Saturday, October 31, 2015

Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia

October 2015

Uluwatu Temple is one of the nine directional temples in Bali. More than the temple, it is its location that attracts people. Situated at the edge of a cliff overlooking Indian ocean, it offers majestic views.

Visiting Temple in Bali requires you to wear “Sarong”, the traditional dress. If you are visiting lot of temples, it is better to buy one rather than renting it at every temple. But in Uluwatu, Sarong rental was included in the ticket.

Many vista points are constructed to provide views of the temple.

The main issue in the temple are the monkeys. They not only snatch food items but also sun glasses and bags!! And you can get it back by trading with food!!!! They look scary and it is better to remain at a safe distance from them.

In Bali, people are allowed inside temple only for worshipping and not for general visit. Else, you can only see the temple from outside. 

Sunset at Legian beach, Bali

It is a nice place to visit during sunset. It can be combined with Kecak dance and visit to Jimbaran if you like seafood.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Geger beach at Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

October 2015

Nusa Dua is an upmarket area in Bali with great beaches and water sport activities. Our interest was to see beaches with blue waters and white sand. But most of the beaches are privately owned by resorts. Geger beach was one exception where visitors can enter by paying entry fee. Nusa Dua is about 30 minutes drive from Kuta in South Bali.

A nice beach very good for playing and swimming.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Interesting facts about Bali

As I roamed through Bali with my family, I observed some interesting facts.
  • Bali is one of the 17,000+ islands in Indonesia.
  • Population of Bali is about four million.
  • 1 Indian Rupee ~= 200 Indonedian Rupiah. Hence most transactions are in terms of thousands and lakhs.
  • The size of Bali is about 144km from east to west and 80 km south to north. 
  • It is logically split into the following regions
    • South Bali - Most visited area by tourists with great surfing. Important places: Kuta, Nusa Dua, Uluwatu temple, Tanah Lot temple
    • Central Bali - Mountain region with lot of arts and Temples. Important places: Ubud, Taman Ayun, Bedugul, Rice terraces
    • West Bali - Least visited by tourists. 
    • North Bali - Famous for black sand beaches like Lovina.
    • East Bali - Beautiful coastal villages with active volcano.
  • While Indonesia is muslim majority nation, Bali has 90% Hindu population.
  • Balinese are extremely religious people.
  • Temples are found everywhere in Bali.
  • Hinduism followed in Bali is significantly different from India.
  • Caste system though present has not created havoc. Inter caste marriage is common and not an issue. Indians still have a long way to go.
  • Concept of arranged marriage is not prevalent in Bali.
  • Ramayana and Mahabharata are extremely popular in Bali. It is common to see huge statues of events from these epics.
  • Bali Hindus believe in one God (Called Achintya). Rest are all incarnations from Achintya.
  • Almost all Balinese eat meat.
  • Nyepi is a special day in Bali where everyone stays indoors and keep silent for the entire day. Even flights do not land or take off on that day!!
Ulun Danu Temple at Bali

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Indonesian visa for Indians - good news!!

October 2015

Indonesia had a policy of visa waiver for many countries which basically meant that the travellers from those countries can enter Indonesia without any visa. India was not in that list notwithstanding the good ties India had with Indonesia. Indians had to get visa on arrival at the airport by paying 35$.

We were pleasantly surprised at Denpasar Airport in Bali when we were told that India is also in “visa waiver” list. That was amazing!! We crossed the immigration in a jiffy. A great start to our Bali trip!!

Besakih Temple at Bali, Indonesia

Thursday, October 15, 2015

MGR waterfalls

18 September 2015

When I visited my native for “Ganesha Chaturthi”, it was decided that all members of our family must go for a day trip. It had been a long time since we had gone for an outing together. There were many places to choose but the condition was that it should not be a visited earlier by other people in the group!! MGR waterfalls looked a good fit. None of us had seen and it was not known to few people. The group dynamic had to be taken into account as we had people from 3 years to 63 years old, the place had to be easily reached.

So, thirteen of us started towards MGR waterfalls. It was not difficult to find the village even though it was remotely located. Locals helped a lot. One km before the falls was a downhill stretch where we decided to stop the vehicle and walk for rest of the distance. The weather was pleasant with drizzling rains. People walked in enthusiasm.  There was pandemonium at a place where leeches thrived but the situation was brought to control by spraying powdered salt. Luckily they were seen only at one spot.

After about 30 minutes of walking, we reached MGR waterfalls. From the top we could see the side view of the falls. So I got down into the stream to get the front view. The slippery boulders made the task difficult.

At the top of the falls was some place where we could get into water safely. Kids played there for some time.

And a group picture taken by me.

Final words

The name of the falls has no relation with the former chief minister of Tamilnadu!!