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GWK (Garuda Wisnu Kencana)

GWK or Garuda Wisnu Kencana designed and built by Nyoman Nuarta, one of Indonesia’s foremost modern sculptor, the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue or GWK and its pedestal building will be standing 150 meters tall with its wings span 64 meters across.

Made from more than 4000 tons of copper and brass, the statue is picturing Lord Wisnu, as the source of wisdom, riding on the back of the mythical bird Garuda as the manifestation of conscience toward Amerta, the perennial goodness.

The statue and its pedestal will be surrounded by more than 240 hectares cultural park which was once an abandoned and unproductive limestone quarry. The cultural park will provide attractions for both local and foreign visitors with supporting facilities such as Lotus Pond, Festival Park, Amphitheater, Street Theater, Exhibition Hall, as well as Jendela Bali The Panoramic Resto and souvenir shop. At present time, the statue of Wisnu, the statue of Garuda, and the hands of Wisnu have been placed temporarily in three different plazas within the park.
GWK Cultural Park is intended to educate, especially the young generations about the importance of preserving and cultivating world’s cultural heritage.

statue garuda

GWK was conceived to be a cultural center and events park and is privately funded. The bombing has affected the pace of construction which was due to be finished in 2003.
Arriving at the small ticket booth in the parking lot I paid 15,000rp and received my ticket. This entitled me to stroll around and view the statue of Vishnu, the Hindu God who is the protector (part of the Hindu trinity Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer), the statue of half man half bird Garuda and the other points of interest including the art museum, open air stage and amphitheater.
Walking up the hill I checked out the view and it was great. I could see Kuta Beach, the bottleneck of Jimbaran and over to Nusa Dua and Benoa. A little ways further I came to "Memedi Restaurant" a pretty swish looking place with a great view. The food was international and main courses were running about IRD 50,000-80,000
Continuing on I ascended some stairs and saw the head and shoulders of the Vishnu statue which is currently 23 meters high. A Balinese school party from Bangli was also there and the whole place was alive with people. I tried to put it off as best I could but eventualy I ended up doing the ‘ tourist photo’ with the school kids.
The plan for GWK was to have a 146 meter gold plated Wisnu riding his winging chariot Garuda and have the whole thing on top of an 11 storey entertainment complex.

the head statue wisnu
statue wisnu

The planners of GWK envisioned arriving airline passengers would view the landmark as a warm greeting to Bali. Unfortunately not everyone is over the moon about it. Religious Balinese sometimes complain that this massive statue will disrupt the natural balance in Bali as it tries to compete with the highest spot Gunung Agung. Also the purely commercial nature does not feel right to some people.
Walking round which took altogether 1 hour including stopping for a drink and viewing art I was impressed at the size of the place and the effort that had been put in to tend the gardens. There is a weird kind of atmosphere with this place, almost like its waiting to be a Disneyland of some kind but hasn’t got it together yet. Walking through the open air stage section I though “Wow, what an awesome place to have a concert.” Across the way I meandered down alleys created by cutting chunks of the limestone away. There’s no limit to what they could build at GWK with the newly exposed areas offering more space.
To get to GWK from Kuta I rode to the roundabout at Simpang Siur and headed for Nusa Dua. After 15 minutes I took the right turn to Uluwatu and followed Jl. Uluwatu up the hill, eventually coming to GWK on the left side. Don’t worry you won’t miss it, there is a huge driveway and massive sign

Other the Best Destination in Bali
Kintamani Besakih temple Bedugul Tanah Lot Elephant Cave Ubud village
Gitgit waterfall Jatiluwih rice field Menjangan Lovina Beach Tulamben Beach Amed Beach
Munduk Tanjung Benoa Rice-field Celuk village Kertagosa Jimbaran Bay
Candidasa Bali Dance Bat Cave GWK park Jatiluwih Kertagosa
Mas village Mengwi Temple Menjangan Padang Tegal Rambut Siwi Uluwatu Temple

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tamblingan lake see from asah gobleg
sunset at tanah lot temple



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