Enjoy the best places to see in Denpasar with a plan including Bali Driver Gede

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Taro Elephant Park with Volcano and Jungle Swing

Join this exclusive interactive experience is a rare opportunity to hose, wash, and scrub the Sumatran Experience a unique connection with one of these elephants in a spectacular tropical setting as you get up close and personal. Hand feed them, touch them, take photos with them, and then learn more about the elephant’s ancestry and diversity at the parks historical and graphic displays in the village of Taro. It is where the home of 31 endangered Sumatran Elephants lives in a good care. Inside the park you will be able to interact, feed and learn about these gentle giant in a proper way. Enjoy your time being close with this beautiful creature inside the park within a very tick lush green jungle of Taro Ubud.

After Taro Elephant Park ,next destination is driving to the north passing the countryside scenic road to see the magical of Batur Volcano in Kintamani area. There, you will enjoying local buffet lunch with the amazing background of Mt. Batur and the lake view. What a beautiful area to having  lunch ?. After finish your lunch, you will stop at a traditional coffee plantation. It is where you will see local farmers process the traditional coffee in the plantation. You will have an opportunity to taste some of their coffees and teas.

Then, you will stop at the most beautiful Tegalalang rice terraces. Make a great scenic picture along the rice fields with a green surrounding. The last stop will be a place to do a jungle swing. Encourage yourself to be swing with a giant swing over the valley.Expereiece it and feel the sensation ,you can get thrilling feelings, adrenaline rush, unforgettable experiences and unique pictures.Bali swing is the stop and the tour ends by driving you back to your hotel.
   


Itinerary
– Taro ubud elephant sanctuary

– Kintamani batur volcano and lake view

– Lunch overlooking the volcano

– Coffee plantation (optional)

– Tegelalang rice terrace

– Jungle swing

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Breathtaking Waterfalls: Tibumana, Tukad Cepung and Tegenungan

Experience it one day visiting three most beautiful waterfalls near to Ubud area.Tibumana waterfall is our first destination. In this waterfall is good for swimming as it has very blue water and fresh come from the mountain. It is located very deep inside the lush green jungle along the beautiful slopes. Walk along the path passing some stairs down and pass a wooden bridge to see a beautiful waterfall.

Tukad Cepung waterfall will be next destination drive about 45 minutes from Tibumana Watefall. This waterfall is the most hidden waterfall in Bali. You cannot see it from any distance, except you go 10 meters from the waterfall because it is located inside the cave. To get there you need to walk along the jungle and some stairs to get the river. You will walk along the river with the high rock in between and you will see the most beautiful waterfall at the end.

The last waterfall is popular Tegenungan waterfall. You will expect more people here as it is located close to ubud center.However, like many others, Tegenungan picturesque  lush greenery all around and the natural springs are perfect for bathing. You’ll see many locals here each day as the water flow is heavy, leaving it clean and fresh. But before that you will enjoy traditional local lunch with traditional ingredients. It is very tasty and unique.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Experience of Ubud Tour with Jungle Swing


Start the tour by meeting your driver at your hotel lobby with a warm smile. You will be driven to the middle of Bali in Ubud village. Our first stop at the popular sacred monkey forest, where you will find,there are about 600 monkeys living this monkey forest,and diveded into 5 groups: in front of themain temple.Michelin,eastern,central and cemeteries. Walk along the 12,5 hectares forest as the perfect place for the healthy monkeys. Find three temples inside guarded by the monkeys live in harmony.

After having time with the monkey continue, drive up to the north of Ubud to stop at the magical Tegalalang rice terrace to see the real traditional farmer activities in their daily activities.Not far from this area you will have a chance to do swing witn other photo points

Amazing of Ubud Tour with Jungle Swing
Swing on a giant swing overlooking the haunted valley will be soon becoming your favorite activity.Snap a few unforgettable images of Bali's landscapes at Tegalalang Rice Terrace, a favorite stop for nature lovers, painters, and amateur photographers,make a unique picture for your social media feeds.  Next, enjoy your included lunch with the jungle atmosphere.

