Bali, the beautiful island in Indonesia, has a rich history that is laden with stories of natural beauty, volcanoes, invasions, art and hospitality. This island is a vivid tapestry of adopting and adapting.
This island has modernised and matched pace with the rest of the world while preserving its natural beauty and rich culture. Bali has been inhabited since the palaeolithic era and witnessed several stages of human evolution.
Relationship With India
India and Bali’s relationship dates to 2000 BC. Around this time, Bali began to attract a large number of settlers from Java, Assam, Yunnan and Tibet. Evidence also suggests that by 700 AD, many Indonesian islands, including Bali, were practising Indian governance systems.
Hinduism arrived in Bali from Java. It is believed that Hinduism was adopted in Bali from the 7th century onwards. There is also evidence to suggest that Buddhism arrived a century later in the 8th century.
Today, 83% of Balinese people practice Hinduism, combined with animism (belief in spirits). Balinese art, music, craft, food and architecture, all showcase its strong ties with Hinduism and India. The island is dotted with several majestic and spectacular temples and the country celebrates most of the Indian festivals in their own way.
Invasions – Ancient and Modern
Bali was invaded several times by the rulers of Java. It has also been under Javan rule for several centuries. The most notable regime has been the rule of Gajah Mada who established the Hindu Majapahit control over the island. In the 15th century, the Majapahit dynasty fell to the Demak Sultanate, and Bali became independent.
In the 16th Century, Bali was discovered by European traders. The first to arrive on the island was a Portuguese expedition. Over the next two centuries, Balinese kings collaborated with Europeans to strengthen their economy and defences against neighbouring islands. In 1846, Bali was attacked by the Dutch military. The locals refused to surrender and fought them bravely.
This battle was followed by a century-long Dutch rule on the island. During this period, the island became popular as an exotic tourist destination, and to this day, it is flocked by tourists from all over the world.
During World War II, the Japanese invaded and occupied it until the war got over. After the Japanese surrender, Indonesia was declared as an independent nation. Today, Bali is one of the 34 provinces of the Republic of Indonesia.
Modern Day Bali
Today, Bali is a favourite destination for family holidays. This island, with its rich culture and pristine white beaches, attracts tourists from far and wide. It is where people come to hike up the volcanic mountains, dive in the deep sea, enjoy water sports, visit the spectacular temples and learn yoga in one of its many meditation retreats. Have you visited Bali yet? Make it your next holiday destination! Come alone or come with your family, you are sure to fall in love with Bali.
Check out these range of Indonesia & Bali holiday packages from SOTC as you plan your next trip!
To explore holidays & experiences in Indonesia with SOTC visit: https://www.sotc.in/