol poisoning. Australia last issued an advice on Monday, 5 January 2015 due to new terrorist threats.

 

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable.

 

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry, but not due to any travel warnings.

 

Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. In 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists, which surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65%, so the island is still able to accommodate tourists for some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.

 

Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, ranking second after Santorini, Greece.

 

In August 2010, the film Eat Pray Love was released in theatres. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, had already fuelled a boom in Eat, Pray, Love-related tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love.

 

In January 2016, after music icon David Bowie died, it was revealed that in his will, Bowie asked for his ashes to be scattered in Bali, conforming to Buddhist rituals. He had visited and performed in a number of Southest Asian cities early in his career, including Bangkok and Singapore.

 

Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. Chinese tourists increased by 17% from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali. In January 2012, Chinese tourists year on year (yoy) increased by 222.18% compared to January 2011, while Japanese tourists declined by 23.54% yoy.

 

Bali reported that it has 2.88 million foreign tourists and 5 million domestic tourists in 2012, marginally surpassing the expectations of 2.8 million foreign tourists. Forecasts for 2013 are at 3.1 million.

 

Based on Bank Indonesia survey in May 2013, 34.39 percent of tourists are upper-middle class with spending between $1,286 to $5,592 and dominated by Australia, France, China, Germany and the US with some China tourists move from low spending before to higher spending currently. While 30.26 percent are middle class with spending between $662 to $1,285.

 

SEX TOURISM

In the twentieth century the incidence of tourism specifically for sex was regularly observed in the era of mass tourism in Indonesia In Bali, prostitution is conducted by both men and women. Bali in particular is notorious for its 'Kuta Cowboys', local gigolos targeting foreign female tourists.

 

Tens of thousands of single women throng the beaches of Bali in Indonesia every year. For decades, young Balinese men have taken advantage of the louche and laid-back atmosphere to find love and lucre from female tourists—Japanese, European and Australian for the most part—who by all accounts seem perfectly happy with the arrangement.

 

By 2013, Indonesia was reportedly the number one destination for Australian child sex tourists, mostly starting in Bali but also travelling to other parts of the country. The problem in Bali was highlighted by Luh Ketut Suryani, head of Psychiatry at Udayana University, as early as 2003. Surayani warned that a low level of awareness of paedophilia in Bali had made it the target of international paedophile organisations. On 19 February 2013, government officials announced measures to combat paedophilia in Bali.

 

TRANSPORTATION

The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus at the southernmost part of the island. Lt.Col. Wisnu Airfield is found in north-west Bali.

 

A coastal road circles the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar. Bali has no railway lines.

 

In December 2010 the Government of Indonesia invited investors to build a new Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal at Karangasem, Bali with a projected worth of $30 million. On 17 July 2011 the first cruise ship (Sun Princess) anchored about 400 meters away from the wharf of Tanah Ampo harbour. The current pier is only 154 meters but will eventually be extended to 300–350 meters to accommodate international cruise ships. The harbour here is safer than the existing facility at Benoa and has a scenic backdrop of east Bali mountains and green rice fields. The tender for improvement was subject to delays, and as of July 2013 the situation remained unclear with cruise line operators complaining and even refusing to use the existing facility at Tanah Ampo.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by two ministers, Bali's Governor and Indonesian Train Company to build 565 kilometres of railway along the coast around the island. As of July 2015, no details of this proposed railways have been released.

 

On 16 March 2011 (Tanjung) Benoa port received the "Best Port Welcome 2010" award from London's "Dream World Cruise Destination" magazine. Government plans to expand the role of Benoa port as export-import port to boost Bali's trade and industry sector. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has confirmed that 306 cruise liners are heading for Indonesia in 2013 – an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.

 

In May 2011, an integrated Areal Traffic Control System (ATCS) was implemented to reduce traffic jams at four crossing points: Ngurah Rai statue, Dewa Ruci Kuta crossing, Jimbaran crossing and Sanur crossing. ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters. It has successfully been implemented in other ASEAN countries and will be implemented at other crossings in Bali.

 

On 21 December 2011 construction started on the Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai International Airport toll road which will also provide a special lane for motorcycles. This has been done by seven state-owned enterprises led by PT Jasa Marga with 60% of shares. PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol will construct the 9.91 kilometres toll road (totally 12.7 kilometres with access road). The construction is estimated to cost Rp.2.49 trillion ($273.9 million). The project goes through 2 kilometres of mangrove forest and through 2.3 kilometres of beach, both within 5.4 hectares area. The elevated toll road is built over the mangrove forest on 18,000 concrete pillars which occupied 2 hectares of mangroves forest. It compensated by new planting of 300,000 mangrove trees along the road. On 21 December 2011 the Dewa Ruci 450 meters underpass has also started on the busy Dewa Ruci junction near Bali Kuta Galeria with an estimated cost of Rp136 billion ($14.9 million) from the state budget. On 23 September 2013, the Bali Mandara Toll Road is opened and the Dewa Ruci Junction (Simpang Siur) underpass is opened before. Both are ease the heavy traffic congestion.

 

To solve chronic traffic problems, the province will also build a toll road connecting Serangan with Tohpati, a toll road connecting Kuta, Denpasar and Tohpati and a flyover connecting Kuta and Ngurah Rai Airport.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The population of Bali was 3,890,757 as of the 2010 Census; the latest estimate (for January 2014) is 4,225,384. There are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living in Bali.

 

ETHNIC ORIGINS

A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al. found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin. The study does not correlate the DNA samples to the Balinese caste system.

 

CASTE SYSTEM

Bali has a caste system based on the Indian Hindu model, with four castes:

 

- Sudra (Shudra) – peasants constituting close to 93% of Bali's population.

- Wesia (Vaishyas) – the caste of merchants and administrative officials

- Ksatrias (Kshatriyas) – the kingly and warrior caste

- Brahmana (Bramhin) – holy men and priests

 

RELIGION

Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 83.5% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (13.3%), Christianity (1.7%), and Buddhism (0.5%). These figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.

 

Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practised in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the "Island of a Thousand Puras", or "Island of the Gods". This is refer to Mahabarata story that behind Bali became island of god or "pulau dewata" in Indonesian language.

 

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, and adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behaviour.

 

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chinese immigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism, but also find a way to harmonise it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple's odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese. Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.

 

LANGUAGE

Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. The most common spoken language around the tourist areas is Indonesian, as many people in the tourist sector are not solely Balinese, but migrants from Java, Lombok, Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing. Kawi and Sanskrit are also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, for Hinduism literature was mostly written in Sanskrit.

 

English and Chinese are the next most common languages (and the primary foreign languages) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry, as well as the English-speaking community and huge Chinese-Indonesian population. Other foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, French, Russian or German are often used in multilingual signs for foreign tourists.

 

CULTURE

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese cuisine is also distinctive. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.

 

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. On the day before New Year, large and colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.

 

Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context. Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Often two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.

 

Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island's largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja and kelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.

 

Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardised in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.

 

Tourism, Bali's chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.

 

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family's ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including "kasepekang", or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratisation and decentralisation of Indonesia since 1998.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.

 

With a population of 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and 4,225,000 as of January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 83.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, followed by 13.4% Muslim, Christianity at 2.5%, and Buddhism 0.5%.

 

Bali is a popular tourist destination, which has seen a significant rise in numbers since the 1980s. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali.

 

Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. There is a wide range of dive sites with high quality reefs, all with their own specific attractions. Many sites can have strong currents and swell, so diving without a knowledgeable guide is inadvisable. Most recently, Bali was the host of the 2011 ASEAN Summit, 2013 APEC and Miss World 2013.

 

HISTORY

ANCIENT

Bali was inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people who migrated originally from Southeast Asia and Oceania through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Oceania. Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.

 

In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Pasupata, Bhairawa, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Bodha, Brahma, Resi, Sora and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead.

 

Inscriptions from 896 and 911 don't mention a king, until 914, when Sri Kesarivarma is mentioned. They also reveal an independent Bali, with a distinct dialect, where Buddhism and Sivaism were practiced simultaneously. Mpu Sindok's great granddaughter, Mahendradatta (Gunapriyadharmapatni), married the Bali king Udayana Warmadewa (Dharmodayanavarmadeva) around 989, giving birth to Airlangga around 1001. This marriage also brought more Hinduism and Javanese culture to Bali. Princess Sakalendukirana appeared in 1098. Suradhipa reigned from 1115 to 1119, and Jayasakti from 1146 until 1150. Jayapangus appears on inscriptions between 1178 and 1181, while Adikuntiketana and his son Paramesvara in 1204.

 

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the people developed their complex irrigation system subak to grow rice in wet-field cultivation. Some religious and cultural traditions still practised today can be traced to this period.

 

The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. The uncle of Hayam Wuruk is mentioned in the charters of 1384-86. A mass Javanese emigration occurred in the next century.

