The island of Bali has long been characterized in the world as the last “paradise” on earth, a traditional society insulated from the modern world and its vicissitudes, whose inhabitants have exceptional artistic talents and consecrate a considerable amount of time and wealth to sumptuous ceremonies for their own pleasure and that of their gods. Therefore, the relation between the tangible and intangible aspects is a major aspect of the heritage and culture of Bali. The cultural heritage of the island goes way beyond physical structures and landscapes. More than anywhere else on the Indonesian peninsula an intricate connection exists between the built environment, the natural settings and the social and religious life.
Being such a small island, Bali sure has a large amount of places that have natural beauty and historical significance. Antiquities abound. It is that time again when UNESCO selects places around the world for recognition as world heritage sites. Bali is not short on those and in fact three locations in Bali have been nominated for the prized status of being a world heritage site.
Bali is a part of the Indonesian archipelago, lying between eight and nine degrees south of the equator. It covers an area of 563.300 hectares including three offshore islands.
Bali Nominates 4 World Heritage Sites
Jatiluwih Rice Paddies
The name Jatiluwih means ‘truly marvelous’, and indeed, it is one of the many touristy places to visit on the island. Situated 700 meters above sea level, and surrounded by mountains and tropical forests, the air here is cool and fresh, and the land is the most fertile in all of Bali, making it ideal for agriculture. The rice fields here are distinguished by their large size and high quality.
Jatiuwih is the name is given to the vast stretch of rice field dug in terraces on the slope of mount Batukaru. The rice terrace forms beautiful sight at all seasons, during the watering, or before planting the rice looks like a tremendous construction big glass with irregular size of frames. When the rice almost reaches harvest time, often the color varied between green, and dark yellow.
Jatiluwih was also recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its preservation of traditional and organic Balinese farming techniques. These include the ‘subak’ irrigation system where farmers share water – a tradition that dates back centuries. The process of growing and harvesting rice is a large part of the unique Balinese culture, and here you can witness the way of life that revolves around rice.
This picturesque and mystifying terraces found only in Bali. It is situated in the region of Tabanan.
Taman Ayun Temple
Taman Ayun one of the most favorite tourist attractions in Bali, Taman Ayun can be interpreted as a beautiful garden. Taman Ayun Temple is surrounded by beautiful beautiful lake located in Badung Mengwi village, about 18 km northwest of Denpasar (or 25 minutes if driving).
Temple gardens have been laid out in such a beautiful swing. Taman Ayun was built in 1634 by King of Mengwi time I Gusti Agung Anom. in the Taman Ayun, there is also there Meru – Meru towering and majestic cater for both the royal ancestors and for the Gods who bestana in Pretended other in Bali.
Pura Taman Ayun Temple is the mother (Paibon) for Mengwi. Every six months precisely each “Tuesday Kliwon Medangsia” (based on the calculation of Saka) the whole community celebrates Mengwi Piodalan for several days worship God with all its manifestations.
Bali Barat National Park
Bali Barat National Park lies at the western side of Bali and is 77,000 ha, some 10% of Bali’s total land area. The park is the last refuge of one of the most endangered birds of the world:the Bali Starling. There are over 200 species of plants found in Bali Barat National Park. A wide range of rare and unusual fauna. These range from the indigenous bateng cattle through to spiders as large as your hand. The spiders aren’t poisonous, but the scorpions are, and will make a victim quite sick for about 24 hours. Black monkeys, squirrels, wild pigs, buffalo, macaques, leaf monkeys, green snakes, barking deer, sambar, Java deer, squirrels, iguanas, pythons; these are all located in Bali Barat National Park.
Bali Barat is mountainous and consists of primary monsoon forest, mangrove forest, savannah and coral islands. The peninsular Prapat Agung, with its extensive web of footpaths, is the most accessible part of the park. Here at Tegal Bunder, you will find the Bali Starling Recovery Project where the PHPA is trying to reintroduce Bali Starlings. Pulau Menjangan, an island north of the mainland part of the park, is an excellent place to explore the coral reefs.
Bali Barat National Park is easy accessible from Gilimanuk, the ferry port where ferries to and from Java come and go. Gilimanuk is reached by ferry from Java or by bus from Denpasar or Singaraja. From Gilimanuk take a minibus or ojek to Cekik for the last three kilometer. Here you will find the PHPA headquarters. An other entry point is Labuhan Lalang, accessible by minibus from Gilimanuk. Labuhan Lalang lies at the main road to Singaraja, which cuts through the park. To reach Pulau Manjangan you can hire a motorboat from Labuhan Lalang (30-40 min).
Pakerisan River Basin
The Pakerisan river basin has many majestic archaeological sites, including Gunung Kawi – the magnificent 11th century Royal tombs of the ancient Kings of Bali. The tombs are beautifully carved in a wall of soft stone.
Gunug Kawi is an ancient rocky temple situated in Pakerisan River, near Tampaksiring village – Gianyar Regency in Bali. This archaeological complex is carved out of the living rock, dating back to 11th century. The monuments are shaped in relief on a solid rock hill, commonly called “candi”. There are shaped like burial towers, telling identity of the royal personages honored here. Those are mostly found all over Central and East Java. To reach the complex, visitors must walk about 600 meters from the parking lot to the ticket counter then walked down on approximately 315 stone steps. Before taking a cross on the bridge at the bottom of the valley, you can see the first stone monument. Another group of stone monument is carved on the left side of the main temple across the river.
The countryside where the complex is located offers beautiful view of lush and footpath down to reach the temple, passing through spectacular rice terraces. The appealing, mystifying, and magnifying natural sceneries from the footpath, which leads from the road down to the temple will be more impressive, with the sound of water trickling along the irrigation channels at the bottom of a valley. The only sound you hear is that produced by farmers who work on their rice fields.
Indonesia was home to just seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Borobudur Temple Complex; Ujung Kulon National Park; Komodo National Park; Prambanan Temple Compound; the Sangiran Early Man Site; and the Lorentz National Park; and the Tropical Heritage Rainforest of Sumatra.
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