Learn about Bali’s connection with Hinduism and the Indonesian struggle for independence when admiring the architecture and dioramas of this temple-like structure.
Journey through Bali’s history, from ancient times to the island’s more recent struggle for independence from the Dutch and Japanese, at the Bajra Sandhi Monument. In its main hall, stone carvings and 33 dioramas depict the country’s biggest achievements. Architecturally, the monument reflects the shape of a “gentra” or “bajra,” a bell used by Hindu priests in religious ceremonies.
Also known as the monument to the Struggle of the People of Bali, Bajra Sandhi was built in 1987 and officially opened in 2003. Two philosophies underpin the monument. The first ties to Hinduism, with representations of yoni, a feminine symbol for regeneration and the process of creation. The second retells the story of Mandara Giri Mountain in Ksirarnawa (milky ocean), the first chapter in the Mahabharata, an ancient Indian epic. The story tells of gods and giants joining together to “twist” Mount Mandara in the Ksirarnawa in the hope of extracting the holy Water of Eternity (Tirta Amerta).
Other symbols at the monument represent the date the Japanese surrendered, August 17, 1945. These are the 17 main gates, the eight pillars and the fact that the monument stands 45 meters (148 feet) tall. Climb the stairs to the top of the tower to reach the chamber with a 360-degree view. Admire the rotating exhibits, which often include photographs and paintings, in the exhibition room.
The park surrounding the monument has a large lawn and is an especially popular place on Sunday mornings, when the street that runs through it is closed to motorized vehicles. Watch the Balinese exercise, stroll and play in the sun. The park is home to the famous Bali Arts Festival, held over a month through June and July.
The Bajra Sandhi Monument is located in Renon, Denpasar. The easiest way to get to the monument from the international airport or Kuta is to rent a car or take a taxi. From Sanur, you can also take a bus towards Teuku Umar.
The monument is accessible daily, but is closed in the evenings, and there is a small admission fee