What the heck is that? It looked like a really tall tower of some sort. We could see it from the air as we flew into Bali. Turns out it is Garuda Wisnu Kencana, a huge statue located in the GWK Culture Park. Well, I had to see that!
From the parking lot, we took a trolley to the ticket counter where we received a yellow scarf to wear to show we’d paid. We were there on a weekday with no festivals, so it was pretty empty.
The GWK park covers 148 acres and features performances and other presentations to highlight Bali culture. There are also venues to hold your own events.
We got a map and made our way to the amphitheater where we saw a Barong Dance like the one we saw at dinner a couple nights ago.
The centerpiece of the park is the towering statue of the Hindu God Wisnu atop the mythical eagle Garuda. The first peek leads to a series of former rock quarries.
You eventually get a good view of the statue.
Over 400 feet tall, this is one of the tallest monumental statues in the world (higher than the statue of Liberty).
Lord Wisnu is seen as the protector of the Universe and his trusted companion, Garuda, represents loyalty and selfless devotion. Kencana means gold – both are adorned in crowns of gold mosaic. The Garuda is also the national emblem of Indonesia and represents freedom.
The statue was designed by Balinese artist, Nyoman Nuarta, and is made of copper and brass. It weighs 1300 tons and has a wingspan of 210 feet! The green color comes from oxidation as the copper reacts with the elements.
Another statue of Garuda
There was a lot more to this park than we saw. You could easily spend a full day there, as I’m sure many families do. And there was shopping.
We needed a break so headed to a beautiful beach hotel for drinks and snacks.
We drove past some more unique traffic circles….
on our way to the open-air Bali Collection mall near our hotel.
There are even shrines at the mall.
We needed more snacks after shopping. Then we headed back to the hotel and the pool.