All posts tagged: Hinduism

Penataran: Appeasing the Mountain God

Swirling tongues of fire welcomed erstwhile royal families and priests who ascended the stairs of Palah, a late 12th-century Hindu temple located on the southwestern slopes of Mount Kelud. The volcano was so active and unpredictable that a temple was deemed necessary to appease Acalapati, […]


Prambanan: Resurgence of Hinduism in Java

Chapter 1, Part 9 In the early ninth century AD under the rule of Samaratungga, the union between Medang and Srivijaya grew stronger, the kingdom was largely in peace, allowing artistry and craftsmanship to flourish. However unlike the expansionist Dharanindra, the new king ruled his […]


Mahabalipuram: Rise of the Pallavas

Chapter 1, Part 4 In the time when the Buddhist Mauryan Dynasty dominated much of South Asia, the southern part of India experienced a period of time when Tamil literature and art flourished, known as the Sangam period. At the time, the main powers of […]


Taman Ayun: Beauty in Serenity

It appears on many advertisements and campaigns, from tour companies to the national airline. It is comfortably located in central Bali, off the main road connecting Bali’s capital to the western port of Gilimanuk, and easily accessed by anyone who’s visiting Ubud. Yet, Taman Ayun […]


The Dutch, the Caretaker, and the Little Girl

Far from the bustling tourism hotspot in Bali’s south is the city of Singaraja, the capital of Buleleng Regency on the island’s northern coast. Founded by the king of Buleleng, Ki Gusti Ngurah Panji Sakti, in 1604 on an empty grassland surrounded by buleleng – corn-like […]


A Mother’s Trouble

A big family were walking down the outer courtyard, each donning bright-colored traditional costume with some of the family members carrying ceremonial paraphernalia: small umbrellas with very long wooden handles and baskets made from woven palm fronts. As they walked further away from the candi […]


A Bat Cave Like No Other

Bli Komang took us along the main coastal road in eastern Bali where earlier that day he introduced us to what is now my favorite place on the island: Taman Ujung Sukasada. Passing by trucks loaded with high quality sand from the slopes of Mount […]


The Tale of Two Temples

Set against the rocky coast of western Bali lies a sacred rock topped by a Hindu temple, a creation of the Majapahit priest, Nirartha, who fled Java to Bali in the 16th century. Known as the reformer of Balinese Hinduism concept of deity, among other […]


Tirta Empul: Spring of Gods

Four young men sat on a platform before a pool, barechested and cross-legged. They raised their hands while holding a flower on the tip of their fingers, eyes closed and focused. “First you raise your palms and put them together above your head, without any […]


Nusa Lembongan: Small Island, Big Allure

Massive waves break onto a narrow niche on a limestone cliff, producing a dramatic swash with a merciless, thundering sound. A thin wisp of ocean spray dampens everything on the shore. Devil’s tears, aptly named for its daunting showcase of Mother Nature’s raw power on […]