You’ll be impressed from the moment you step into Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park (GWK). The 60-hectare heritage site is home to a range of attractions, including a Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue, an Amphitheater, a Kecak Dance Performance, and a Lotus Pond. If you’re planning your first trip there, here’s what you need to know about GWK.

How to Get to Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park

There are many options for transportation in Bali to the GWK Bali location from your hotel. Choosing a hotel in the southern part of Bali, such as Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Ungasan, Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, will allow you to get there more easily. Furthermore, what is the transportation available to get to GWK?

Rent a motorbike

In Bali, motorbike rental is available with an economical rental rate. You can rent a motorbike for between IDR 75,000 and IDR 150,000 for 24 hours. Please remember to wear a helmet and get an international driving license when you drive.

Rent a Car with a Driver

To make it easier to travel, you might want to consider renting a car with a driver. Perks of this way is there is no need to find parking when visiting GWK. You may arrange for a driver to pick you up when you’re finished having fun at GWK Bali if you choose to use a car rental service. It’s much more convenient than driving your own vehicle.

Book a Taxi

Taxi services are widely available in southern Bali, and you can choose from Bali’s conventional Taxi or an online taxi. There are two types of online taxis in Bali: car and motorbike, in case you were wondering. A taxi is the best option if you want to avoid the hassle of bargaining with a rickshaw driver.

garuda wisnu kencana cultural park statue Source: Unsplash

What’s GWK Like?

While GWK is a cultural park, it’s more like a complex of cultural attractions than a single venue. There are four main areas, each of which has its own attractions. The complex is designed as a cultural park with a large open grass field and a surrounding garden. The main attractions are the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue. There’s also an amphitheater, Kecak Dance Performance, and a Lotus Pond. In GWK you can see the Kecak dance show that is specifically created for GWK Cultural Park. The show is a traditional Balinese dance performed by a troupe of about 50 men. 

GWK Lotus Pond Source: GWK

Garuda Wisnu Kencana History

GWK cultural park construction project began in 1992 on 60 hectares of land, initiated by The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Foundation. The project aims to make GWK Bali the most iconic landmark in Bali and beyond. One of the founders of the GWK Foundation is I Nyoman Nuarta and he was the drafter and architect of the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue.

Finding the perfect location for such a large undertaking as the GWK culture park’s construction was not simple. After conceptualizing the project, the Foundation took two years to find an appropriate location for it. Prior to construction of GWK Cultural Park, the Ungasan hill in Bali was used as a limestone mining site, which was 146 meters above sea level or 263 meters above ground level.

nyoman_nuarta instagram account Source: Instagram

The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue

The GWK culture park is home to the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue, which is one of its greatest attractions. I Nyoman Nuarta was the Balinese renowned sculptor who created the statue that made of copper and brass. The icon’s name symbolizes the deity Wisnu riding the mythical bird Garuda.

Construction of the statue took 25 years to create and cost USD 100 million. Its initial design envisaged a height of 126 meters and a width of 60 meters, but the finished sculpture was 121 meters tall and 65 meters wide. The GWK statue, which is presently 75 meters tall, would stand at 121 meters if the pedestal were included. The iconic Statue of Liberty in the USA is 46 meters tall from the bottom of her copper structure to the torch, and 93 meters tall from ground level to the torch. There is a significant gap of 30 meters between the GWK statue and the Statue of Liberty as a result.

As for now, The Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue has become an icon of Bali Island. It’s one of the most significant sculpture and the most challenging artwork, reflecting the significance of local Balinese culture. 

Garuda wisnu kencana statue Source: Pexels

Watch Kecak Dance in GWK

There is no other kecak dance like Kecak Garuda Wisnu Kencana created for GWK Cultural Park. This colossal dance performance combines Kecak dance, the world-famous Indonesian dance, with Ogoh-Ogoh, a gigantic puppet representing the mythical Garuda creature. 

Read more about the traditional Kecak Dance here.

The tale of Kecak Garuda Wisnu Kencana is based on the Mahabarata Tale, about the journey of Garuda, a birdlike being seeking the sacred elixir Tirta Amerta to free his mother from enslavement. God Wisnu (Vishnu), who is the keeper of the elixir, was moved by Garuda’s compassion, he agreed to assist Garuda in exchange for his loyalty. In addition to the beauty of the Kecak dance, you will experience the wonder of the Ogoh-Ogoh Garuda here. 

The unique Kecak Garuda Wisnu Kencana can only be seen at GWK Cultural Park.

Final Words: Is It Worth Going?

As we tell above, Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park is a must-visit place if you’re in Bali. It’s the best place to experience Balinese culture and enjoy the extravagant Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue. Furthermore, the Kecak dance is particularly recommended, as it’s a spectacular show that is not to be missed. 

Looking for a beachfront hotel near GWK? Here SADARA Resort is a Boutique Beachfront Resort in Tanjung Benoa-Bali with only 25 minutes to Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park. A resort that’s perfect for you while wanting to sense the Balinese hospitality and the beauty of Tanjung Benoa beaches.

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