After enjoying your lunch,will visit   Tirta Empul a holy spring temple. You can see how Balinese people doing a holy blessing before they pray at the main temple. And your last stop is Tegenungan waterfall with a beautiful green surrounding make the area very fresh. Take a short walk to get closer to the waterfall or just see the view from the top hill.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Balinese Culture

Bali culture is unique and famous especially for its rich and vibrant arts. Various forms of dance and music have made Bali's arts and culture scene one of the most diverse in the world. Hinduisim as the main religion is the major influence behind its development. Music, drama, dance and costumes become a feast for the senses during temple festivities. Rites of passage at Balinese family households can almost be seen daily, celebrating the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Special cultural dates and highlights also mark the calendar, through annual art festivals and local revelries that visitors should check out to make the best of their visit

Art is everywhere in Bali. From the intricate flower decorations in a Barong dancer's headdress, to elaborately carved temple facades and beautiful oil paintings. Bali's performing arts are also an integral part of Balinese culture.

Music and dance play a huge part in significant rituals and religious ceremonies. Known as " the Island of the Gods" hardly a day goes by without a ceremony or festival taking place. Traditional dances with full gamelan orchestras are performed for tourists daily in addition to the day to day religious ceremonies. Definitely worth seeing.

Barong Dance 
The Barong is triumphant display of graceful movement and vibrant colour. The dance is basically a contest between the opposing forces of Rangda - chaos and destruction, and Barong - order. (Basically good and evil.)

 Kecak Dance
The kecak is a ritual dance which was created in the early 1930's for the movie "Island of the Demons" by the German painter and intellectual Walter Spies. The dance combines the chorus of the "Sanghyang" trance dance with a dance story from the epic "Ramayana." It is extremely impressive with its circular chorus of sometimes over 100 bare-chested male singers.

There's probably more Bali temples than homes on the island. Many temples in Bali are actually shrines. However, the number of religious compounds might well be over 10,000. The number is spread throughout the far-flung corners of the island, from mountain and hilltops to low-lying coastal areas. Bali temples are normally peaceful and desolate. They transform into scenes of great activity during festivals or temple anniversaries. Traditional dance performances, cockfighting and even gambling often takes place during such events. You’ll find that each of Bali’s temples is unique. They may either face towards the mountains, the sea or towards sunrise.

Bali is not just a tropical paradise, it is also a cultural adventure for you to take on. There are many tropical beaches in the world, but only Bali offers them with its spiritual, traditional values you will not find elsewhere. Balinese Hinduism is distinctive for its addition to the island’s own traditional values.

For Balinese people, this aspect of their life is extremely important. And knowing that you, a visitor to their island, acknowledge it, and they will give you nothing but respect in return. Plus, it will give your vacation spiritual experiences you’ll never have elsewhere. So, get ready to make some changes to your itinerary for this tropical island of gods.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Sanur: A charming slice of Bali

Far enough away from the madness of Bali's most touristy destinations lies a seaside town that may seem unassuming at first, but soon gets under your skin for its easy charm, genuine local atmosphere and top quality visitor attractions.

Sanur is nestled on a long stretch of coast in the south east of the island, around 12 kilometres from Bali's international airport, making it a popular landing place to acclimatise on arrival in the Indonesian holiday island.

Sanur Beach is the perfect place to hang out with the whole family. It’s not as crowded as Kuta Beach, but it is clean and doesn’t have any waves, the perfect place to go for everybody. Sun chairs are available for about two Dollars. Various Shops invite you to try your hand at negotiating. The promenade invites you to take a stroll around and for those who like cycling, it offers a nice opportunity to hire a bike and push those pedals.

Known for being clean and relatively peaceful, the area's sandy beach strip is protected by a reef which forms a calm lagoon, dotted with boats and many colourful jukungs - traditional Indonesian outrigger fishing canoes. Along the shore runs a narrow beach walkway which takes you right from one end of Sanur to the other, the main section developed into a popular beachfront dining spot with restaurants aimed at tourists offering both traditional and Western food, all of which is pretty consistently of high quality.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Prime Tour Instagram Destination

Private Tour Of Bali’s Most Iconic and Instagrammable Locations
Our private tour will bring you to the island’s most Instagrammable spots so you can fill your feed with today’s trendiest photos – and all in comfort! You’ll get your own private air-conditioned. It’s a great way to see the other side of Bali, away from the tour busses and the crowds! Contact us to witness with your own eyes, Bali’s most sought-after “must-Insta” locations.

