Ideal duration: 2-3 days
Best Time: July to September Read More
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Ubud is the cultural and spiritual capital of Bali. Once popular as the hippie haven on the island, it has evolved into a modern-day wellness and rehabilitation destination, housing many urban yoga retreats, healthy vegetarian and vegan cafes and restaurants and serene stays set against the backdrop of rice fields and rolling foothills. Walking and bicycle tours, hikes through rice fields and along temple trails, and even community activities such as cooking classes are the heart and soul of Ubud. Championing sustainable tourism in Bali, Ubud oozes an old-world charm and culture, offering visitors the quintessential traditional Balinese experiences.
Ubud's humble and understated natural setting is the antithesis to the loud, brash, hard-partying lifestyle that defines Kuta and Seminyak. Featured in the Julia Roberts movie 'Eat, Pray, Love', this town and nearby villages are home to many artists, regarded as the arts and craft hub housing many galleries and workshops. Tourists looking to buy authentic Balinese art or attend local classes can do so at east.
The world-famous Jatiluwih rice terraces and its tranquil and verdant expanses, the multitude of temples scattered in and around Ubud, and the waterfalls that dot the landscape ensure that there is something for everyone looking for a bucolic Bali experience apart from the typical beachside vacation.
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Historically, Ubud is a very rich place. Evidences of numerous archaeological finds in the area are proof of its rich culture and history since the Bronze Age. One of the most remarkable artefacts from that time is the bronze gong known as 'The Moon of Pejeng', displayed in Pura Panataran Sasih in Pejeng, east of Ubud. In the 8th Century, a Buddhist priest called Rsi Marhandya came to Bali from Java on pilgrimage with a group of followers and meditated at the confluence of the East and West Wos Rivers, met in Campuan, on the edge of Ubud, and declared the place holy. As a result, a shrine was established and later expanded by Nirartha, the Javanese priest regarded as the founder of Bali's religious practices and rituals as we know them today.
The Javanese Majapahit kingdom conquered Bali in 1343, and the key final victory was against the Pejeng Dynasty centred at Bedulu. This was when the Balinese culture flourished, and the ancestry of Ubud's current day aristocratic families can be traced back to this period. In 1900, Ubud became a Dutch protectorate at its own request, and the colonialists interfered little, allowing the traditional arts and culture of the area to remain relatively unchanged. The modern era of Ubud perhaps began in the 1930s, when foreign artists were encouraged by the royal family to take up a presence in the town.
Denis Dewata Dewata2 years ago