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Bali is an island located at the southern part of Indonesia archipelago with coordinates 8°25′23″S and 115°14′55″E.

It lies between Java island to the west and Lombok island to the east.

Bali is one of the 33 provinces in Indonesia with the capital city of Denpasar. As of 2005, the population of Bali is 3,151,000. Bali is the most famous tourist destination in the world due to its unique arts including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music.

History

Stone tools, agricultural techniques and basic pottery dating around 3000 BC were found at Cekik in the western part of Bali, showing that Bali has been inhabited since early prehistoric times. Moreover, there are burial sites of around a hundred people found at Cekik thought to be from the Bronze Age. The largest drum in the Southeast Asia with the diameter about 2 meters from the Bronze Age, which is called the Moon of Pejeng, was placed in a temple in Ubud.

The name of Bali is originally from Balidwipa that has been written on various inscriptions, including the Blanjong charter issued by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 913 AD mentioning about Walidwipa. The irrigation system for watering the rice field in Bali, well known as ‘subak’, were introduced during this time.

Around the ninth century, the influence of Buddhist and Hindu were apparently shown in the statues, bronzes and carvings around Mount Kawi and Gajah Caves. A carving of Balinese King Udayana and his wife Princess Mahendratta from East Java was discovered in the Pura Korah Tegipan in the Batur region. Their son, Prince Erlangga, was born around 991 AD.

Around the twelfth century, Bali had been ruled by King Bedaulu of Pejeng in the eastern part of Ubud. In 1343 AD Bali was defeated by Majapahit, the biggest Hindu Kingdom in Indonesia located in East Java. This caused many significant changes in Balinese society especially the introduction of the caste system. The migration of intellectuals, artists, Hindu priests and musicians from Java to Bali in the 15th century had occurred when the Majapahit Empire fell in 1515.

Geography

Bali is located at around 3.2 km east of Java and lies at coordinates 8°25′23″S and 115°14′55″E. Bali island is approximately 153 km wide and 112 km north to south (95 by 69 miles, respectively), with a surface area of 5,632 km².



The central and eastern part of Bali are covered by mountains. The highest point is an active volcano Mount Agung at 3,142 m (10,308 feet) high, that last erupted in March 1963. Mount Batur (1,717 m) is also still active. About 30,000 years ago it experienced a catastrophic eruption — one of the largest known volcanic events on Earth.

The major cities are the northern port of Singaraja, the present capital and largest city, Denpasar. The town of Ubud (north of Denpasar), famous with its art market, museums and galleries.

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Southern partd of Bali mostly contain of white sandy beaches, while in the north and west the contain black sandy beaches.

Religion

Approximately 93% of Bali's residents have a local beliefs based on Hindu religion appreciated with the local culture. Minority religions include Moslem (5.7%), Christiany (1.4%), and Buddhism (0.6%).

Language

Most people in Bali speak Balinese and Indonesian. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system. English is a third language in Bali as the requirements of the biggest tourism industry in Indonesia.
Reference: excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Photos by Ode