Prime Tour 1
Pura Lempuyang – The Gates Of Heaven (3 hours from Ubud)

Take your very own snapshot at The Gates Of Heaven – named just so by the Balinese as it represents the boundaries between the outer world and the outer realm of the temple. On a clear day, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Agung in the distance. There are four major temples within Lempuyang; the Dragon Temple will be the very first temple you will see – it is just steps away from the parking lot. The Gates of Heaven is located near the Dragon Temple.











Tirta Gangga Royal Water Garden (50 minutes from Lempuyang)


This lavish water garden was built by the King of Karangasem in 1946. It is a breathtaking garden of pools, ponds and fountains strategically placed amidst 1.2 hectares of lush vegetation and neat lawns adorned with beautifully carved statues, bridges and stones. The Royal Water Garden was used by the Royal Family back then as a Royal Bathing Complex. The main pond features a row of statues and stepping stones across the water, filled with fat golden carps. This is the main spot where you will get that awesome photo for your Instagram feed!

Prime Tour 2
Tegenungan Waterfall (2 hours from Tirta Gangga)

One of Ubud’s most popular waterfalls, Tegenungan Waterfall offers an impressive panorama surrounded by lush vegetation – you’ll be able to view this astounding vista when you walk from the carpark to the start of the steps which will lead you down to the waterfall. There are just about 100 steps down, and once at the bottom, you’ll see a giant cascade of water crashing down into the pebble pools below. You can swim and play in the water, and explore the pools which flow in a shallow stream into the jungle.











Bali Swing & Bird Nest
Ubud’s most famous attractions to date! The Bali Swing lets you swing hundreds of feet above a jungle abyss while the Bird’s Nest provides a cute little setup for couples and solo travellers who want to add an exotic tropical touch to their Instagram feed.










Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Upload a shot of you frolicking about in one of Bali’s most famous rice fields and you’ll be sure to turn your friends green with envy! The Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud are world famous, and are acres upon acres of glistening paddy that slopes across the valley. It is an ancient location, with dramatic views and a peaceful quality that is a definite visit. While there, you could also take photos with elderly farmers who will be more than happy to pose for a small fee.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Fascinating West Bali Tour

Marvel at Bali’s temples, villages and rice fields on a private full-day tour. Enjoy an action-packed itinerary including visits to Bedugul village, the UNESCO-listed Jatiluwih rice terraces, the Ulundanu floating temple on Lake Beratan and Pura Taman Ayun temple, get close to nature at the Bali Butterfly Park and sample Indonesia’s famous Kopi Luwak at a coffee plantation.Complete your tour at Tanah Lot Temple, known for its enchanting seaside setting and as a place to see the sunset at the end of the day. Look in wonder at the ancient Hindu shrine, perched in the crashing waves, and watch the sun melt over the horizon.

Highlights 

  • Full-day private tour of Bedugul village and Jatiluwih rice terraces 
  • Admire views of Pura Taman Ayun temple, Lake Beratan and the Jatiluwih rice terraces
  • Great value tour includes hotel pick-up and round-trip transport 
  • This private tour can be customized to your interests and ensures you’ll receive personalized attention from your driver

 
What You Can Expect 
Taman Ayun Temple is a combination of natural beauty and springs,It is in order with the concept of the traditional Balinese garden surrounded by an artificial river with a variety of rare plant species typical of Bali.The beauty of the landscape coupled with the sacred building.
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
Ulun Dnau temple is one of the tour visist when a sight seeing tour is organized to visit Bedugul Mountain resirt or Singaraja tour.The location is one the west bank of the lake Beratan.The name Ulun Danu,literally means "the beginning of the lake " But this might not to claim that the site is the beginning of the a lake.It tends to indicate  that everything that exists around the lake will have the orientation to the temple site ,and cleanliness around the area must be continuously kept.
Jatiluwih Rice Paddies
Giving a new meaning to the word “green,” the Jatiluwih rice paddies are notable for their employment of traditional Balinese irrigation techniques. With Mount Batukaru looming in the distance, the paddies are also some of Bali’s most picturesque. Bring your hiking shoes and trek through paddies, hop over rivers, and explore a tranquil area of Bali (mostly) untouched by the traveler.
Bali a Butterfly park lies in the village of Wanasari north of Tabanana.Here one can find many varieties of butterflies.In this park butterflies are breaded and studied.One of the most exotic butterflies found here is the Omithoptera Paradisea,and Priamus.
Tanah lot Temple
For Balinese ,Tanah lot is one of the important and venerated sea templs.Like Pura Uluwatu,at the southern end of the island.The name of Tanah Lot Temple in tourism bibbliography about Bali almost never absent.The name Tanah Lot is probably from " Tanah Laut " means land in the sea.It is teh fact that the strong sea abrasion has separated the temple area with Bali mainland,so it looks that the temple nests on a small speck of rock building up on the ocean.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Perfect Day Trip to Ubud

