Archive for the ‘destination-bali’ Category

The Directional Temples of Bali

Balinese temples are virtually on everybody’s list of must-see things when visiting Bali. With over a thousand temples on the island tourists are spoilt for choice and. for a newcomer it can be hard to get grip of what the temples stand for and how important they are to the Balinese people.

Directional temples
protect the island from evil spirits and are known as kahyangan jagat and on the island you will find nine of these. All of the directional temples occupy auspicious locations, such as the side of mountains, in caves or on cliff tops and visiting these are well worth it.

Quite a few of these temples are firmly entrenched on the regular tourist routes and these include the temples of Pura Besakih (the mother temple) and the cliff top temple of Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Others include Pura Goa Lawah (bat cave) and the delightful temple on the lake Pura Ulun Dana Bratan.

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Posted July 4, 2010 by apajasaja in destination-bali

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Bali Villas – Go-Go Joglos

Bali's joglo mania

The Bali season is almost upon us and for LUXE, it’s all about villas; 24-hour hot and cold staff, privacy, luxury and value. For years however, it’s been out with the old and in with the new as owners and visitors fell big time for the minimalist Bali modern look – heavy on stone, glass and un-eco concrete, and all too often looking like a million moddy gaffs anywhere in the world. We’re thrilled to see then, that the latest crop of our favourite properties on the Isle of the Gods celebrates local craftsmanship and detail in the form of rebuilt antique wooden Javanese joglo houses, many of which were saved from demolition. Think unique architecture, exquisite fretwork, lashings of teak with no nasty nails, and all without compromising on modern comforts. The new Bali joglos put the tongue in groovy carpentry…

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Posted July 1, 2010 by apajasaja in destination-bali

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Alila Villas Uluwatu

Poised on an elevated plateau that meets with limestone cliffs sweeping down to the ocean, the view from the Alila Villas Uluwatu is nothing less than picture-perfect. Here contemporary Bali-inspired living design seamlessly integrates with personal journeys of cultural richness, continuing the Alila tradition of a total destination experience that is serene, sensual, and surprisingly different.

Re-discover the joy of pure relaxation in unparalleled comfort and space, with a personal butler to take care of your every whim. Indulge all your senses – in the culinary delights of the signature fine-dining and traditional warung-style restaurants, the spectacular clifftop pool and bar, or in the sanctuary of Spa Alila. Surrender yourself to the enchantment of Bali’s beauty and serenity in the luxury of flawless perfection.

Located on a clifftop plateau along the southern coastline of Bali on the Bukit Peninsula, Alila Villas Uluwatu is just 30 minutes from Ngurah Rai International airport and 15 minutes from Jimbaran Bay near the renowned Uluwatu Temple.

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Bali’s Best Botanical Garden

Located in the small village of Candikuning not far from Danau Bratan is the Bali Botanical Gardens, its full name being Kebun Raya Eka Karya Bali. A short walk from the nearby Bukit Mungsu Markets, you really cannot miss the entrance as you will see a giant corn-on-the-cob statue marking the way.

Without a doubt this is one of the most stunningly beautiful attractions Bali has to offer visitors. The Botanical Gardens are located on the slopes of Gunung Pohon, or Tree Mountain giving it a surreal atmosphere. Although only a square kilometre in area I estimate you would need three days to explore this Botanist’s utopia. Originally built in 1959 the Bali Botanical Gardens has over 800 different species of trees from around the world. Also, there are over 400 species of Orchids to be found and many in full bloom.

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Inside a Balinese Temple

Visiting a temple, particularly one that is a having a ceremony, or a special dance performance, is one of the special aspects of visiting Bali. Balinese temple design is a fascinating subject in its own right. Everything from the layout, to the structures to the decoration has a specific function. Locally geography often determines the actually shape of a temple and no two temples are exactly the same. There are however certain key elements that you will find in most temples.

Just as a Balinese family compound will be built on the kaja-kelod axis, so too are Balinese temples. Larger temples have 3 courtyards, smaller ones just 2. The entrance to a Balinese temple at the kelod (pointing away from Gunung Agung) end of the compound, is often a simple gate.

Here are some of the interesting buildings you will find in a Balinese temple:

Outer Courtyard (jaba) structures:

Bale – An all purpose pavilion used for meetings.

Bale Gong – This is the gamelan pavilion where the orchestra plays and instruments are stored.

Kulkul – A bell tower with a split-log hanging in the center. Used to summon people.

Candi Bentar – Split gate which separate the outer courtyard (jaba) from the middle courtyard (jaba tengah).

Middle Courtyard (jaba tengah) structures:

Paon – kitchen located in a open-sided pavilion. Used for preparing offerings.

Wantilan – A large pavilion used for dance performances.

Kori Agung – Stone capped gate separating the middle courtyard (jaba tengah) from the inner courtyard (jeroan).

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Posted June 26, 2010 by apajasaja in destination-bali

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Temples in Bali

The numerous facets of Balinese culture are truly amazing and one of these is the Balinese temple; it could be a family temple at home or, a community temple in a village or town. Whatever the case may be, the many temples on the island of Bali are worth visiting even if it’s just for the experience. You might get lucky and there will be a temple celebration going on.

Starting with the plain outside gate, a person can pass into the middle courtyard via a candi bentar, the impressive Balinese split-gate. From there to the inner courtyard one has to pass through a kori agung, which is a stone-capped gate. Often there will be a flat block of cement (aling aling) directly inside the kori agung, blocking the way, forcing those entering to walk around either side. This is to keep evil spirits out of the jeroan, as spirits can only walk in straight lines.

Common features found inside a temple are bales, the open sided pavilions with raised seating section and thatched roof. These have a variety of uses including a place for the gamelan orchestra to sit, village meeting and a resting place for worshipers. Another common feature is gedong, or square shaped brick shrines capped with a thatched roof. These have specific names and are in honour of a particular ancestor, such as the village founder, or a specific deity, such as Sanghyang Widi Wasa; the supreme deity.

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Posted June 24, 2010 by apajasaja in destination-bali

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Great Ocean Views in Bali

Being an island surrounded by crystal-clear blue ocean, albeit polluted in some places, it is only natural that in Bali there are some spectacular sea views. These views might be from cliffs or along stretches of coastal road and even from jungle areas fronting onto the beach.

A majority of foreign tourists consider Kuta Beach with its picture postcard sunsets to be a fabulous sea view. This is might be [at times] but when you travel around the island you will find some truly beautiful hidden gems; whether it’s at sunset, sunrise or during the day.

Over the decades I have seen most of the coastline at different times of the day and will always be amazed at the beauty of the marriage of ocean and land. Take the time to stop along the coastline on your travels around Bali and soak in the beauty this island has to offer.

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Posted June 24, 2010 by apajasaja in destination-bali

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