Kecak Fire Dance at Uluwatu Bali

Kecak, also known as tari kecakilolahhe in Indonesian, is a type of Balinese Hindu dance and music theatre that originated in Bali, Indonesia, in the 1930s. Since its inception, men have performed it almost exclusively; the first women’s kecak ensemble established in 2006.

We had a chance of watching this incredible performance this time when we visited Bali. The set up is against the backdrop of gorgeous setting sun in Uluwatu Sea Temple. The most interesting fact about this show is that there is no music. All the sounds are created by the performers. I was amazed at their lung capacity and the enthusiasm never dropped.

Watch the amazing performance on my Youtube channel here – https://youtu.be/B5g9qQXcLgQ

The clips in my video includes the parts of Hindu epic Ramayana. You will see the scenes of Sita sending Ram & Lakshman after Gold Mrig and Ravan Kidnapping Sita. Jatayu tries to save Sita but gets killed. Then comes Hanuman and the best part of the show when they capture hanuman and set his tail on fire. He escapes and sets Lanka on fire.

The Kecak Dance of the Uluwatu temple is a pioneer in drawing a sizable part of tourists from all over the world among all the major traditional arts, theatre, and dance in Bali. One of Indonesia’s most recognisable glimmers of its rich cultural past is the Kecak Dance of Bali. It is a type of classical Hindu dance that is based on the tales from the well-known epic “The Ramayana.”

At around 6:00 PM, the Kecak dance performance begins in the sparse light of the setting sun. A big group of approximately 75 male dancers enter the stage and perform the first five chapters of The Ramayana at varied tempos depending on the atmosphere of the scene. The performance concludes with a magnificent rite that involves lighting up the central torch against the deep, dark sky while gradually singing in unison. The atmosphere is too compelling to pass up the opportunity to experience at least once in a lifetime when the silhouette of the fire against the night sky and the sound of the ocean combine.

Due to the dense jungles that surround the Uluwatu Temple and are home to numerous monkeys and long-tailed macaques, it is imperative to carry food and other necessities in fully covered bags or backpacks to protect them from the animals’ teeth.

Obtaining dancing tickets is not at all a difficult task. One to two hours before the dance starts at around 5:00 PM, you can walk up to the ticket booths without making an appointment. Because to the presence of many guarded routes, wild animals, and extremely steep slopes, the route to the temple may be difficult for pilgrims from the plains. Therefore, it is usually suggested to wear proper shoes and stay away from slippers to reduce any unwelcome incidents and the amount of trouble while travelling to the temple.

Image From Internet

Tanah Lot – A Blissful Coastal Temple in Bali

Bali excels in every category, whether it’s the beautiful bluish blue ocean, the massive Hindu temples, or the sheer untouched virginity of the countryside. Tourists who visit throughout the year have the time of their lives and are relaxed beyond their wildest dreams. Variety is the spice of life, and Bali has a plethora of tourist attractions and getaway locations where one can recharge after months of strenuous work and strain.

It will take many blogs to cover my trip to Bali this June. So I plan to take it slow and introduce you to the place, one attraction at a time.

Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot, also known as Pura Tanah Lot Temple, is a well-known and sacred Hindu temple in Bali. As a popular tourist destination, Bali attracts a large number of enthusiasts and adventure seekers who make it a point to visit this location each year. This holy temple is well-known for its beautiful sunset views and even more soothing cold breezes that flow throughout the beach.  This beautiful temple is situated about 20 kilometres southwest of Kuta in the Beraban town of the Tabanan Regency. This location may be reached in around an hour and a half if you’re travelling from Kuta. It takes around an hour to get there from Bali’s Ubud.

Three temples make up the Tanah Lot complex, which is situated on a massive offshore rock on the beach. The main Tanah Lot temple is one of the three, while the other two serve as a spiritual stand-in when it is closed due to high tide because they are inaccessible. The ‘guardian’ sea snakes that live in the cracks around the Tirta Pabersihan fountain can be seen at low tide by crossing to the base of the rock. It is one of Bali’s main attractions and welcomes everyone, regardless of caste or creed.

Fun and interesting details regarding the history of the Tanah Lot Temple can be found in its legends. It is stated that in the latter half of the 15th century, a high Hindu priest from the Majapahit Kingdom in East Java travelled to Bali to propagate Hinduism and related ideas. He built a shrine to honour the Sea God Varuna, and despite objections from the village leader, he successfully used sea snakes to secure the rock where he meditated. That is how the eponymous temple in Bali, Tanah Lot, got its name, which means “land in the sea.” The priest is said to have gained Nirvana, or enlightenment, at this holy location.

 

The tranquil Tanah Lot temple site was properly protected and repaired thanks to assistance from the Japanese government, despite a serious erosion threat. As a result, the magnificent temple continues to welcome visitors today. On the approach to the temple, you’ll pass by a number of tropical gardens and rest areas where gift shops, art galleries, and sculptures are on show. Traditional drinks and sumptuous  snacks using coconuts are available here.

Pro Tip :

When you see the scene in all its splendour, the Tanah Lot Temple sunset view speaks for itself. In order to avoid the crowds, try to make this sight your final stop for the day and come well before nightfall.

 

When the earth decided to rock

They say, animals are the first to identify the natural calamity. “Not True”. Just as I was about to unwind after lunch with a book, our building started trembling. I looked at my Dog sitting near me and he had this ‘please scratch me’ look in his eyes. I looked towards my kids; they were happily running around with the ball. I thought, may be I should stop over eating. It’s causing dizziness. It took me a while to realize that this was an earthquake. I wouldn’t lie, I did panic for a bit as it had been just a few hours since I was reading the news about devastating earthquake in Italy.

I quickly sent out some sms & whatsapps (lol…it’s true) and announced we should go down. While kids and the dog seem to be excited by the suggestion of getting out of the house, my maid wasn’t so keen. She said, “Aami ekhan theke ei dekhbo”. I was startled, this isn’t a snowfall that you will watch from the 6th floor!! “Let’s go down”, I reinforced. We rushed through the stairs. You know, such events bring humans closer. The Aunty from upper floor really came close to tumble me on the stairs while sprinting downstairs. The timely pull from my Dog hustled me to the side or I would had rolled down with her. I knew all those early morning walks to make him poop will pay off some day.

The trembling had stopped by then, but the shaky feeling was still lingering in the minds. Everybody in the complex had gathered in the ground. Some half dressed, and some with purses and bags. Everyone seemed to get the smartphones with them though. While an elderly lady apprised us that Mother Nature is very angry that is why this earthquake has occurred, her daughter-in-law smartly shifted to other group where they were discussing a 4 weeks diet plan. Everyone had their own story of the event and dramatic version of how they escaped death.

I excused myself on the pretext of a call. My kids were nowhere to be seen and the dog by then had pulled the maid to his choice of shrub. I also decided to take a walk. The initial panic and tension was consoled as I saw people talking, laughing and greeting each other. Thankfully, the earthquake was not a major one and everyone was safe and together.  I was elated seeing the various flowers in bloom in our complex. Such is the power of life. Walking down the shaded pathways, I felt rejuvenated at the sound of excited chatter of my children playing in the park.