If you’re keen to get experience about Balinese long tail monkey,in English callled Macaque and rice terrace,then this  Bali tour package is perfect!You’ll get to see the Ubud Monkey Forest,Tegalalang Rice Terrace, a favorite stop for nature lovers, painters, and amateur photographers,plusTegenungan Waterfall.






Highlights

  • Experience the breathtaking beauty of Tegenungan Waterfall
  • Savor an authentic Balinese meal for lunch
  • Admire the landscape as you hike through the rice terraces of Tegallalang
  • Learn how "luwak" coffee is made from beans part digested by the palm civets
  • Look for the resident macaques of Sacred Monkey Forest


Full Description

  • Benefit from pick-up at your hotel at 8:00 AM, and then head to your first stop Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest and discover the home of around 200 monkeys in the forest of Ubud. Believed by the locals to be "God's Guard of the Dalem Agung Temple," the long-tailed macaques dwell in certain areas and can often be seen on the roads.
  • Continue to Ceking Rice Terrace in the village of Tegalalang. See how the rice field has been beautifully designed using plantation and coconut trees as ornaments. Take a pleasant walk around the rice field if you wish,there’s also a chance to sample the famous luwak coffee (yep that’s the one made with poo!) and check out the lush rice paddies too. 
  • Next, savor an authentic Balinese meal for lunch, giving you energy for the afternoon,end with a visit to Tegenungan Waterfall where you can walk up close to the cascades and step over the top rock to get amazing views of the surrounding jungle.

Friday, September 20, 2019

ONE DAY 3 WATERFALLS ; TUKAD CEPUNG,TIBUMANA AND TEGENUNGAN


Get back to nature and visit the waterfalls of Tukad Cepung, Tegenungan and Tibumana near Ubud. Swim under refreshing cascades, hike to a hidden waterfall in the middle of a lush green forest and more.

Highlights

  • Swim in the mountain fresh waters of Tibumana Waterfall
  • Walk between cliffs to Tukad Cepung Waterfall
  • Enjoy some traditional street food
  • Experience the breathtaking beauty of Tegenungan Waterfall


Benefit from pick-up at your hotel, and then journey into the lush green jungles surrounding Ubud. Stop for a refreshing swim in the mountain spring waters at Tibumana Waterfall and stroll along the scenic paths and nature trails over a wooden bridge.

Discover the hidden Tukad Cepung Waterfall, where you can walk through the jungle to take the stairs to admire at the cascades from a different perspective. Stop for lunch in a small warung or café to taste some authentic food from Bali.

End with a visit to Tegenungan Waterfall, where you can walk up close to the cascades and step over the top rock to get amazing views of the surrounding jungle.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Trekking in Hidden Paradise Bali

Explore the Caldera Batur and Sunrise with the experiences Local Bali Hiking guide,Start from Pengalangan Uludanu Songan Village and ride boat about 15 minutes to Pulak Village then we'll head up Pulak Hill at Eastern Crater of Lake Batur for amazing 360-degree views. We'll go through local areas and hike through the jungle to the eastern side of Lake Batur. We'll relax at our camp ground to enjoying spectacular view of Mt.Batur,Mt Abang,Mt,Agung and when weather clear you can see Mt.Rinjani in Lombok beside that beautiful Amed dan Tulamben beach line up on Indian Ocean before,after feel satisfied with magnificent view we back to lake and go around the lake with our own boat.

Highligts

  • Enjoying Magnificent view 
  • Explore the lush landscapes with lake around
  • Round-trip hotel transport with a private driver included 
  • Admire the Caldera Batur and Sunrise.


