Bali

The island of Bali is part of which country?

And the answer: Indonesia.  

Bali is an Indonesian island known for its natural beauty, from volcanic mountains, thick forests, and rice paddies to beaches and coral reefs. More than four million people live on Bali, which is the province of Indonesia with the largest Hindu population.

Image: GoogleMaps

Though now known worldwide as a popular vacation destination, Bali has a long and colorful history dating back to the 7th century BCE. Hinduism spread and flourished in the islands at the time that Indian traders arrived, as well as simultaneously beginning years of competing rule between Indonesia, India, Java, and European powers. In fact, it wasn't until 1960 that an international airport opened on the main island and Bali began to gain recognition for its independent cultural contributions. Since then, the islands have grown to depend on tourism, with over 80% of its economy coming from the industry.

Photo credit: © CEphoto. 

Bali is an actively volcanic island, complete with two volcanoes. Mount Agung and Mount Batur are responsible for several black sand beaches and hold a special place in island culture. In fact, Mount Agung is considered the most sacred spot on the island. Gunung Agung, as it is known, last erupted in November 2018, and still makes its presence felt with occasional expulsions of gas and ash. The Balinese believe that Mount Agung is a replica of Mount Meru, the central axis of the universe. Standing at over 10,000 feet, it is the highest point on the island.

Bali is also famous for its rich arts heritage. The island is filled with a plethora of traditional forms of dance and crafts found nowhere else in the world. There are over 20,000 Hindu temples in Bali known as pura, each with a specific function and rituality for the Balinese calendar year of 250 days. There are also specific ceremonies held for nearly every life occasion — birth, death, weddings, and other occasions enjoy special and unique celebration year round.

Learn more about the timeline and history of Bali here.


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