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Bali: Where Divine Serenity Meets Earthly Enchantment

By Mohammed Darwish

As the sun rises over the island, the serene early morning hours in Bali wash away the city symphony of a preceding night. Children’s laughter and the gentle hum of traffic signal a new beginning, marked by the ritual of prayer and puja - a reverent homage to the universe and its mysteries.

This daily observance welcomes a renewed identity for the day ahead. Prayer in Bali takes many forms, yet it is always imbued with a profound sense of gratitude.


The Balinese express their appreciation for the fertile land that provides so abundantly.

This gratitude is manifest in the offerings of the puja worship ritual, visible everywhere: flowers, water, food, and even tobacco, all presented as gifts to the divine.


Significance of tobacco

According to local tradition, tobacco cigarettes hold particular symbolic significance in Balinese religious offerings.

The Balinese regard tobacco as a sacred gift from the earth, frequently incorporating it into puja rituals.


Tobacco cuts across social divides, being consumed by people from all walks of life—sinners and saints, young and old alike. In this manner, tobacco brings together community members through shared ritual practice. Every corner of Bali seems to be ornamented with large statues, both religious and secular.

The nation appears passionate about the creation and collection of these statues, each bearing rich history and symbolism. These statues act as reminders of the island’s vibrant cultural heritage and its deep connection to the spiritual realm.



Deeply rooted in Balinese culture is the concept of Tri Hita Karana, which emphasises maintaining a harmonious relationship between humans and the spiritual realm, the community, and the environment.

This principle is evident in various aspects of Balinese life, including architecture, arts, rituals, and customs. It is viewed as a way to sustain a spiritually fulfilling life in harmony with the divine, community, and nature.


Magic of Bali

Often referred to as “The Island of the Gods,” Bali’s reverence may be attributed to the majestic Mount Batur, the encompassing ocean, or the generosity of its fertile land.

One cannot discuss the magic of Bali without mentioning the pristine beaches and coral reefs, which are considered by locals to be sacred manifestations of the divine.

The richness of the harvest is supported by an old tradition of processing their produce.

One area where this is clear is in the way the Balinese process their coffee; Olah Mentah, or raw processing, involves removing the bean from the coffee fruit before it is dried.


This method makes Balinese coffee rather bright and highly toned than coffees from other regions of Indonesia.

Every night, Uluwatu Temple hosts the spectacular Kecak Fire Dance, which is a sight not to be missed.

This performance has a big chorus of men singing the “cak” motif rhythmically as they portray episodes from the Ramayana.

Dancers move amid the flames as the intensity and tempo builds up, producing a trance-like vibe.


Gates of Heaven

A visit to Lempuyang Temple, one of the six holiest sites on the island, is essential.

The most famous part is the Gates of Heaven, where visitors are asked to wrap a garment around their waist as they ascend to the top.

The view from the summit, where heritage and nature converge, is a truly enchanting experience.

Bali’s charming mystique, which couldn’t be comprehended in a tenday trip, lies in its ability to transport visitors to a realm where the divine and the earthly converge.

Every aspect of this island reflects a deep reverence for the spiritual.

A visit to Bali is not merely a holiday, but a transformative journey that lingers long after one has departed.