 

PORTUGUESE CONTACTS

The first known European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1512, when a Portuguese expedition led by Antonio Abreu and Francisco Serrão sighted its northern shores. It was the first expedition of a series of bi-annual fleets to the Moluccas, that throughout the 16th century usually traveled along the coasts of the Sunda Islands. Bali was also mapped in 1512, in the chart of Francisco Rodrigues, aboard the expedition. In 1585, a ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung.

 

DUTCH EAST INDIA

In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali, and the Dutch East India Company was established in 1602. The Dutch government expanded its control across the Indonesian archipelago during the second half of the 19th century (see Dutch East Indies). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island's north coast, when the Dutch pitted various competing Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island's south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

 

In June 1860 the famous Welsh naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, travelled to Bali from Singapore, landing at Buleleng on the northcoast of the island. Wallace's trip to Bali was instrumental in helping him devise his Wallace Line theory. The Wallace Line is a faunal boundary that runs through the strait between Bali and Lombok. It has been found to be a boundary between species of Asiatic origin in the east and a mixture of Australian and Asian species to the west. In his travel memoir The Malay Archipelago, Wallace wrote of his experience in Bali:

 

I was both astonished and delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well-cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast about ten or twelve miles inland, where it is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of coconut palms, tamarind and other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between them extend luxurious rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe.

 

The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 200 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. In the Dutch intervention in Bali, a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung.

 

AFTERWARD THE DUTCH GOVERNORS

exercised administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.

 

n the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee all spent time here. Their accounts of the island and its peoples created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature." Western tourists began to visit the island.

 

Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II. It was not originally a target in their Netherlands East Indies Campaign, but as the airfields on Borneo were inoperative due to heavy rains, the Imperial Japanese Army decided to occupy Bali, which did not suffer from comparable weather. The island had no regular Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) troops. There was only a Native Auxiliary Corps Prajoda (Korps Prajoda) consisting of about 600 native soldiers and several Dutch KNIL officers under command of KNIL Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Roodenburg. On 19 February 1942 the Japanese forces landed near the town of Senoer [Senur]. The island was quickly captured.

 

During the Japanese occupation, a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'. The harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule more resented than Dutch rule. Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch returned to Indonesia, including Bali, to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels, who now used recovered Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance.

 

INDIPENDENCE FROM THE DUTCH

In 1946, the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia, which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

 

CONTEMPORARY

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting this system. Politically, the opposition was represented by supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI's land reform programs. An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto.

 

The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island's population. With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.

 

As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency. His "New Order" government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as "paradise" was revived in a modern form. The resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely reduced tourism, producing much economic hardship to the island.

 

GEOGRAPHY

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km wide and spans approximately 112 km north to south; administratively it covers 5,780 km2, or 5,577 km2 without Nusa Penida District, its population density is roughly 750 people/km2.

 

Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 metres in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung (3,031 m), known as the "mother mountain" which is an active volcano rated as one of the world's most likely sites for a massive eruption within the next 100 years. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali's volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali's large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.

 

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.

 

The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500 (2002). Bali's second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar's urban area, and Ubud, situated at the north of Denpasar, is the island's cultural centre.

 

Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.

 

To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok Island and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.

 

CLIMATE

Being just 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali has a fairly even climate year round.

 

Day time temperatures at low elevations vary between 20-33⁰ C although it can be much cooler than that in the mountains. The west monsoon is in place from approximately October to April and this can bring significant rain, particularly from December to March. Outside of the monsoon period, humidity is relatively low and any rain unlikely in lowland areas.

 

ECOLOGY

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna that is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the yellow-crested cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali myna, which is endemic. Others Include barn swallow, black-naped oriole, black racket-tailed treepie, crested serpent-eagle, crested treeswift, dollarbird, Java sparrow, lesser adjutant, long-tailed shrike, milky stork, Pacific swallow, red-rumped swallow, sacred kingfisher, sea eagle, woodswallow, savanna nightjar, stork-billed kingfisher, yellow-vented bulbul and great egret.

 

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild banteng, leopard and the endemic Bali tiger. The banteng still occurs in its domestic form, whereas leopards are found only in neighbouring Java, and the Bali tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s. The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Bali tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, whereas few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan rusa deer and the wild boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian muntjac, also occurs. Saltwater crocodiles were once present on the island, but became locally extinct sometime during the last century.

 

Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often is the Asian palm civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi Luwak. Bats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The crab-eating macaque, known locally as "kera", is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three "monkey forest" temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, endemic to Java and some surrounding islands such as Bali, is far rarer and more elusive is the Javan langur, locally known as "lutung". They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. They are born an orange colour, though by their first year they would have already changed to a more blackish colouration. In Java however, there is more of a tendency for this species to retain its juvenile orange colour into adulthood, and so you can see a mixture of black and orange monkeys together as a family. Other rarer mammals include the leopard cat, Sunda pangolin and black giant squirrel.

 

Snakes include the king cobra and reticulated python. The water monitor can grow to at least 1.5 m in length and 50 kg and can move quickly.

 

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighbouring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance hawksbill turtle, giant sunfish, giant manta ray, giant moray eel, bumphead parrotfish, hammerhead shark, reef shark, barracuda, and sea snakes. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina.

 

A team of scientists conducted a survey from 29 April 2011 to 11 May 2011 at 33 sea sites around Bali. They discovered 952 species of reef fish of which 8 were new discoveries at Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, Nusa Dua, Tulamben and Candidasa, and 393 coral species, including two new ones at Padangbai and between Padangbai and Amed. The average coverage level of healthy coral was 36% (better than in Raja Ampat and Halmahera by 29% or in Fakfak and Kaimana by 25%) with the highest coverage found in Gili Selang and Gili Mimpang in Candidasa, Karangasem regency.

 

Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native.[citation needed] Among the larger trees the most common are: banyan trees, jackfruit, coconuts, bamboo species, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, lotus, roses, begonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salak, mangosteen, corn, kintamani orange, coffee and water spinach.

 

ENVIRONMENT

Some of the worst erosion has occurred in Lebih Beach, where up to 7 metres of land is lost every year. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach.

 

From ranked third in previous review, in 2010 Bali got score 99.65 of Indonesia's environmental quality index and the highest of all the 33 provinces. The score measured 3 water quality parameters: the level of total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).

 

Because of over-exploitation by the tourist industry which covers a massive land area, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up and based on research, the southern part of Bali would face a water shortage up to 2,500 litres of clean water per second by 2015. To ease the shortage, the central government plans to build a water catchment and processing facility at Petanu River in Gianyar. The 300 litres capacity of water per second will be channelled to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar in 2013.

 

ECONOMY

Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia's wealthiest regions. In 2003, around 80% of Bali's economy was tourism related. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali were 2.23%, lower than the average of Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan (about 5%). The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry has since recovered from these events.

 

AGRICULTURE

Although tourism produces the GDP's largest output, agriculture is still the island's biggest employer; most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

 

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavours include lemon and other citrus notes. Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana". According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.

 

TOURISM

The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.

 

The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. The Australian government issued an advice on Friday, 4 May 2012. The overall level of the advice was lowered to 'Exercise a high degree of caution'. The Swedish government issued a new warning on Sunday, 10 June 2012 because of one more tourist who was killed by methanol poisoning. Australia last issued an advice on Monday, 5 January 2015 due to new terrorist threats.

 

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable.

 

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry, but not due to any travel warnings.

 

Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. In 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists, which surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65%, so the island is still able to accommodate tourists for some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.

 

Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, ranking second after Santorini, Greece.

 

In August 2010, the film Eat Pray Love was released in theatres. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, had already fuelled a boom in Eat, Pray, Love-related tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love.

 

In January 2016, after music icon David Bowie died, it was revealed that in his will, Bowie asked for his ashes to be scattered in Bali, conforming to Buddhist rituals. He had visited and performed in a number of Southest Asian cities early in his career, including Bangkok and Singapore.

 

Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. Chinese tourists increased by 17% from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali. In January 2012, Chinese tourists year on year (yoy) increased by 222.18% compared to January 2011, while Japanese tourists declined by 23.54% yoy.

 

Bali reported that it has 2.88 million foreign tourists and 5 million domestic tourists in 2012, marginally surpassing the expectations of 2.8 million foreign tourists. Forecasts for 2013 are at 3.1 million.

 

Based on Bank Indonesia survey in May 2013, 34.39 percent of tourists are upper-middle class with spending between $1,286 to $5,592 and dominated by Australia, France, China, Germany and the US with some China tourists move from low spending before to higher spending currently. While 30.26 percent are middle class with spending between $662 to $1,285.

 

SEX TOURISM

In the twentieth century the incidence of tourism specifically for sex was regularly observed in the era of mass tourism in Indonesia In Bali, prostitution is conducted by both men and women. Bali in particular is notorious for its 'Kuta Cowboys', local gigolos targeting foreign female tourists.

