Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park: Discovering Bali’s Spiritual and Cultural Side
Standing on a limestone plateau away from Bali’s world-famous coastline is the iconic greenish-grey statue of Lord Vishnu. Found in the heart of Bukit Peninsula in Southern Bali, the statue is the definitive highlight of Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park. Although an incomplete structure, many parts of the projected 479-foot statue can be found scattered across the Park and has become one of Bali’s main cultural attractions.
A short drive from Anantara Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa, Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park is Bali’s newest cultural venue with the Park often playing host to numerous cultural festivals and performances. The Park’s iconic Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue undoubtedly adds a dramatic touch to the mysticism that Bali and Balinese culture is known to invoke. Designed by Balinese artist Nyoman Nuarta, the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue will measure 479 feet in height upon completion and will be the world’s tallest statue. While financial constraints have led to the slow progress of the statue’s construction, so far the torso, head and arms of Lord Vishnu and the head of the mythical Garuda bird is complete and are some of the main pieces that fit into the statue’s complete design: the image of Lord Vishnu riding a Garuda. A short distance from beachside Bali Resorts, visitors can reach Vishnu’s ornate head by climbing a stairway to the highest platform, his shoulders and torso on the lower platform and his hands a short distance away near the Park’s entrance. Home to the sacred Pahrayangan Somaka Giri fountain and the twin 25 meter-tall limestone pillars with Hindu carvings, Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park is a popular pilgrimage site.
The 240-hectare park plays a pivotal role in showcasing traditional Balinese culture in its 800-seater Ampitheater and 7500-seater open-air Lotus Pond area alongside Street Theatre performances including the famous Barong Dance and traditional Balinese music. At the Park visitors can walk along the beautiful Indraloka Garden, shop at the Art Market, learn of the local culture and the Park’s attractions at the Exhibition hall and enjoy delicious local dishes at Jendela Bali restaurant overlooking the breathtaking Jimbaran Bay.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.
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