What You Can Expect
Start your trip early morning may be around 2.00 ma depending on where your hotel, pickup by your private driver at your hotel and get comfortable in your air-conditioned private vehicle.then we drive about 2 hours to get to starting point,you can back to sleep to safe your energy, drive to starting point nothing to see because  dark.After driving 2 hours,arriving at start point our local hiking guide will explain about trekk littel bit.we will acrros the lake about 15 minutes to get to Pulak Village,after we arrive at Pulak village start walk up to the top,Arrival at the summit crater, where we will witnessing the spectacular view and sunrise. While we are waiting for sunrise, our local guide will prepare your coffee or tea.After feel satisfied enjoying sunrise then we back to boat crossing the lake stop for while at Dewi Danu Statue,may be you want to take picture.And then drive to back to hotel.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Beautiful Natural Bali combine with Adventures

SAY YES  TO  NEW ADVENTURES
Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul
Here is for activities for the andrenaline hunter Extrem,Exicitng ,Experience

White Water Rafting
Get the experience  of a lifetime during your trip to Bali by trying out white water rafting at the stunning Ayung River,the longgest river on the island.Marvel at the river's gorgeous surrounding,including lush rainforests,gorgeous waterfall,and beautiful gorges!

Fun Paragliding Tandem in Bali
Experience views of Bali's stunning shoreline and sacred sea temple from the air on this tandem paragliding experience in Sawangan- Nusa Dua. Fly like a bird as you embark on this adrenaline-filled and magical tour.


ATV
Experience the excitement of riding a powerful semi automatic 250 cc ATV in central of the most stunning countryside Bali has to offer. Bali ATV Tour activity are daily trips, dry or raining season the activity challenge must go on, depend to your self preference. Do you really want to be back to the nature while pampering your adrenaline on quad bike? Let join with us and feel the unforgettable memories during explore Bali from your Atv motor

Friday, August 30, 2019

Historical temple near Ubud

Ubud is in many ways Bali's cultural heart,around Ubud, there are the surrounding by  Ancient holy sites include the intricately carved Goa Gajah (“Elephant Cave”) Yeh Pulr, Samuan Tiga Temple

Goa Gajah 
Goa gajah or Elephant cave is located in the southwest of Bedulu village,next to Yeh Pulu Relief.6 km from Ubud.Known only to local villagers and the bats during centuries of neglect,the cave was revealed to the public in 1923.The bathing place was discovered and restored only in 1954 during archeological investigations done by Mr.Krijsman.It had become filled in and a templebuilt upon it , which had to be moved to its present site. The spring and pond there have given the temple its name-- Pura Taman.

Carved into the stone above the cave entrance is a massive face with bugling eyes and high arched eyebrows.The eyes glance towards the west ot the left as you face the cave.The large ear ornaments do not necessarily indicate a female face,for male royalty also wore such ornaments.This figure represnets Boma (sometimes also called Kala or Sanskrit : Kittimukha ), and it is probably the earliest representation of this figure in bali.According to Balinese texts ( lontar ),Boma is the son of the god Wishnu an dthe goddess Basundari or ibu ( Mother ) pertiwi .Boma may be likened to the child of water and earth, for wisnu is the gid of waters and Parwati is the goddess of the soil or mother earth.

Yeh Pulu Relief
Relief Yeh Pulu was discovered by the army-commander of the kingdom of Ubud for the first time in 1925 .it is one of the classic monumenets from the  14 AD century.The research about this monument was published by DR.W.F. Sutterheim,the head of the Dutch Archeologiacl Department in 1929.

The name of Yeh Pulu is derived from an image of a bowl where the water comes out in one part of the relief .Yeh means water and Pulu means large a earthenware bowl used for water. The relief is carved 25 meters large by 2 meters along a steeply sloped riverbank.The daily activity of people during that time is perpetuated through this beautiful relief .Besides the relief itself,there are several niches that are used by the King of Bedahulu for meditation.

Pura Samuan Tiga
Pura samuna Tiga ( Samuan Tiga Temples ) was a meeting place for the religious leaders in the era of the Gunapriyadharmapatni and Udaya Kingdoms ,about 1001 AD. the concept of Desa Pekraman ( the traditional Balinese Village system ) was initiated during this time . The agreement of social relegious system development in Bali was created by one of the central figures in Bali-- Mpu Kuturan.He was the one of the famous knights and the religious leader of the kingdom.