 

Tens of thousands of single women throng the beaches of Bali in Indonesia every year. For decades, young Balinese men have taken advantage of the louche and laid-back atmosphere to find love and lucre from female tourists—Japanese, European and Australian for the most part—who by all accounts seem perfectly happy with the arrangement.

 

By 2013, Indonesia was reportedly the number one destination for Australian child sex tourists, mostly starting in Bali but also travelling to other parts of the country. The problem in Bali was highlighted by Luh Ketut Suryani, head of Psychiatry at Udayana University, as early as 2003. Surayani warned that a low level of awareness of paedophilia in Bali had made it the target of international paedophile organisations. On 19 February 2013, government officials announced measures to combat paedophilia in Bali.

 

TRANSPORTATION

The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus at the southernmost part of the island. Lt.Col. Wisnu Airfield is found in north-west Bali.

 

A coastal road circles the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar. Bali has no railway lines.

 

In December 2010 the Government of Indonesia invited investors to build a new Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal at Karangasem, Bali with a projected worth of $30 million. On 17 July 2011 the first cruise ship (Sun Princess) anchored about 400 meters away from the wharf of Tanah Ampo harbour. The current pier is only 154 meters but will eventually be extended to 300–350 meters to accommodate international cruise ships. The harbour here is safer than the existing facility at Benoa and has a scenic backdrop of east Bali mountains and green rice fields. The tender for improvement was subject to delays, and as of July 2013 the situation remained unclear with cruise line operators complaining and even refusing to use the existing facility at Tanah Ampo.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by two ministers, Bali's Governor and Indonesian Train Company to build 565 kilometres of railway along the coast around the island. As of July 2015, no details of this proposed railways have been released.

 

On 16 March 2011 (Tanjung) Benoa port received the "Best Port Welcome 2010" award from London's "Dream World Cruise Destination" magazine. Government plans to expand the role of Benoa port as export-import port to boost Bali's trade and industry sector. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has confirmed that 306 cruise liners are heading for Indonesia in 2013 – an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.

 

In May 2011, an integrated Areal Traffic Control System (ATCS) was implemented to reduce traffic jams at four crossing points: Ngurah Rai statue, Dewa Ruci Kuta crossing, Jimbaran crossing and Sanur crossing. ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters. It has successfully been implemented in other ASEAN countries and will be implemented at other crossings in Bali.

 

On 21 December 2011 construction started on the Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai International Airport toll road which will also provide a special lane for motorcycles. This has been done by seven state-owned enterprises led by PT Jasa Marga with 60% of shares. PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol will construct the 9.91 kilometres toll road (totally 12.7 kilometres with access road). The construction is estimated to cost Rp.2.49 trillion ($273.9 million). The project goes through 2 kilometres of mangrove forest and through 2.3 kilometres of beach, both within 5.4 hectares area. The elevated toll road is built over the mangrove forest on 18,000 concrete pillars which occupied 2 hectares of mangroves forest. It compensated by new planting of 300,000 mangrove trees along the road. On 21 December 2011 the Dewa Ruci 450 meters underpass has also started on the busy Dewa Ruci junction near Bali Kuta Galeria with an estimated cost of Rp136 billion ($14.9 million) from the state budget. On 23 September 2013, the Bali Mandara Toll Road is opened and the Dewa Ruci Junction (Simpang Siur) underpass is opened before. Both are ease the heavy traffic congestion.

 

To solve chronic traffic problems, the province will also build a toll road connecting Serangan with Tohpati, a toll road connecting Kuta, Denpasar and Tohpati and a flyover connecting Kuta and Ngurah Rai Airport.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The population of Bali was 3,890,757 as of the 2010 Census; the latest estimate (for January 2014) is 4,225,384. There are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living in Bali.

 

ETHNIC ORIGINS

A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al. found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin. The study does not correlate the DNA samples to the Balinese caste system.

 

CASTE SYSTEM

Bali has a caste system based on the Indian Hindu model, with four castes:

 

- Sudra (Shudra) – peasants constituting close to 93% of Bali's population.

- Wesia (Vaishyas) – the caste of merchants and administrative officials

- Ksatrias (Kshatriyas) – the kingly and warrior caste

- Brahmana (Bramhin) – holy men and priests

 

RELIGION

Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 83.5% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (13.3%), Christianity (1.7%), and Buddhism (0.5%). These figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.

 

Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practised in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the "Island of a Thousand Puras", or "Island of the Gods". This is refer to Mahabarata story that behind Bali became island of god or "pulau dewata" in Indonesian language.

 

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, and adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behaviour.

 

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chinese immigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism, but also find a way to harmonise it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple's odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese. Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.

 

LANGUAGE

Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. The most common spoken language around the tourist areas is Indonesian, as many people in the tourist sector are not solely Balinese, but migrants from Java, Lombok, Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing. Kawi and Sanskrit are also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, for Hinduism literature was mostly written in Sanskrit.

 

English and Chinese are the next most common languages (and the primary foreign languages) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry, as well as the English-speaking community and huge Chinese-Indonesian population. Other foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, French, Russian or German are often used in multilingual signs for foreign tourists.

 

CULTURE

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese cuisine is also distinctive. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.

 

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. On the day before New Year, large and colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.

 

Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context. Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Often two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.

 

Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island's largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja and kelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.

 

Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardised in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.

 

Tourism, Bali's chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.

 

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family's ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including "kasepekang", or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratisation and decentralisation of Indonesia since 1998.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.

 

With a population of 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and 4,225,000 as of January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 83.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, followed by 13.4% Muslim, Christianity at 2.5%, and Buddhism 0.5%.

 

Bali is a popular tourist destination, which has seen a significant rise in numbers since the 1980s. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali.

 

Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. There is a wide range of dive sites with high quality reefs, all with their own specific attractions. Many sites can have strong currents and swell, so diving without a knowledgeable guide is inadvisable. Most recently, Bali was the host of the 2011 ASEAN Summit, 2013 APEC and Miss World 2013.

 

HISTORY

ANCIENT

Bali was inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people who migrated originally from Southeast Asia and Oceania through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Oceania. Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.

 

In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Pasupata, Bhairawa, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Bodha, Brahma, Resi, Sora and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead.

 

Inscriptions from 896 and 911 don't mention a king, until 914, when Sri Kesarivarma is mentioned. They also reveal an independent Bali, with a distinct dialect, where Buddhism and Sivaism were practiced simultaneously. Mpu Sindok's great granddaughter, Mahendradatta (Gunapriyadharmapatni), married the Bali king Udayana Warmadewa (Dharmodayanavarmadeva) around 989, giving birth to Airlangga around 1001. This marriage also brought more Hinduism and Javanese culture to Bali. Princess Sakalendukirana appeared in 1098. Suradhipa reigned from 1115 to 1119, and Jayasakti from 1146 until 1150. Jayapangus appears on inscriptions between 1178 and 1181, while Adikuntiketana and his son Paramesvara in 1204.

 

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the people developed their complex irrigation system subak to grow rice in wet-field cultivation. Some religious and cultural traditions still practised today can be traced to this period.

 

The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. The uncle of Hayam Wuruk is mentioned in the charters of 1384-86. A mass Javanese emigration occurred in the next century.

 

PORTUGUESE CONTACTS

The first known European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1512, when a Portuguese expedition led by Antonio Abreu and Francisco Serrão sighted its northern shores. It was the first expedition of a series of bi-annual fleets to the Moluccas, that throughout the 16th century usually traveled along the coasts of the Sunda Islands. Bali was also mapped in 1512, in the chart of Francisco Rodrigues, aboard the expedition. In 1585, a ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung.

 

DUTCH EAST INDIA

In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali, and the Dutch East India Company was established in 1602. The Dutch government expanded its control across the Indonesian archipelago during the second half of the 19th century (see Dutch East Indies). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island's north coast, when the Dutch pitted various competing Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island's south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

 

In June 1860 the famous Welsh naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, travelled to Bali from Singapore, landing at Buleleng on the northcoast of the island. Wallace's trip to Bali was instrumental in helping him devise his Wallace Line theory. The Wallace Line is a faunal boundary that runs through the strait between Bali and Lombok. It has been found to be a boundary between species of Asiatic origin in the east and a mixture of Australian and Asian species to the west. In his travel memoir The Malay Archipelago, Wallace wrote of his experience in Bali:

 

I was both astonished and delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well-cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast about ten or twelve miles inland, where it is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of coconut palms, tamarind and other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between them extend luxurious rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe.

 

The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 200 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. In the Dutch intervention in Bali, a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung.

 

AFTERWARD THE DUTCH GOVERNORS

exercised administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.

 

n the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee all spent time here. Their accounts of the island and its peoples created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature." Western tourists began to visit the island.

 

Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II. It was not originally a target in their Netherlands East Indies Campaign, but as the airfields on Borneo were inoperative due to heavy rains, the Imperial Japanese Army decided to occupy Bali, which did not suffer from comparable weather. The island had no regular Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) troops. There was only a Native Auxiliary Corps Prajoda (Korps Prajoda) consisting of about 600 native soldiers and several Dutch KNIL officers under command of KNIL Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Roodenburg. On 19 February 1942 the Japanese forces landed near the town of Senoer [Senur]. The island was quickly captured.

