GWK Cultural Park: Explore Bali’s Most Iconic Landmark

Get a unique cultural experience at GWK Cultural Park

If you’re traveling to Bali and looking for an iconic destination to visit, Garuda Wisnu Kencana or GWK Cultural Park should be at the top of your list. This unique cultural park has been around for years, but a new monument that was completed and inaugurated only last September 2018 has sparked new interest from travelers visiting Indonesia’s premier destination.

Here are just a few things you can do at GWK Cultural Park.

 

Marvel at Indonesia’s tallest statue

 

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The park is home to the GWK Statue, a massive landmark depicting Lord Vishnu (Wisnu), riding the mythical eagle-like mount Garuda. It’s currently the tallest statue of a Hindu deity in the world and the tallest statue in Indonesia.

Designed by renowned Balinese artist Nyoman Nuarta, the statue is made of copper and brass, which gives it a distinct green color. The GWK statue towers at 120.9 meters (396 feet) high and has a width of 64 meters (209 feet) thanks to Garuda’s wingspan. The statue itself measures 75 meters (246 feet) while the pedestal base adds another 46 meters (150 feet). If you include the pedestal base, it’s considered the 4th tallest statue in the world!

 

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Visitors can admire this magnificent monument from various points in the park or even take a tour inside the statue for an additional fee.

 

Visit statues of Hindu deities

Smaller statues of Hindu deities can be found around the park. Plaza Wisnu features Wisnu, who among the Hindu trinity of Gods (Shiva, Wisnu and Brahma), is worshipped as the guardian of the universe and the God of life and peace.

 

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Meanwhile, Plaza Garuda features the mythical bird described as having a body of half-man and half-bird. As Wisnu’s personal companion, Garuda symbolizes loyalty, trustworthiness, and sacrifice.

 

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Witness traditional Balinese dances and performances

Aside from featuring larger-than-life statues, the cultural park also offers a range of recreational and cultural activities for visitors. Watch live Balinese cultural performances in the park’s street theater including Bali’s iconic Kecak Dance, Barong Keris Dance, and Garuda Wisnu Ballet.

 

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Those with kids can also take them to watch an animated movie at a cinema to learn more about the rich history and stories behind the mythical figures.

 

Go on a photography walk

With its picturesque plazas and lotus ponds spread out in between limestone walls, the park offers a great place to level up your photography skills. The park’s handy map points out the best photo spots scattered around the park which provide natural scenic views.

 

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Plaza Kura-Kura is a tranquil pond shaped by ancient frangipani trees and leafy palms. Plaza Wisnu is located on a hilltop, which offers breathtaking panoramas of the island especially during sunset The Lotus Pond is an expansive plaza that stretches between limestone walls while the Festival Park often serves as a venue for concerts.

 

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The colossal limestone walls and hand-painted murals also make interesting backdrops for those souvenir snapshots.

 

Explore the park with fun rides

A fleet of smart vehicles offers additional fun activities at the park. Those who don’t want to walk can explore the 60-hectare park grounds aboard bicycles, Segways, e-scooters, tandem e-bikes, and golf carts.

 

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The GWK Cultural Park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Entrance fee for foreign tourists is 125,000 Indonesian Rupiah (Php 451) for adults and Rp 100,000 (Php 361) for children. For more details, check out www.gwkbali.com

Have you been to this amazing landmark in Bali? Sound out in the comments section below!

About the Author

Kara Santos

Kara Santos

Kara Santos is a freelance writer and photographer. When not on the road or motorcycling off somewhere for the weekend, she’s leveling up her experience points in the latest PlayStation RPG. Read about her real-life and virtual adventures on her blog Travel Up.