05 July 2015


We started towards Denpasar on our rented bike, skeptical about not having an international license. Fortunately, the cops don’t bother the tourists much unless you break the rules!  After wandering on the roads of Denpasar, both being history buffs, headed towards the Museum to get a glimpse of the Bali history. The Museum was actually a Dutch palace in older times, which fortunately survived 2 centuries. Opposite the Museum is the park where the Balinese resisted the Anglo and Dutch invasions and a mega rock concert (dedicated to the army) was going on, to mark an anniversary.
I always wondered how Bali escaped the sword of Islam or the missionary zeal of the colonial era.
I was told that the Dutch (bless them) had forbidden Missionaries on this island to preserve the Unique Hindu culture – turned out to be a great move.  Thus Bali remained a Hindu oasis in the world’s most populated Islamic country.
As is common across the globe, the Balinese worshipped a mother figure – Cili from ancient times, a tradition which has carried to this day. They carry cane baskets on their heads to mark the festival of Cili to ask her to continue blessing them with the Bounty.

The Indonesians had begun embracing the western wear only after their independence, with the women moving wearing clothes on the lower half. Guess we became more and more conservative & fanatical about religion in the 20th century, than it’s widely believed to be the other way!
 The guide told s about the old ruling families and showed us around how the KERIS- a Dagger and coins are important to Balinese. They have coins for various occasions – A coin to bring in fortune, another to cure illnesses and so on, whereas the Arjuna coin is worn by women to attract handsome men!! He told us about BARONG – the good spirit and RANGDA – The bad one, which are in constant tussle- another common theme around the world.
Bali is strewn with temples at every 500m, we visited a Jagannath temple where a prayer was going on. One needs to be in traditional Balinese dress to enter the temple.
Men – Sarong + Head gear. Women – Sarong + Prayer Jacket (they are pretty !!)

We drove around Denpasar for a while along the lanes and strolled around the Seminyak beach for a while and headed back to our villa. Kuta, Legian are the key party places with great options to unwind in the evenings. There are multiple Disc and Pubs and as most of them are in the main Shopping district, one can hop multiple times J
We headed to SKYGARDEN and it turned out to be the biggest party place, I have been to. It’s a 4 storeyed Lounge and Disc. It had amazing ambience with dazzling lights and great music going on. Being a weekend, it was buzzing with people from all over the world. Entry gets you a few drinks and the place isn’t too expensive – 1000K IDR including food and Entry. Taxis are easy and safe around this place, commuting isn’t a headache, though the traffic jams are!! Sky garden is right next to the Bali Bomb memorial which was built to honor the 2002 blast victims. It’s a horrible memory in the otherwise peaceful Bali.

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