Bali is made of more than 17,000 islands and showcases natural diversity of Indonesia that extends from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. Well famous as the finest diving locations in the world, it is hard to resist the underwater world or the surprising wildlife ranges in its lush jungles.
It is no wonder to see Bali earn names such as the ‘The Island of the Gods’ because of the incredible natural beauty of the island. You are bound to feel overwhelmed by its multitude of offerings, and it sure is difficult to cover everything, those spectacular beaches, terraced rice fields, lush forests and bountiful vegetation.
Another attraction that is hard to resist are the architectural wonders of Bali. You will come across both ancient and modern architectural marvels that are sure to leave you in awe. Those beautiful creations dot the Balinese landscape and motivate you to get closer, to feel and experience them. Whether modern or ancient, the architectural wonders of Bali reflect the historical and cultural significance of the island and are a must see on a vacation to Bali.
The ancient architectural wonders
- Bali is filled with temples, and many of them are more than a thousand year’s old, such as the Besakih Temple, located in- Eastern Bali. Also referred to as the “Mother Temple of Bali,” the temple is perched at a lofty height of a thousand meters on the slopes of Mount Agung. Dedicated to Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu, Besakih Temple is the holiest of all the Balinese temples.
- Tanah Lot Temple was constructed in the sixteenth century and is considered to be one of the most famous sea temples of Bali. Surrounded by the sea, the temple perches on top of a huge rock and pays respect to the guardian spirits of the sea.
- Uluwatu Temple is devoted to the spirits of the sea and remains an architectural wonder in black coral rock. It not only offers spectacular views during sunset but is beautifully designed.
- Bajra Sandhi Monument, placed in the middle of Denpasar city preserves various cultural aspects of Bali. A trip to the monument is a must to understand the history and spirit of the Balinese people and the struggles faced by them. There are thirty-three dioramas that depict the stories from history.
- Another architectural wonder can be found in Southern Bali, as the Garuda Wisnu Kencana. The abandoned limestone excavation can be compared to The Sleeping Buddha. Referred to as GWK, the beautifully carved limestone cliff offers a dramatic panorama during the sunset.
- Pura Jagatnatha, a Hindu temple dedicated to Sanghyang Widi is the most visually stunning. Also known as the Jagatnatha Temple, it is the largest temple in Denpasar.The temple is made of white coral, and its walls are carved and deeply traditional stories and scenes of Gods from the Hindu religion.
- Goa Gajah cave complex means the Elephant Cave in Indonesian and dates from the 9th century. Those looking for the fountain of youth come here to drink water from the water pots carried by six statues of women. Drink the water from the fountains and take advantage of its healing properties and keep looking young for years to come.
The contemporary architectural wonders
- Located in the middle of the Balinese forests, the Hanging Gardens of Bali is indeed an architectural wonder. The sacred property is one of the most peaceful regions as it is surrounded by natural forest and is nestled on top on a hill. It indeed is an exciting experience to reach the property.
- Alila Villas, placed in the Bukit Peninsula as an ecologically sustainable development. It has been built with locally available materials, and the design of the resort respects the environment and surrounding topography. One can see the modern dynamic treatment of vernacular architecture in its unique design.
- Green School is another innovative and creative architectural wonders of Bali. The student-centered learning environment not only empowers students, but inspires them to be creative and develop into green leaders. The bamboo design-building has three stories and has won the 2012 Greenest School on Earth award.
- Maya Ubud Resort & Spa was built in 2001 and is a blend of the old and the new. It is hard not to miss the blend of the traditional with modern concepts. Inspired by the ancient Balinese traditions, the ceremonial walkway in the middle connects important public spaces. The villas are placed on the either side.
- Bamboo Mansions is another of Bali’s architectural feat. Located near Ubud, a tour of the world famous Mansions of Green Village takes you to the luxurious private residences, meet Balinese artisans who create a variety of products that range from furniture to soap. What you get to see here is an advanced innovation of sustainable architecture made entirely of bamboo and with unique spaces.
- The Werdi Budaya Art Centre is the work of most accomplished architects of Bali, and the center took nearly three years to construct. One of the largest cultural centers, it can house about six thousand people and hosts different events and activities regularly. It is simply an amazing experience to explore the building’s architecture and its interiors.
- The Bali Provincial State Museum is the oldest museum in Bali. Built in the traditional style, one can see beautiful Balinese architecture aplenty in the museum that displays more than 10,000 items. There is an astonishing array of prehistoric artifacts, weaponry, traditional textiles and other works of art. The northern royal pavilion of the museum is designed after Tabanan Palace.