 

During the Japanese occupation, a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'. The harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule more resented than Dutch rule. Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch returned to Indonesia, including Bali, to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels, who now used recovered Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance.

 

INDIPENDENCE FROM THE DUTCH

In 1946, the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia, which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

 

CONTEMPORARY

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting this system. Politically, the opposition was represented by supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI's land reform programs. An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto.

 

The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island's population. With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.

 

As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency. His "New Order" government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as "paradise" was revived in a modern form. The resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely reduced tourism, producing much economic hardship to the island.

 

GEOGRAPHY

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km wide and spans approximately 112 km north to south; administratively it covers 5,780 km2, or 5,577 km2 without Nusa Penida District, its population density is roughly 750 people/km2.

 

Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 metres in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung (3,031 m), known as the "mother mountain" which is an active volcano rated as one of the world's most likely sites for a massive eruption within the next 100 years. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali's volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali's large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.

 

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.

 

The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500 (2002). Bali's second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar's urban area, and Ubud, situated at the north of Denpasar, is the island's cultural centre.

 

Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.

 

To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok Island and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.

 

CLIMATE

Being just 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali has a fairly even climate year round.

 

Day time temperatures at low elevations vary between 20-33⁰ C although it can be much cooler than that in the mountains. The west monsoon is in place from approximately October to April and this can bring significant rain, particularly from December to March. Outside of the monsoon period, humidity is relatively low and any rain unlikely in lowland areas.

 

ECOLOGY

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna that is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the yellow-crested cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali myna, which is endemic. Others Include barn swallow, black-naped oriole, black racket-tailed treepie, crested serpent-eagle, crested treeswift, dollarbird, Java sparrow, lesser adjutant, long-tailed shrike, milky stork, Pacific swallow, red-rumped swallow, sacred kingfisher, sea eagle, woodswallow, savanna nightjar, stork-billed kingfisher, yellow-vented bulbul and great egret.

 

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild banteng, leopard and the endemic Bali tiger. The banteng still occurs in its domestic form, whereas leopards are found only in neighbouring Java, and the Bali tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s. The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Bali tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, whereas few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan rusa deer and the wild boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian muntjac, also occurs. Saltwater crocodiles were once present on the island, but became locally extinct sometime during the last century.

 

Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often is the Asian palm civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi Luwak. Bats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The crab-eating macaque, known locally as "kera", is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three "monkey forest" temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, endemic to Java and some surrounding islands such as Bali, is far rarer and more elusive is the Javan langur, locally known as "lutung". They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. They are born an orange colour, though by their first year they would have already changed to a more blackish colouration. In Java however, there is more of a tendency for this species to retain its juvenile orange colour into adulthood, and so you can see a mixture of black and orange monkeys together as a family. Other rarer mammals include the leopard cat, Sunda pangolin and black giant squirrel.

 

Snakes include the king cobra and reticulated python. The water monitor can grow to at least 1.5 m in length and 50 kg and can move quickly.

 

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighbouring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance hawksbill turtle, giant sunfish, giant manta ray, giant moray eel, bumphead parrotfish, hammerhead shark, reef shark, barracuda, and sea snakes. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina.

 

A team of scientists conducted a survey from 29 April 2011 to 11 May 2011 at 33 sea sites around Bali. They discovered 952 species of reef fish of which 8 were new discoveries at Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, Nusa Dua, Tulamben and Candidasa, and 393 coral species, including two new ones at Padangbai and between Padangbai and Amed. The average coverage level of healthy coral was 36% (better than in Raja Ampat and Halmahera by 29% or in Fakfak and Kaimana by 25%) with the highest coverage found in Gili Selang and Gili Mimpang in Candidasa, Karangasem regency.

 

Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native.[citation needed] Among the larger trees the most common are: banyan trees, jackfruit, coconuts, bamboo species, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, lotus, roses, begonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salak, mangosteen, corn, kintamani orange, coffee and water spinach.

 

ENVIRONMENT

Some of the worst erosion has occurred in Lebih Beach, where up to 7 metres of land is lost every year. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach.

 

From ranked third in previous review, in 2010 Bali got score 99.65 of Indonesia's environmental quality index and the highest of all the 33 provinces. The score measured 3 water quality parameters: the level of total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).

 

Because of over-exploitation by the tourist industry which covers a massive land area, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up and based on research, the southern part of Bali would face a water shortage up to 2,500 litres of clean water per second by 2015. To ease the shortage, the central government plans to build a water catchment and processing facility at Petanu River in Gianyar. The 300 litres capacity of water per second will be channelled to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar in 2013.

 

ECONOMY

Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia's wealthiest regions. In 2003, around 80% of Bali's economy was tourism related. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali were 2.23%, lower than the average of Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan (about 5%). The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry has since recovered from these events.

 

AGRICULTURE

Although tourism produces the GDP's largest output, agriculture is still the island's biggest employer; most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

 

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavours include lemon and other citrus notes. Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana". According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.

 

TOURISM

The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.

 

The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. The Australian government issued an advice on Friday, 4 May 2012. The overall level of the advice was lowered to 'Exercise a high degree of caution'. The Swedish government issued a new warning on Sunday, 10 June 2012 because of one more tourist who was killed by methanol poisoning. Australia last issued an advice on Monday, 5 January 2015 due to new terrorist threats.

 

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable.

 

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry, but not due to any travel warnings.

 

Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. In 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists, which surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65%, so the island is still able to accommodate tourists for some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.

 

Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, ranking second after Santorini, Greece.

 

In August 2010, the film Eat Pray Love was released in theatres. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, had already fuelled a boom in Eat, Pray, Love-related tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love.

 

In January 2016, after music icon David Bowie died, it was revealed that in his will, Bowie asked for his ashes to be scattered in Bali, conforming to Buddhist rituals. He had visited and performed in a number of Southest Asian cities early in his career, including Bangkok and Singapore.

 

Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. Chinese tourists increased by 17% from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali. In January 2012, Chinese tourists year on year (yoy) increased by 222.18% compared to January 2011, while Japanese tourists declined by 23.54% yoy.

 

Bali reported that it has 2.88 million foreign tourists and 5 million domestic tourists in 2012, marginally surpassing the expectations of 2.8 million foreign tourists. Forecasts for 2013 are at 3.1 million.

 

Based on Bank Indonesia survey in May 2013, 34.39 percent of tourists are upper-middle class with spending between $1,286 to $5,592 and dominated by Australia, France, China, Germany and the US with some China tourists move from low spending before to higher spending currently. While 30.26 percent are middle class with spending between $662 to $1,285.

 

SEX TOURISM

In the twentieth century the incidence of tourism specifically for sex was regularly observed in the era of mass tourism in Indonesia In Bali, prostitution is conducted by both men and women. Bali in particular is notorious for its 'Kuta Cowboys', local gigolos targeting foreign female tourists.

 

Tens of thousands of single women throng the beaches of Bali in Indonesia every year. For decades, young Balinese men have taken advantage of the louche and laid-back atmosphere to find love and lucre from female tourists—Japanese, European and Australian for the most part—who by all accounts seem perfectly happy with the arrangement.

 

By 2013, Indonesia was reportedly the number one destination for Australian child sex tourists, mostly starting in Bali but also travelling to other parts of the country. The problem in Bali was highlighted by Luh Ketut Suryani, head of Psychiatry at Udayana University, as early as 2003. Surayani warned that a low level of awareness of paedophilia in Bali had made it the target of international paedophile organisations. On 19 February 2013, government officials announced measures to combat paedophilia in Bali.

 

TRANSPORTATION

The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus at the southernmost part of the island. Lt.Col. Wisnu Airfield is found in north-west Bali.

 

A coastal road circles the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar. Bali has no railway lines.

 

In December 2010 the Government of Indonesia invited investors to build a new Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal at Karangasem, Bali with a projected worth of $30 million. On 17 July 2011 the first cruise ship (Sun Princess) anchored about 400 meters away from the wharf of Tanah Ampo harbour. The current pier is only 154 meters but will eventually be extended to 300–350 meters to accommodate international cruise ships. The harbour here is safer than the existing facility at Benoa and has a scenic backdrop of east Bali mountains and green rice fields. The tender for improvement was subject to delays, and as of July 2013 the situation remained unclear with cruise line operators complaining and even refusing to use the existing facility at Tanah Ampo.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by two ministers, Bali's Governor and Indonesian Train Company to build 565 kilometres of railway along the coast around the island. As of July 2015, no details of this proposed railways have been released.

 

On 16 March 2011 (Tanjung) Benoa port received the "Best Port Welcome 2010" award from London's "Dream World Cruise Destination" magazine. Government plans to expand the role of Benoa port as export-import port to boost Bali's trade and industry sector. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has confirmed that 306 cruise liners are heading for Indonesia in 2013 – an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.

