Balinese culture is deeply influenced by Hindu customs which lay an influence on every aspect of people’s lives. It is a very unique and yet pleasing mix of Hinduism along with the local customs and has given birth to a long-standing tradition of arts. The faith first arrived in Bali along with Indian traders who also lay an influence on rituals, art forms, and traditions at the island.

The culture is prominent all through Bali and can be felt in the museums and airport or hotel lobbies at the island. A person dressed in ceremonial attire is a common sight in Bali, especially in temples.



Bali temples

Balinese temples form a sight to behold and are fine destinations for spiritual tourism. They have a characteristic architecture which further extends to homes and palaces. The architecture is often based upon the Hindu belief system, as it is practiced in Bali.

In many of the cases, the architecture is such that a walled structure withholds within itself a number of structures and each of the structure serves a special function. The styles of construction have come to fore following influences which date back to many centuries. When the temples are constructed, they are done so in ways that render balanced and harmonious energies for the cosmos and the deities.

The architecture of Balinese temples has similarities with the architecture as found in temples in India. Their temples are known as Pura, which means a holy place enclosed within walls, and there are 20,000 temples spread across the island. Some of the common characteristics of Balinese architecture are lotus ponds, multi-tiered thatched roofs for temples, winged lions and a gold colored roof pinnacle.


Music and dance

music and dance Bali

On a visit to Bali, one must try and make sure that one catches the grand ethnic musical performances and the dance shows with rich traditional undertones. Origin of Balinese dances was as an offering to the deities. The performances are characterized by fine music, extravagant costumes and smart dance moves that amuse the audiences endlessly. The dances are deeply spiritual and the performers at times enter into a deep trance. Just about all of the dances are themed upon the epic Hindu tales of Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Actions of the people are Bali is always inspired by the concept of staying connected with their Gods and deities, and also their ancestors by recognizing and honoring their role in the cosmos. It is this idea which has given rise to a large number of Balinese artists, some local and some international as well.



Bali museums

When visiting Bali, it is a fine idea to check out the museums at the island which showcase the history of the island as it stood in different eras. One finds accounts for Golden ages of Hindu kingdoms, the times of colonialism and beyond. Apart from the artsy and historical items which are on display, the surroundings and marvelous gardens make a pleasing sight for tourists. Dance performances that are sometimes carried out at museums further enhance the experience for tourists.


Traditional villages

Bali village

On a trip to Bali, the traditional villages of the island are also on the must-visit itinerary. The concept was initiated in 2013 when the government of Indonesia set up a program to promote the traditional villages as an alternative to tourist attractions. It was decided to promote each of the selected villages globally, as a unique asset. A few of the examples of such sites are the Penglipuran village, which has been awarded as the cleanest village in the world, Mas village for its high-quality wood carving and Batuan village for its traditional paintings.


Arts and crafts

arts and crafts Bali

When in Bali, it is nearly impossible to miss the beautiful arts and crafts at the place. Traditionally in Bali, arts were made as an obligation to deities, before they were made for aesthetic purposes. The deeply spiritual traditions of the island form an outlet in the form of art, such as paintings, jewelry and carvings. A tourist can spend some time to look around at the handicraft when touring the place during the holiday season. The variety of art forms and sure to delight and tourists often choose to get some of the marvels as showpieces for homes, or as travel mementos.

Bali is a preferred destination for tourists, especially for those fond of arts and crafts. Their paintings are in some distinctive Balinese styles, such as by using a natural dye of cotton flower and rice starch. They traditionally are themed on religious epics but have now moved on to a variety of modern aspects as well.