According to the book written by R.Goris,there were 9 sects in the Old Bali period.They were the Pasupata,Bhairawa,Siwa Shidanta,Waisnawa,Budha ,Brahma,Resi,Sora, and Ganapatya sects.Amomg these sects ,Siwa Sidhanta was the dominant sect in Bali ( Ardhana 1989:56 )

Every sect had their own prime goddess and considered that their gods was higher than the others.This fanatic faith created conflict that had the potential of blowing-up at anytime.King Udayana tried to reduce the conflict by inviting the religious leaders from both Java and Bali,who then held a summit conference of all the religious leaders which took place at Pura Penataran Temple.To commemorate that summit meeting,the temples was then named Samuan Tiga .

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Gift for Gods, Ancestors, and Demons


Gift for Gods, Ancestors, and Demons
The many unseen inhabitants of Bali – gods, ancestors, and demons – are treated by the Balinese as honored guests through the daily presentation of offerings (banten ) of every imaginable  shape, color ,and substance . These are first and foremost  gifts expressing gratitude to benevolent spirits ,and placating mischievous demons to prevent them from disturbing the harmony of life.
Simple offerings are presented daily as a matter of course, while more elaborate ones are specially produced for specific ritual. After the daily food is prepared , for example, tiny packets are presented to the resident gods of the household before  the family eats. Every day , too ,the spirits are presented with tiny canang  ,palm leaf trays containing flowers and betel as a token of hospitality.
Being gifts to higher beings , these offerings  must be attractive ,and great deals of time and effort is expended to make them so. Leaves are laboriously cut ,plaited and pinned together into decorative shapes ( jejaitan ) .Multi-colored rice flour cookies ( jajan ) are modeled into tine sculptures and even into entire scenes ,which have a deep symbolic significance quite apart from their decorative function. In many ways , therefore  , the production of offerings may be regarded as an important traditional art form that still flourishes on Bali

Materials and preparation
Aside from a few durable element employed , such as coins cloth and an occasional wooden mask, offerings  are generally fashioned of perishable , organic materials. Not only the materials , but be used again and similar ones must be produced again and again every day .
The preparation of offerings is one the many tasks undertaken by every Balinese woman.Within the household , women of several generations work together , and in this way knowledge and skill are handed down to the young . To a limited extent , men also cooperate ; it is their task to slaughter animals and prepare most meat offerings.
Many women in Bali even make a living by acting as offering specialists ( tukang banten ). Their main task is to direct the armies of people who collectively produce offerings for large rituals at home or in the communal temple. They are able to coordinate this work because they know the type and ingredients of offerings required for each accasion.
As more and more Balinese women work outside the home in office or tourist hotels ,they have less time to undertake elaborate ritual preparations .This result in an increasing demand for ready –made offerings that many tukang banten produce in their own home , in spite of this commercialization , the meaning and ritual use of offerings is not diminishing in Bali.

Ritual Uses
For almost any ritual ,the enormous number and variety of offerings required is quite astounding. There are literally hundreds of different kinds ,the names ,forms sizes ,and ingredients of which differ greatly .There is also considerable variation from region to region, and even from village to village .The basic form of most offerings is quite similar ,however .Rice , fruits ,cookies , meat , and vegetables are arranged on a palm leaf base  and crowned  with a palm leaf decoration called a sampian ,which serves also as  a container for betel and flowers.

Certain offerings are used in many rituals ,whereas others are specific to a particular ceremony . Basic offerings form groups ( soroh ) around a core offering ,and since most rituals can be performed with varying degrees of elaboration ,depending upon the occasion and the means and social status of the participants ,the size and content of these  offering groups vary also according to the elaborateness of the ritual.
The size of an offering may be scaled up or down to match the occasion. For example ,an ordinary pulagembal contains ,among other things ,dozens of different rice dough figures in a palm leaf basket. In more elaborate rituals , this becomes spectacular construction of brightly colored cookies ,measuring several meters from top to bottom.
Besides  the major communal offerings associated with a particular ritual , each family brings its own large and colorful offering to a temple festival. It is a spectacular sight when women of a neighborhood together carry offerings in procession to a temple.
At the temple , offerings are placed according to their destination and function .Offerings to gods and ancestors are placed on high altars ,whereas  demons receive theirs on the ground .An important differences is that offerings to demons may contains raw meat ,while those for the gods and ancestors may not. Specific offering required for ritual are placed in a pavilion temporary platform .
During the ceremony ,a priest purifies the offerings by sprinkling them with holy water and intoning prayers  or mantras .The smoke of incense then wafts the essence of the offerings to their intended destination . The daily presentation of offerings at home takes place in a similar way, through the use of holy water and fire .After the ritual is over and their “essence “ has been consumed  , the offerings may be taken home and eaten my the worshippers.