 

In May 2011, an integrated Areal Traffic Control System (ATCS) was implemented to reduce traffic jams at four crossing points: Ngurah Rai statue, Dewa Ruci Kuta crossing, Jimbaran crossing and Sanur crossing. ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters. It has successfully been implemented in other ASEAN countries and will be implemented at other crossings in Bali.

 

On 21 December 2011 construction started on the Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai International Airport toll road which will also provide a special lane for motorcycles. This has been done by seven state-owned enterprises led by PT Jasa Marga with 60% of shares. PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol will construct the 9.91 kilometres toll road (totally 12.7 kilometres with access road). The construction is estimated to cost Rp.2.49 trillion ($273.9 million). The project goes through 2 kilometres of mangrove forest and through 2.3 kilometres of beach, both within 5.4 hectares area. The elevated toll road is built over the mangrove forest on 18,000 concrete pillars which occupied 2 hectares of mangroves forest. It compensated by new planting of 300,000 mangrove trees along the road. On 21 December 2011 the Dewa Ruci 450 meters underpass has also started on the busy Dewa Ruci junction near Bali Kuta Galeria with an estimated cost of Rp136 billion ($14.9 million) from the state budget. On 23 September 2013, the Bali Mandara Toll Road is opened and the Dewa Ruci Junction (Simpang Siur) underpass is opened before. Both are ease the heavy traffic congestion.

 

To solve chronic traffic problems, the province will also build a toll road connecting Serangan with Tohpati, a toll road connecting Kuta, Denpasar and Tohpati and a flyover connecting Kuta and Ngurah Rai Airport.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The population of Bali was 3,890,757 as of the 2010 Census; the latest estimate (for January 2014) is 4,225,384. There are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living in Bali.

 

ETHNIC ORIGINS

A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al. found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin. The study does not correlate the DNA samples to the Balinese caste system.

 

CASTE SYSTEM

Bali has a caste system based on the Indian Hindu model, with four castes:

 

- Sudra (Shudra) – peasants constituting close to 93% of Bali's population.

- Wesia (Vaishyas) – the caste of merchants and administrative officials

- Ksatrias (Kshatriyas) – the kingly and warrior caste

- Brahmana (Bramhin) – holy men and priests

 

RELIGION

Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 83.5% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (13.3%), Christianity (1.7%), and Buddhism (0.5%). These figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.

 

Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practised in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the "Island of a Thousand Puras", or "Island of the Gods". This is refer to Mahabarata story that behind Bali became island of god or "pulau dewata" in Indonesian language.

 

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, and adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behaviour.

 

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chinese immigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism, but also find a way to harmonise it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple's odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese. Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.

 

LANGUAGE

Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. The most common spoken language around the tourist areas is Indonesian, as many people in the tourist sector are not solely Balinese, but migrants from Java, Lombok, Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing. Kawi and Sanskrit are also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, for Hinduism literature was mostly written in Sanskrit.

 

English and Chinese are the next most common languages (and the primary foreign languages) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry, as well as the English-speaking community and huge Chinese-Indonesian population. Other foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, French, Russian or German are often used in multilingual signs for foreign tourists.

 

CULTURE

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese cuisine is also distinctive. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.

 

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. On the day before New Year, large and colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.

 

Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context. Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Often two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.

 

Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island's largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja and kelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.

 

Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardised in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.

 

Tourism, Bali's chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.

 

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family's ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including "kasepekang", or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratisation and decentralisation of Indonesia since 1998.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.

 

With a population of 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and 4,225,000 as of January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 83.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, followed by 13.4% Muslim, Christianity at 2.5%, and Buddhism 0.5%.

 

Bali is a popular tourist destination, which has seen a significant rise in numbers since the 1980s. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali.

 

Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. There is a wide range of dive sites with high quality reefs, all with their own specific attractions. Many sites can have strong currents and swell, so diving without a knowledgeable guide is inadvisable. Most recently, Bali was the host of the 2011 ASEAN Summit, 2013 APEC and Miss World 2013.

 

HISTORY

ANCIENT

Bali was inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people who migrated originally from Southeast Asia and Oceania through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Oceania. Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.

 

In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Pasupata, Bhairawa, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Bodha, Brahma, Resi, Sora and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead.

 

Inscriptions from 896 and 911 don't mention a king, until 914, when Sri Kesarivarma is mentioned. They also reveal an independent Bali, with a distinct dialect, where Buddhism and Sivaism were practiced simultaneously. Mpu Sindok's great granddaughter, Mahendradatta (Gunapriyadharmapatni), married the Bali king Udayana Warmadewa (Dharmodayanavarmadeva) around 989, giving birth to Airlangga around 1001. This marriage also brought more Hinduism and Javanese culture to Bali. Princess Sakalendukirana appeared in 1098. Suradhipa reigned from 1115 to 1119, and Jayasakti from 1146 until 1150. Jayapangus appears on inscriptions between 1178 and 1181, while Adikuntiketana and his son Paramesvara in 1204.

 

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the people developed their complex irrigation system subak to grow rice in wet-field cultivation. Some religious and cultural traditions still practised today can be traced to this period.

 

The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. The uncle of Hayam Wuruk is mentioned in the charters of 1384-86. A mass Javanese emigration occurred in the next century.

 

PORTUGUESE CONTACTS

The first known European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1512, when a Portuguese expedition led by Antonio Abreu and Francisco Serrão sighted its northern shores. It was the first expedition of a series of bi-annual fleets to the Moluccas, that throughout the 16th century usually traveled along the coasts of the Sunda Islands. Bali was also mapped in 1512, in the chart of Francisco Rodrigues, aboard the expedition. In 1585, a ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung.

 

DUTCH EAST INDIA

In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali, and the Dutch East India Company was established in 1602. The Dutch government expanded its control across the Indonesian archipelago during the second half of the 19th century (see Dutch East Indies). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island's north coast, when the Dutch pitted various competing Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island's south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

 

In June 1860 the famous Welsh naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, travelled to Bali from Singapore, landing at Buleleng on the northcoast of the island. Wallace's trip to Bali was instrumental in helping him devise his Wallace Line theory. The Wallace Line is a faunal boundary that runs through the strait between Bali and Lombok. It has been found to be a boundary between species of Asiatic origin in the east and a mixture of Australian and Asian species to the west. In his travel memoir The Malay Archipelago, Wallace wrote of his experience in Bali:

 

I was both astonished and delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well-cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast about ten or twelve miles inland, where it is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of coconut palms, tamarind and other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between them extend luxurious rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe.

 

The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 200 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. In the Dutch intervention in Bali, a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung.

 

AFTERWARD THE DUTCH GOVERNORS

exercised administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.

 

n the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee all spent time here. Their accounts of the island and its peoples created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature." Western tourists began to visit the island.

 

Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II. It was not originally a target in their Netherlands East Indies Campaign, but as the airfields on Borneo were inoperative due to heavy rains, the Imperial Japanese Army decided to occupy Bali, which did not suffer from comparable weather. The island had no regular Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) troops. There was only a Native Auxiliary Corps Prajoda (Korps Prajoda) consisting of about 600 native soldiers and several Dutch KNIL officers under command of KNIL Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Roodenburg. On 19 February 1942 the Japanese forces landed near the town of Senoer [Senur]. The island was quickly captured.

 

During the Japanese occupation, a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'. The harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule more resented than Dutch rule. Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch returned to Indonesia, including Bali, to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels, who now used recovered Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance.

 

INDIPENDENCE FROM THE DUTCH

In 1946, the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia, which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

 

CONTEMPORARY

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting this system. Politically, the opposition was represented by supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI's land reform programs. An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto.

 

The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island's population. With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.

 

As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency. His "New Order" government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as "paradise" was revived in a modern form. The resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely reduced tourism, producing much economic hardship to the island.

 

GEOGRAPHY

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km wide and spans approximately 112 km north to south; administratively it covers 5,780 km2, or 5,577 km2 without Nusa Penida District, its population density is roughly 750 people/km2.

 

Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 metres in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung (3,031 m), known as the "mother mountain" which is an active volcano rated as one of the world's most likely sites for a massive eruption within the next 100 years. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali's volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali's large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.

 

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.

 

The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500 (2002). Bali's second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar's urban area, and Ubud, situated at the north of Denpasar, is the island's cultural centre.

 

Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.

 

To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok Island and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.

 

CLIMATE

Being just 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali has a fairly even climate year round.

 

Day time temperatures at low elevations vary between 20-33⁰ C although it can be much cooler than that in the mountains. The west monsoon is in place from approximately October to April and this can bring significant rain, particularly from December to March. Outside of the monsoon period, humidity is relatively low and any rain unlikely in lowland areas.

