Bali Indonesia : Gianyar Regency

Gianyar is the second most populated region of Bali and as a modern and prosperous center of the arts in this island. Most of the cultural activities relating with tourism - painting, woodcarving, dance and music - are focused here. The major tourist area of Gianyar consist of a string of villages along the main road up from Batubulan to Ubud, with each village being famous for a different artistic form. Bali's most famous dancers and best known painters come from this region. Bali's most famous antiquities have also been found in this area.

If you traveling by road from Denpasar to Ubud, this is the first village you reaches. This village is famous for its stone carvings and ornate door-guardian statues. Most of the stone sculptures you see around Bali are almost certainly made in Batubulan. All along the main road you can find many shops displayed carvings. Batubulan is also home of Barong Dance which is performed seven times a week at 09.30 am. The Pura Puseh Batubulan is well worth visiting.

Although many arts and crafts have prospered in Celuk, the village is better known as the centers for Balinese goldsmiths and silversmiths. Almost every home in the village contain small scale production facilities. Their products bracelets, rings, earrings and brooches - have started to enter export market. Along the main road between Batubulan and Celuk you will find more than 40 jewelry workshops.

Singapadu is well-known for topeng and barong mask making. In the past Singapadu was known as a center for dance and music. Unfortunately, these groups have today largely withered away. Many well-known dancers have come from this village.

Sukawati is famous for its commercial center of town , the art market (Pasar Seni) .You can find bargains here for reasonable price on everything from woodcarvings to paintings, dance costumes. At night when the art market is closed, a night market provides a good selection of Indonesia food. Sukawati also best known for its puppeteers (dalang). Many artists and their troupes are available for hire to perform at ceremonial occasions all over Bali. Dalang from Sukawati are the best on the island because of many generation of experience.

Mas village lies on the main road along the road to Ubud. This Village is famous for woodcarving craft. Dozens of workshops now line in the main road. One can see craftsmen at work in small workshops in the galleries. The system is paternalistic. Technology is still quite traditional. Mas also of historical significance to Bali's history as it was here that the great priest Danghyang Nirartha had his hermitage in the Pura Taman Pule. There is a Wayang Wong (masked) dance troupe in Mas

Ubud is one hour from Denpasar, is located in the cooler hills. Ubud is the artistic and cultural heart of Bali, the centre of the Balinese paintings, an ideal place to see Balinese dance. Legong, Ramayana, Baris, Kecak, and Fire Dance are perfomed nightly in or around Ubud area. Ubud has many museums, gallery such as Puri Lukisan Museum, Seniwati Gallery , Komaneka Gallery, Antonio Blanco's gallery, Neka Museum. Visit also the Monkey Forest - walk along Monkey Forest Road from Ubud, down into the dense forest where you will find a bunch of happy monkeys waiting for passing tourists. (The monkeys are happy but just a little naughty, so hold on tight to your cameras, bags, eyeglasses) . Ubud's surroundings offer many rewarding walks an excursions up hill and enjoying long strolls through the countryside.

Gianyar has some of the most important archeological sites on the island. The first major site encountered coming from Ubud, known as Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave). This name from the archeologist who discover it in 1923, because there is a giant head with floppy ears above the entrance which at a first glance thought to represent an elephant. In front of the cave are two bathing pools with spring water gushing from spouts held by female figures. A kilometer from Goa Gajah are the antiquities of Yeh Pulu, dating from the late 14th century. After a short walk through rice terraces, you will arrive at an ancient rock carving, the carving depicts various scenes of everyday life and the figures of elephant-headed Ganesh indicate a close relationship between the two sites. One of the most sacred spots on Bali is Tirta Empul. It is lies just north of Tampaksiring.

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