Symbolism
The elements that make life on earth possible are transformed into offerings and thus returned as gifts to their original Creator . But an offerings not only consists of the fruits of the earth ,but also mirrors its essential structure ; decorative motifs often symbolize the various constituents of the Balinese universe . The colors and numbers of flowers and other ingredients refer  to deities who guard the cardinal direction . The requisite betel on top of every offerings symbolizes the Hindu Trinity  , as do the three basic colors used : red for Brahma ,Black or Green for Wisnu ,and White for Siva.
Conical shape , whether of offerings as a whole  or of the rice used  in it ,are models of the cosmic mountain  whose central axis links the underworld  , the middle world ,and the upper world  ,symbolic of cosmic totality and the source of life on earth .Rice dough cookies represent the contents of the world : plants , animals, people , building , or even little market scenes and gardens ,Pairs of such cookies ,like the sun and moon  ,the mountain and sea  ,the earth and sky  ,symbolize  the dual ordering of the cosmos in which complementary elements cannot exist without one another.
The unity of male and female ,necessary for the production of new life , is in many ways represented  in the composition of offerings . By recreating the universe through the art and medium of offerings  , the Balinese hope that the continuity of life on the earth will be assured.

By Francine Brinkgreve                     

Monday, August 12, 2019

History in a Balinese Looking Glass


Most of what is known about Bali’s traditional kingdoms comes from the Balinese themselves. Scores of masked dance dramas, family chronicles , and temple rituals focus on great figures and events of the past. In such accounts , the broad outline of Bali’s history from the 12th to be 18th centuries is an epic tale of the coming of great men to power . These were the royal and priestly founders of glorious dynasties some proud – who together with their retainers and family members determined he fate of Bali’s kingdoms , as well as shaping the situation and status of the island’s present – day inhabitants.
It is possible to see the Balinese as both indifferent to history and yet utterly obsessed by it. Indifferent because they are not very interested in the “ what happened and why “ of professional historians,while  at the same time they are obsessed by stories concerning their own illustrious ancestors.
Balinese “history” is in fact a set of stories that explain how their  extended families came to be where they are. Such stories may explain ,for example , how certain ancestors moved from an ancient court center to a remote village ,or how they were originally of aristocratic stock although their descendants no longer possess princely titles .In short , they provide evidence of a continuing connection between the world of the ancestors and present-day Bali.
Major events are thus invariably seen in terms of the actions of great men ( and accasionally women ) ,yet  to view them as mere individuals is deceptive .They are divine ancestors , and as such their actions embody the fate of entire groups .Above all ,they are responsible for having created the society found on Bali Bali today.
Each family possess its own genealogy that somehow fits into the overall picture . Some focus on kings , their followers or priests as key ancestors . Other see the family history in term of village leaders , blacksmiths ( power, as makers of weapons and tools ) or villagers  who resisted and escape  the advance of new rulers.
The fact that such stories sometimes agree  with one another should not necessarily be taken as proof that this is what really happened. There are many gaps loose  ends and inconsistencies , often pointing to the fact that generations of priests , princes and scribes have recast these tales about the past to serve their own ends .The sagas must be retold ,nevertheless ,in order to know what is open to dispute.
  

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Pitra Yadnya Rites for Ancestors


Life ,death ,rebirth ,This cyclical conception of existence lies at the very heart of Balinese Hinduism .During each life on earth the eternal soul occupies a temporary vessel – the physical body – which at death must be returned  to the pancamahabhuta , the five elemental substances : solid ,liquid , radiance ,energy ,and ether . Only then can be the soul be released and reincarnated . Of all Balinese rituals , the cremation ( pengabenan,palebon ) is the most complex ,lasting for many days  and culminating with the spectacular burning of not only the corpse but of vast quantities of valuable ritual object especially created for the occasion.