 

ECOLOGY

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna that is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the yellow-crested cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali myna, which is endemic. Others Include barn swallow, black-naped oriole, black racket-tailed treepie, crested serpent-eagle, crested treeswift, dollarbird, Java sparrow, lesser adjutant, long-tailed shrike, milky stork, Pacific swallow, red-rumped swallow, sacred kingfisher, sea eagle, woodswallow, savanna nightjar, stork-billed kingfisher, yellow-vented bulbul and great egret.

 

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild banteng, leopard and the endemic Bali tiger. The banteng still occurs in its domestic form, whereas leopards are found only in neighbouring Java, and the Bali tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s. The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Bali tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, whereas few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan rusa deer and the wild boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian muntjac, also occurs. Saltwater crocodiles were once present on the island, but became locally extinct sometime during the last century.

 

Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often is the Asian palm civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi Luwak. Bats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The crab-eating macaque, known locally as "kera", is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three "monkey forest" temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, endemic to Java and some surrounding islands such as Bali, is far rarer and more elusive is the Javan langur, locally known as "lutung". They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. They are born an orange colour, though by their first year they would have already changed to a more blackish colouration. In Java however, there is more of a tendency for this species to retain its juvenile orange colour into adulthood, and so you can see a mixture of black and orange monkeys together as a family. Other rarer mammals include the leopard cat, Sunda pangolin and black giant squirrel.

 

Snakes include the king cobra and reticulated python. The water monitor can grow to at least 1.5 m in length and 50 kg and can move quickly.

 

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighbouring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance hawksbill turtle, giant sunfish, giant manta ray, giant moray eel, bumphead parrotfish, hammerhead shark, reef shark, barracuda, and sea snakes. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina.

 

A team of scientists conducted a survey from 29 April 2011 to 11 May 2011 at 33 sea sites around Bali. They discovered 952 species of reef fish of which 8 were new discoveries at Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, Nusa Dua, Tulamben and Candidasa, and 393 coral species, including two new ones at Padangbai and between Padangbai and Amed. The average coverage level of healthy coral was 36% (better than in Raja Ampat and Halmahera by 29% or in Fakfak and Kaimana by 25%) with the highest coverage found in Gili Selang and Gili Mimpang in Candidasa, Karangasem regency.

 

Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native.[citation needed] Among the larger trees the most common are: banyan trees, jackfruit, coconuts, bamboo species, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, lotus, roses, begonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salak, mangosteen, corn, kintamani orange, coffee and water spinach.

 

ENVIRONMENT

Some of the worst erosion has occurred in Lebih Beach, where up to 7 metres of land is lost every year. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach.

 

From ranked third in previous review, in 2010 Bali got score 99.65 of Indonesia's environmental quality index and the highest of all the 33 provinces. The score measured 3 water quality parameters: the level of total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).

 

Because of over-exploitation by the tourist industry which covers a massive land area, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up and based on research, the southern part of Bali would face a water shortage up to 2,500 litres of clean water per second by 2015. To ease the shortage, the central government plans to build a water catchment and processing facility at Petanu River in Gianyar. The 300 litres capacity of water per second will be channelled to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar in 2013.

 

ECONOMY

Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia's wealthiest regions. In 2003, around 80% of Bali's economy was tourism related. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali were 2.23%, lower than the average of Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan (about 5%). The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry has since recovered from these events.

 

AGRICULTURE

Although tourism produces the GDP's largest output, agriculture is still the island's biggest employer; most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

 

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavours include lemon and other citrus notes. Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana". According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.

 

TOURISM

The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.

 

The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. The Australian government issued an advice on Friday, 4 May 2012. The overall level of the advice was lowered to 'Exercise a high degree of caution'. The Swedish government issued a new warning on Sunday, 10 June 2012 because of one more tourist who was killed by methanol poisoning. Australia last issued an advice on Monday, 5 January 2015 due to new terrorist threats.

 

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable.

 

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry, but not due to any travel warnings.

 

Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. In 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists, which surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65%, so the island is still able to accommodate tourists for some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.

 

Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, ranking second after Santorini, Greece.

 

In August 2010, the film Eat Pray Love was released in theatres. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, had already fuelled a boom in Eat, Pray, Love-related tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love.

 

In January 2016, after music icon David Bowie died, it was revealed that in his will, Bowie asked for his ashes to be scattered in Bali, conforming to Buddhist rituals. He had visited and performed in a number of Southest Asian cities early in his career, including Bangkok and Singapore.

 

Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. Chinese tourists increased by 17% from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali. In January 2012, Chinese tourists year on year (yoy) increased by 222.18% compared to January 2011, while Japanese tourists declined by 23.54% yoy.

 

Bali reported that it has 2.88 million foreign tourists and 5 million domestic tourists in 2012, marginally surpassing the expectations of 2.8 million foreign tourists. Forecasts for 2013 are at 3.1 million.

 

Based on Bank Indonesia survey in May 2013, 34.39 percent of tourists are upper-middle class with spending between $1,286 to $5,592 and dominated by Australia, France, China, Germany and the US with some China tourists move from low spending before to higher spending currently. While 30.26 percent are middle class with spending between $662 to $1,285.

 

SEX TOURISM

In the twentieth century the incidence of tourism specifically for sex was regularly observed in the era of mass tourism in Indonesia In Bali, prostitution is conducted by both men and women. Bali in particular is notorious for its 'Kuta Cowboys', local gigolos targeting foreign female tourists.

 

Tens of thousands of single women throng the beaches of Bali in Indonesia every year. For decades, young Balinese men have taken advantage of the louche and laid-back atmosphere to find love and lucre from female tourists—Japanese, European and Australian for the most part—who by all accounts seem perfectly happy with the arrangement.

 

By 2013, Indonesia was reportedly the number one destination for Australian child sex tourists, mostly starting in Bali but also travelling to other parts of the country. The problem in Bali was highlighted by Luh Ketut Suryani, head of Psychiatry at Udayana University, as early as 2003. Surayani warned that a low level of awareness of paedophilia in Bali had made it the target of international paedophile organisations. On 19 February 2013, government officials announced measures to combat paedophilia in Bali.

 

TRANSPORTATION

The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus at the southernmost part of the island. Lt.Col. Wisnu Airfield is found in north-west Bali.

 

A coastal road circles the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar. Bali has no railway lines.

 

In December 2010 the Government of Indonesia invited investors to build a new Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal at Karangasem, Bali with a projected worth of $30 million. On 17 July 2011 the first cruise ship (Sun Princess) anchored about 400 meters away from the wharf of Tanah Ampo harbour. The current pier is only 154 meters but will eventually be extended to 300–350 meters to accommodate international cruise ships. The harbour here is safer than the existing facility at Benoa and has a scenic backdrop of east Bali mountains and green rice fields. The tender for improvement was subject to delays, and as of July 2013 the situation remained unclear with cruise line operators complaining and even refusing to use the existing facility at Tanah Ampo.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by two ministers, Bali's Governor and Indonesian Train Company to build 565 kilometres of railway along the coast around the island. As of July 2015, no details of this proposed railways have been released.

 

On 16 March 2011 (Tanjung) Benoa port received the "Best Port Welcome 2010" award from London's "Dream World Cruise Destination" magazine. Government plans to expand the role of Benoa port as export-import port to boost Bali's trade and industry sector. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has confirmed that 306 cruise liners are heading for Indonesia in 2013 – an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.

 

In May 2011, an integrated Areal Traffic Control System (ATCS) was implemented to reduce traffic jams at four crossing points: Ngurah Rai statue, Dewa Ruci Kuta crossing, Jimbaran crossing and Sanur crossing. ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters. It has successfully been implemented in other ASEAN countries and will be implemented at other crossings in Bali.

 

On 21 December 2011 construction started on the Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai International Airport toll road which will also provide a special lane for motorcycles. This has been done by seven state-owned enterprises led by PT Jasa Marga with 60% of shares. PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol will construct the 9.91 kilometres toll road (totally 12.7 kilometres with access road). The construction is estimated to cost Rp.2.49 trillion ($273.9 million). The project goes through 2 kilometres of mangrove forest and through 2.3 kilometres of beach, both within 5.4 hectares area. The elevated toll road is built over the mangrove forest on 18,000 concrete pillars which occupied 2 hectares of mangroves forest. It compensated by new planting of 300,000 mangrove trees along the road. On 21 December 2011 the Dewa Ruci 450 meters underpass has also started on the busy Dewa Ruci junction near Bali Kuta Galeria with an estimated cost of Rp136 billion ($14.9 million) from the state budget. On 23 September 2013, the Bali Mandara Toll Road is opened and the Dewa Ruci Junction (Simpang Siur) underpass is opened before. Both are ease the heavy traffic congestion.

 

To solve chronic traffic problems, the province will also build a toll road connecting Serangan with Tohpati, a toll road connecting Kuta, Denpasar and Tohpati and a flyover connecting Kuta and Ngurah Rai Airport.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The population of Bali was 3,890,757 as of the 2010 Census; the latest estimate (for January 2014) is 4,225,384. There are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living in Bali.

