Garuda Wisnu Kencana & Culture Park - Bali
Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) is a cultural park located on the island of Bali, Indonesia. It is a popular tourist destination known for its iconic statue of the Hindu god Vishnu riding the mythical bird Garuda. The park is situated on a hilltop in the Bukit Peninsula, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the Indian Ocean.
The idea for the Garuda Wisnu Kencana project was conceived in the 1980s by a Balinese artist named I Nyoman Nuarta. The vision was to create a monumental statue that represents the Hindu heritage and culture of Indonesia. The construction of the statue began in 1997, but due to funding issues, the project faced delays and was temporarily halted. However, it was eventually completed and unveiled to the public in 2018.
The centerpiece of GWK is the statue of Lord Vishnu riding Garuda, which stands at a height of 121 meters (397 feet), including its pedestal. The statue itself is made of copper and brass and is considered one of the tallest statues in the world. Vishnu, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism, is depicted with four hands, each holding symbolic objects representing his various attributes.
Apart from the iconic statue, Garuda Wisnu Kencana offers various attractions and facilities for visitors. The park features cultural performances, art galleries, exhibitions, and an amphitheater that hosts regular music and dance shows. There are also several restaurants and souvenir shops within the park, allowing visitors to indulge in Balinese cuisine and purchase traditional crafts.
The sprawling grounds of GWK cover an area of approximately 60 hectares (148 acres), with beautifully landscaped gardens and pathways. The park aims to promote Indonesian art and culture, showcasing not only the statue but also traditional music, dance, and other artistic forms.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana has become a significant landmark in Bali, attracting both domestic and international tourists. It offers a blend of cultural immersion, artistic expression, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for those interested in Balinese heritage and Hindu mythology.