Calling the soul
Due to the huge amount of time and expense involved,acreamation is usually postponed for months or even years .In the meantime the body of the deceased is temporarily buried . Family members first wash and groom the corpse ,then wrap it in cloths and mats .A raw egg is rolled across it and smashed  to the ground , removing all impurities . The body is then transported to the cemetery on a simple bier and buried  without a casket.
Once a favorable day has been set ,an army of ritual specialist ,artists ,priest ,family members ,friend ,and neighbors of all ages and sexes is mobilized ,calling upon an encyclopedia of communal knowledge in the creation of offering of every imaginable shape ,color ,and ingredient and the performance of a series of elaborate rites.
Before cremation a “ soul calling “ ritual must be held at the grave .Offering are made, and as the corpse cannot be returned to the house once it has  been buried  , the soul is taken home in a sangah urip effigy containing soil from the grape. Outside the house a paper and coconut shell lamp – a damar kurung – is hung to guide the soul home.
The washing of the corpse is symbolically repeated on an edegan , a small board  with a human figure drawn on it .The day before the cremation , a priest prays for favorable treatment of the soul in the afterlife. Various types of holy water are made and offering are purified . The angenan , an eggshell lamp mounted on a decorated coconut ,serves as a memorial.

On the day of the cremation ,once the sub has passed the zenith ,loud gong music is played and a lively procession starts the journey  to the cemetery . Dozens of offerings and ritual objects lead the way , and the body is carried  in  a colorful tower ( wadah , bade )  fashioned of wood ,bamboo ,and  paper  ,shouldered by scores of shouting men . Platforms at the base  represent  the earth  ,sometimes  resting on the cosmic turtle  and serpents  of the underworld .On the back of the tower may be a winged and fanged face of the son of the earth ,and higher up a goose symbolizing purity.
Above these platforms is an open space for the body , and crowning the tower is an odd number of roofs representing the heavens . The caste and clan of the deceased determine the number  : 11 for royalty , less for persons of humble birth . Attached to the front of the tower is a long  , white cloth ( lantaran ) held by family members to represent their ties to the deceased . The tower is rotated at each crossroad to disorient and prevent  the soul from returning to disturb the living.

Release through fire and water
Arriving at the cemetery  , the body is taken down and a pair of birds set free ,symbolic of the soul’s release . On a bamboo platform under a high roof stands a wooden sarcophagus ( called a patulangan or palinggih ) decorated  with cloth and paper  , sometimes carried  in procession ahead  of the tower  . The sarcophagus is generally in the shape of a mythical animal such as a bull or winged lion.
The sarcophagus is opened and the body or newly exhumed remains ( sometimes simple an effigy ) are carried around  it and placed inside . The shroud is opened ; jars of holy water are poured over  the body  and shattered  . Cloths , letters of introduction the the gods , and effigies are piled inside ,and the sarcophagus is closed . Offerings are placed  below to start the fire ,and the sarcophagus and corpse are consumed by flames .The tower is burned separately.
Death brings with it the opportunity to fulfill all duties toward the deceased ,and there is no public display of mourning if the deceased has lived a long and full life . Weeping near a corpse disturb the soul ,making it unwilling to leave . Grief is expressed in private , however  ,especially if a young person has died prematurely as the result of serious illness or a tragic accident.

Purification and deification
When the corpse has finally been reduced to ashes ,the flames are doused and the family hunts for bone fragments ,forming them into a small human shape . The bones  are pulverized  and placed in an effigy made from coconut  , which is taken on a bier to the sea or river  and cast into the water . Three days later  another ceremony removes the ritual pollution brought by death upon the living.
Twelve days after the cremation , the soul of the deceased is purified in a ngrorasin rite ,often accompanied by rituals ( mukur , nyekah , ngasti , maligia ) designed to deity the ancestor  A sekah effigy is made for the soul and placed in a high pavilion . In the evening , family members pray  and offer  their respect . Early the next morning , the image is broken  and burned  , and the ashes  placed in a decorated coconut . A tower ( bukur ,Madhya ) then transports them to the sea for disposal.
Finally , in the nyegara –gunung ceremony .the family expresses thanks to the gods of the oceans and the mountains . Offering are brought to important sea and mountain temples often including Besakih , after which the deified soul is enshrined in a clan of family temples as a protective ancestral

By Garret Kam