 

ETHNIC ORIGINS

A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al. found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin. The study does not correlate the DNA samples to the Balinese caste system.

 

CASTE SYSTEM

Bali has a caste system based on the Indian Hindu model, with four castes:

 

- Sudra (Shudra) – peasants constituting close to 93% of Bali's population.

- Wesia (Vaishyas) – the caste of merchants and administrative officials

- Ksatrias (Kshatriyas) – the kingly and warrior caste

- Brahmana (Bramhin) – holy men and priests

 

RELIGION

Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 83.5% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (13.3%), Christianity (1.7%), and Buddhism (0.5%). These figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.

 

Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practised in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the "Island of a Thousand Puras", or "Island of the Gods". This is refer to Mahabarata story that behind Bali became island of god or "pulau dewata" in Indonesian language.

 

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, and adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behaviour.

 

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chinese immigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism, but also find a way to harmonise it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple's odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese. Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.

 

LANGUAGE

Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. The most common spoken language around the tourist areas is Indonesian, as many people in the tourist sector are not solely Balinese, but migrants from Java, Lombok, Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing. Kawi and Sanskrit are also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, for Hinduism literature was mostly written in Sanskrit.

 

English and Chinese are the next most common languages (and the primary foreign languages) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry, as well as the English-speaking community and huge Chinese-Indonesian population. Other foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, French, Russian or German are often used in multilingual signs for foreign tourists.

 

CULTURE

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese cuisine is also distinctive. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.

 

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. On the day before New Year, large and colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.

 

Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context. Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Often two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.

 

Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island's largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja and kelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.

 

Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardised in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.

 

Tourism, Bali's chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.

 

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family's ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including "kasepekang", or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratisation and decentralisation of Indonesia since 1998.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.

 

With a population of 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and 4,225,000 as of January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 83.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, followed by 13.4% Muslim, Christianity at 2.5%, and Buddhism 0.5%.

 

Bali is a popular tourist destination, which has seen a significant rise in numbers since the 1980s. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali.

 

Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. There is a wide range of dive sites with high quality reefs, all with their own specific attractions. Many sites can have strong currents and swell, so diving without a knowledgeable guide is inadvisable. Most recently, Bali was the host of the 2011 ASEAN Summit, 2013 APEC and Miss World 2013.

 

HISTORY

ANCIENT

Bali was inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people who migrated originally from Southeast Asia and Oceania through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Oceania. Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.

 

In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Pasupata, Bhairawa, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Bodha, Brahma, Resi, Sora and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead.

 

Inscriptions from 896 and 911 don't mention a king, until 914, when Sri Kesarivarma is mentioned. They also reveal an independent Bali, with a distinct dialect, where Buddhism and Sivaism were practiced simultaneously. Mpu Sindok's great granddaughter, Mahendradatta (Gunapriyadharmapatni), married the Bali king Udayana Warmadewa (Dharmodayanavarmadeva) around 989, giving birth to Airlangga around 1001. This marriage also brought more Hinduism and Javanese culture to Bali. Princess Sakalendukirana appeared in 1098. Suradhipa reigned from 1115 to 1119, and Jayasakti from 1146 until 1150. Jayapangus appears on inscriptions between 1178 and 1181, while Adikuntiketana and his son Paramesvara in 1204.

 

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the people developed their complex irrigation system subak to grow rice in wet-field cultivation. Some religious and cultural traditions still practised today can be traced to this period.

 

The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. The uncle of Hayam Wuruk is mentioned in the charters of 1384-86. A mass Javanese emigration occurred in the next century.

 

PORTUGUESE CONTACTS

The first known European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1512, when a Portuguese expedition led by Antonio Abreu and Francisco Serrão sighted its northern shores. It was the first expedition of a series of bi-annual fleets to the Moluccas, that throughout the 16th century usually traveled along the coasts of the Sunda Islands. Bali was also mapped in 1512, in the chart of Francisco Rodrigues, aboard the expedition. In 1585, a ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung.

 

DUTCH EAST INDIA

In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali, and the Dutch East India Company was established in 1602. The Dutch government expanded its control across the Indonesian archipelago during the second half of the 19th century (see Dutch East Indies). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island's north coast, when the Dutch pitted various competing Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island's south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

 

In June 1860 the famous Welsh naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, travelled to Bali from Singapore, landing at Buleleng on the northcoast of the island. Wallace's trip to Bali was instrumental in helping him devise his Wallace Line theory. The Wallace Line is a faunal boundary that runs through the strait between Bali and Lombok. It has been found to be a boundary between species of Asiatic origin in the east and a mixture of Australian and Asian species to the west. In his travel memoir The Malay Archipelago, Wallace wrote of his experience in Bali:

 

I was both astonished and delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well-cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast about ten or twelve miles inland, where it is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of coconut palms, tamarind and other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between them extend luxurious rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe.

 

The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 200 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. In the Dutch intervention in Bali, a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung.

 

AFTERWARD THE DUTCH GOVERNORS

exercised administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.

 

n the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee all spent time here. Their accounts of the island and its peoples created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature." Western tourists began to visit the island.

 

Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II. It was not originally a target in their Netherlands East Indies Campaign, but as the airfields on Borneo were inoperative due to heavy rains, the Imperial Japanese Army decided to occupy Bali, which did not suffer from comparable weather. The island had no regular Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) troops. There was only a Native Auxiliary Corps Prajoda (Korps Prajoda) consisting of about 600 native soldiers and several Dutch KNIL officers under command of KNIL Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Roodenburg. On 19 February 1942 the Japanese forces landed near the town of Senoer [Senur]. The island was quickly captured.

 

During the Japanese occupation, a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'. The harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule more resented than Dutch rule. Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch returned to Indonesia, including Bali, to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels, who now used recovered Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance.

 

INDIPENDENCE FROM THE DUTCH

In 1946, the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia, which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

 

CONTEMPORARY

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting this system. Politically, the opposition was represented by supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI's land reform programs. An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto.

 

The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island's population. With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.

 

As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency. His "New Order" government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as "paradise" was revived in a modern form. The resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely reduced tourism, producing much economic hardship to the island.

 

GEOGRAPHY

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km wide and spans approximately 112 km north to south; administratively it covers 5,780 km2, or 5,577 km2 without Nusa Penida District, its population density is roughly 750 people/km2.

 

Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 metres in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung (3,031 m), known as the "mother mountain" which is an active volcano rated as one of the world's most likely sites for a massive eruption within the next 100 years. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali's volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali's large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.

 

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.

 

The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500 (2002). Bali's second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar's urban area, and Ubud, situated at the north of Denpasar, is the island's cultural centre.

 

Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.

 

To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok Island and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.

 

CLIMATE

Being just 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali has a fairly even climate year round.

 

Day time temperatures at low elevations vary between 20-33⁰ C although it can be much cooler than that in the mountains. The west monsoon is in place from approximately October to April and this can bring significant rain, particularly from December to March. Outside of the monsoon period, humidity is relatively low and any rain unlikely in lowland areas.

 

ECOLOGY

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna that is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the yellow-crested cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali myna, which is endemic. Others Include barn swallow, black-naped oriole, black racket-tailed treepie, crested serpent-eagle, crested treeswift, dollarbird, Java sparrow, lesser adjutant, long-tailed shrike, milky stork, Pacific swallow, red-rumped swallow, sacred kingfisher, sea eagle, woodswallow, savanna nightjar, stork-billed kingfisher, yellow-vented bulbul and great egret.

 

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild banteng, leopard and the endemic Bali tiger. The banteng still occurs in its domestic form, whereas leopards are found only in neighbouring Java, and the Bali tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s. The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Bali tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, whereas few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan rusa deer and the wild boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian muntjac, also occurs. Saltwater crocodiles were once present on the island, but became locally extinct sometime during the last century.

 

Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often is the Asian palm civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi Luwak. Bats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The crab-eating macaque, known locally as "kera", is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three "monkey forest" temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, endemic to Java and some surrounding islands such as Bali, is far rarer and more elusive is the Javan langur, locally known as "lutung". They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. They are born an orange colour, though by their first year they would have already changed to a more blackish colouration. In Java however, there is more of a tendency for this species to retain its juvenile orange colour into adulthood, and so you can see a mixture of black and orange monkeys together as a family. Other rarer mammals include the leopard cat, Sunda pangolin and black giant squirrel.

 

Snakes include the king cobra and reticulated python. The water monitor can grow to at least 1.5 m in length and 50 kg and can move quickly.

 

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighbouring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance hawksbill turtle, giant sunfish, giant manta ray, giant moray eel, bumphead parrotfish, hammerhead shark, reef shark, barracuda, and sea snakes. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina.

