Friday, November 16, 2012

10 Oct 2012: The Bajra Sandhi Monument and Denpasar

Bajra Sandhi Monument. Bali.

10 Oct 2012 (Wed):

After checking-out of the hotel, we met our tour guide yet again. The original itinerary indicated it was a free-and-easy day. However, due to some unforeseen delays in our schedule, our guide and driver had so generously agreed to make up for us a visit to the Bajra Sandhi Monument at the Niti Mandal civic centre. This was located in Denpasar, the capital city of the island of Bali. Denpasar is the largest city on the island. It is also the centre of commerce and governmental administration.

The Bajra Sandhi Monument
The shape of the Bajra Sandhi Monument looks like a Bajra, which is a Hindu priest's bell. It was built in the year 1987 and is opened by president Megawati Sukarno Putri on 14 Jun 2003. This is a monument that immortalizes the soul and spirit of the Balinese people's struggle at looking after, developing and also preserving the culture of Bali. In the face of capitalism and the evolving modern world, this can be loaded with challenges.

Bajra Sandhi Monument. Bali. The beautiful landscaped garden.

The monument was impressive and massive in its scale. It was relaxing to be simply there. At the monument, we saw exhibits that introduced visitors to the history of Bali. We had the chance to climb to the top of the tower. Women who are having their menstruation will not be allowed to climb up the tower.

The view from the tower.

During my visit to the Bajra Sandhi Monument, I was attracted to the interesting geometric patterns that were found on the structures. The fishes in the ponds at this place offered reminders for visitors to slow ourselves down to appreciate how the fishes swam along with the flow of the water.

Bajra Sandhi Monument. Bali.

Geometric patterns everywhere. Bajra Sandhi Monument. Bali.

I will recommend that visitors make time to visit this monument when they are in Bali. It is magnificent, beautiful and serene.

Places I cannot remember visiting: Monument of Puputan, Statue of four face
The tour package included a visit to the Monument of Puputan. However, due to the interest of time, I cannot recall having visited it. From my brief reading, I learnt that it is a bronze memorial located in the centre of the Puputan square. It is dedicated to those who have lost their lives in the one sided struggle with the Dutch.

I cannot recall visting the statue of the four face. This four-headed-god facing the four cardinal directions is said to guard the crossroads of Bali like many Catur Muka statues. This statue at Denpasar has finely balanced proportions and is the work of I Gusti Nyoman Lempad of Ubud. It was commissioned in 1973. I learnt that Catu Muka is a depiction of Brahma, the Hindu God of Creation.

At the Airport
After our visit to places of interest in Denpasar, we were given a lift by our tour guide and driver to Ngurah Rai, Bali's International airport. We thanked them for their hospitality and thoughtfulness.

At the airport. Bali.

At the airport, we decided to get some food and drinks before checking in our check-in luggage. That proved to be a good choice because it took quite a while to queue to check-in our luggage and  it also took a while to pay the required Indonesian Departure Airport Tax.

Lunch at Bali's International Airport.

Many of the shops at the Bali's International airport featured the local products. I was more excited to find a few good buys when I was at a bookstore in the airport. Certain titles were available at a much lower price at this bookstore than in the bookstores in Singapore.

Otherwise, there was not much things that were enticing to buy at the airport. Maybe it is just that I am not quite in the mood to shop that day.

I was more excited to find the mail-box to post a few postcards while I was at the airport.

Before we knew it, it was time to board our plane to find our way back to Singapore. It was a memorable trip.

The plane to take us home.

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