Bali is a small Island in the Indian Ocean between the islands of Java (32.5 Km of distance) and Lombock (35 Km of distance). It is one of the provinces of the Republic of Indonesia. The capital of the island is the city of Denpasar which is located in the south of the island. Bali has about 3.5 millions people and almost 80 % of this population is Hindu. Bali is also known as the Island of the Thousand Temples because of the incredible number of wonderful religious sanctuaries that exist in the island like Besakih, Batur, Uluwatu, etc.
Bali is a strait volcanic island surrounded by coral reefs and beautiful white sand beaches, whose most famous peak is the Mount Agung, a volcano of 3142 meters height, which erupted for last time in 1963. Because of its position very near Equatorial line, the island has a tropical climate. The temperatures in Bali are very agreeable; they fluctuates between 27ºC (80 ºF) and 32ºC (90 ºF), being the average humidity around 75%. There are only two seasons, dry (from May to September) and wet (from October to April). The dry season is without doubt the best time to visit the island. During the wet seasons there are several days with sunshine; but, it is also the period of monsoons.
Together the tourism, the main economical activity of Bali is the agriculture. Because of the volcanic soil and the monsoon torments, the lands of the island are very fertile. Therefore the island is full of terraced rice fields which are a wonder themselves. The main species cultivated in Bali are coffee, vegetables, copra and rice (the main cultivation).
Besides, Bali is an ecological paradise. The Bali Baart National Park hosts around 280 different species of birds and several other species of animals including the Bali Starling (an endangered bird), leopard cat, several species of monkeys, amongst others. Unfortunately the Bali tiger was extinct in the 1930s because of the irresponsible human hunt.
The human history in Bali began around 3000 BC, when the first inhabitants of Bali arrived to the island from Asia. There are not vestiges of any important civilization in Bali until the first century, when the influence of the Hindu culture over Bali began. Nevertheless, it knows that Bali was a busy trade point since 200 BC.
The Hindu influence arrived with more strength to Bali since the IX century, as has been recorded in inscriptions made in bronze that dates from that time. Some of the oldest temples of Bali were constructed in this time. Bali was long time under the control of the Java Kingdom, mainly during the XI century in the government of the Javanese king Airlanga (1019- 1042) whose death marked a brief period of independence to Bali. However, in 1284 the Bali Island was conquered by Kertanegara the king of Singasari. Later the Hindu Majapahit Empire of Java founded a colony in Bali around 1343. Once the empire declined, the main intellectuals, artists and priests of Java migrated to Bali in the XV century, starting a period of splendor to the culture in Bali.
Europeans arrived for first time to Bali at the end of the XVI century; when the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived in 1597. Dutch step by step were controlling the entire Indonesian archipelago, mainly in the XIX century, including Bali which became a Dutch colony in 1840, when the Dutch got the control of the island taking advantage of the infighting amongst small Balinese kingdoms. Nevertheless, Balinese citizens revealed several times against the European invaders, causing many deaths amongst the Balinese people.
After the Japanese occupation of the island in the World War II, Bali became a province of the Indonesia Republic, after a bloody rebellion against the Dutch army, but the Island maintains even today a own culture, a evidence of this cultural independence is the religion. In Bali the dominant religion is Hinduism while in the rest of Indonesia the Islam predominates.
The boom of the tourism in Bali started in 1930s thanks to several western intellectuals who created a magic image of the Island which attracted many tourists of Western. Since then, tourism has become one of the main economic activities in Bali. This island is considered the most diverse and beautiful tourist point of Asia. Therefore, despite some periods of low flow of tourists, like in 1963 when the eruption of the Mount Agung caused many deaths or as in the last years because of the terrorist attacks by Islamic fundamentalists; this amazing island full of wonders attracts every year around one million tourists. The island owns an excellent tourist infrastructure which includes an international airport that receives flights from the main cities of the world, luxury hotels and nice restaurants.
Anyway, Bali is today one of the most important tourist destinations of the planet, because of the great number of amazing places that offers to the visitors such as the endless wonderful temples, the marvelous beaches, the fascinating culture and the hospitable people.
Wonders of Bali
Wonders in world map
Bali is known as the Island of the Gods. This paradisiacal Islands has and endless number of Hindu temples, each one more beautiful than the other