 

A team of scientists conducted a survey from 29 April 2011 to 11 May 2011 at 33 sea sites around Bali. They discovered 952 species of reef fish of which 8 were new discoveries at Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, Nusa Dua, Tulamben and Candidasa, and 393 coral species, including two new ones at Padangbai and between Padangbai and Amed. The average coverage level of healthy coral was 36% (better than in Raja Ampat and Halmahera by 29% or in Fakfak and Kaimana by 25%) with the highest coverage found in Gili Selang and Gili Mimpang in Candidasa, Karangasem regency.

 

Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native.[citation needed] Among the larger trees the most common are: banyan trees, jackfruit, coconuts, bamboo species, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, lotus, roses, begonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salak, mangosteen, corn, kintamani orange, coffee and water spinach.

 

ENVIRONMENT

Some of the worst erosion has occurred in Lebih Beach, where up to 7 metres of land is lost every year. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach.

 

From ranked third in previous review, in 2010 Bali got score 99.65 of Indonesia's environmental quality index and the highest of all the 33 provinces. The score measured 3 water quality parameters: the level of total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).

 

Because of over-exploitation by the tourist industry which covers a massive land area, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up and based on research, the southern part of Bali would face a water shortage up to 2,500 litres of clean water per second by 2015. To ease the shortage, the central government plans to build a water catchment and processing facility at Petanu River in Gianyar. The 300 litres capacity of water per second will be channelled to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar in 2013.

 

ECONOMY

Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia's wealthiest regions. In 2003, around 80% of Bali's economy was tourism related. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali were 2.23%, lower than the average of Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan (about 5%). The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry has since recovered from these events.

 

AGRICULTURE

Although tourism produces the GDP's largest output, agriculture is still the island's biggest employer; most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

 

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavours include lemon and other citrus notes. Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana". According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.

 

TOURISM

The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.

 

The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. The Australian government issued an advice on Friday, 4 May 2012. The overall level of the advice was lowered to 'Exercise a high degree of caution'. The Swedish government issued a new warning on Sunday, 10 June 2012 because of one more tourist who was killed by methanol poisoning. Australia last issued an advice on Monday, 5 January 2015 due to new terrorist threats.

 

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable.

 

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry, but not due to any travel warnings.

 

Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. In 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists, which surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65%, so the island is still able to accommodate tourists for some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.

 

Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, ranking second after Santorini, Greece.

 

In August 2010, the film Eat Pray Love was released in theatres. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, had already fuelled a boom in Eat, Pray, Love-related tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love.

 

In January 2016, after music icon David Bowie died, it was revealed that in his will, Bowie asked for his ashes to be scattered in Bali, conforming to Buddhist rituals. He had visited and performed in a number of Southest Asian cities early in his career, including Bangkok and Singapore.

 

Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. Chinese tourists increased by 17% from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali. In January 2012, Chinese tourists year on year (yoy) increased by 222.18% compared to January 2011, while Japanese tourists declined by 23.54% yoy.

 

Bali reported that it has 2.88 million foreign tourists and 5 million domestic tourists in 2012, marginally surpassing the expectations of 2.8 million foreign tourists. Forecasts for 2013 are at 3.1 million.

 

Based on Bank Indonesia survey in May 2013, 34.39 percent of tourists are upper-middle class with spending between $1,286 to $5,592 and dominated by Australia, France, China, Germany and the US with some China tourists move from low spending before to higher spending currently. While 30.26 percent are middle class with spending between $662 to $1,285.

 

SEX TOURISM

In the twentieth century the incidence of tourism specifically for sex was regularly observed in the era of mass tourism in Indonesia In Bali, prostitution is conducted by both men and women. Bali in particular is notorious for its 'Kuta Cowboys', local gigolos targeting foreign female tourists.

 

Tens of thousands of single women throng the beaches of Bali in Indonesia every year. For decades, young Balinese men have taken advantage of the louche and laid-back atmosphere to find love and lucre from female tourists—Japanese, European and Australian for the most part—who by all accounts seem perfectly happy with the arrangement.

 

By 2013, Indonesia was reportedly the number one destination for Australian child sex tourists, mostly starting in Bali but also travelling to other parts of the country. The problem in Bali was highlighted by Luh Ketut Suryani, head of Psychiatry at Udayana University, as early as 2003. Surayani warned that a low level of awareness of paedophilia in Bali had made it the target of international paedophile organisations. On 19 February 2013, government officials announced measures to combat paedophilia in Bali.

 

TRANSPORTATION

The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus at the southernmost part of the island. Lt.Col. Wisnu Airfield is found in north-west Bali.

 

A coastal road circles the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar. Bali has no railway lines.

 

In December 2010 the Government of Indonesia invited investors to build a new Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal at Karangasem, Bali with a projected worth of $30 million. On 17 July 2011 the first cruise ship (Sun Princess) anchored about 400 meters away from the wharf of Tanah Ampo harbour. The current pier is only 154 meters but will eventually be extended to 300–350 meters to accommodate international cruise ships. The harbour here is safer than the existing facility at Benoa and has a scenic backdrop of east Bali mountains and green rice fields. The tender for improvement was subject to delays, and as of July 2013 the situation remained unclear with cruise line operators complaining and even refusing to use the existing facility at Tanah Ampo.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by two ministers, Bali's Governor and Indonesian Train Company to build 565 kilometres of railway along the coast around the island. As of July 2015, no details of this proposed railways have been released.

 

On 16 March 2011 (Tanjung) Benoa port received the "Best Port Welcome 2010" award from London's "Dream World Cruise Destination" magazine. Government plans to expand the role of Benoa port as export-import port to boost Bali's trade and industry sector. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has confirmed that 306 cruise liners are heading for Indonesia in 2013 – an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.

 

In May 2011, an integrated Areal Traffic Control System (ATCS) was implemented to reduce traffic jams at four crossing points: Ngurah Rai statue, Dewa Ruci Kuta crossing, Jimbaran crossing and Sanur crossing. ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters. It has successfully been implemented in other ASEAN countries and will be implemented at other crossings in Bali.

 

On 21 December 2011 construction started on the Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai International Airport toll road which will also provide a special lane for motorcycles. This has been done by seven state-owned enterprises led by PT Jasa Marga with 60% of shares. PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol will construct the 9.91 kilometres toll road (totally 12.7 kilometres with access road). The construction is estimated to cost Rp.2.49 trillion ($273.9 million). The project goes through 2 kilometres of mangrove forest and through 2.3 kilometres of beach, both within 5.4 hectares area. The elevated toll road is built over the mangrove forest on 18,000 concrete pillars which occupied 2 hectares of mangroves forest. It compensated by new planting of 300,000 mangrove trees along the road. On 21 December 2011 the Dewa Ruci 450 meters underpass has also started on the busy Dewa Ruci junction near Bali Kuta Galeria with an estimated cost of Rp136 billion ($14.9 million) from the state budget. On 23 September 2013, the Bali Mandara Toll Road is opened and the Dewa Ruci Junction (Simpang Siur) underpass is opened before. Both are ease the heavy traffic congestion.

 

To solve chronic traffic problems, the province will also build a toll road connecting Serangan with Tohpati, a toll road connecting Kuta, Denpasar and Tohpati and a flyover connecting Kuta and Ngurah Rai Airport.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The population of Bali was 3,890,757 as of the 2010 Census; the latest estimate (for January 2014) is 4,225,384. There are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living in Bali.

 

ETHNIC ORIGINS

A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al. found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin. The study does not correlate the DNA samples to the Balinese caste system.

 

CASTE SYSTEM

Bali has a caste system based on the Indian Hindu model, with four castes:

 

- Sudra (Shudra) – peasants constituting close to 93% of Bali's population.

- Wesia (Vaishyas) – the caste of merchants and administrative officials

- Ksatrias (Kshatriyas) – the kingly and warrior caste

- Brahmana (Bramhin) – holy men and priests

 

RELIGION

Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 83.5% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (13.3%), Christianity (1.7%), and Buddhism (0.5%). These figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.

 

Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practised in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the "Island of a Thousand Puras", or "Island of the Gods". This is refer to Mahabarata story that behind Bali became island of god or "pulau dewata" in Indonesian language.

 

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, and adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behaviour.

 

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chinese immigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism, but also find a way to harmonise it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple's odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese. Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.

 

LANGUAGE

Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. The most common spoken language around the tourist areas is Indonesian, as many people in the tourist sector are not solely Balinese, but migrants from Java, Lombok, Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing. Kawi and Sanskrit are also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, for Hinduism literature was mostly written in Sanskrit.

 

English and Chinese are the next most common languages (and the primary foreign languages) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry, as well as the English-speaking community and huge Chinese-Indonesian population. Other foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, French, Russian or German are often used in multilingual signs for foreign tourists.

 

CULTURE

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese cuisine is also distinctive. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.

 

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. On the day before New Year, large and colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.

 

Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context. Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Often two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.

 

Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island's largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja and kelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.

 

Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardised in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.

 

Tourism, Bali's chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.

 

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family's ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including "kasepekang", or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratisation and decentralisation of Indonesia since 1998.

 

WIKIPEDIA