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INDONESIA
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g_agung.jpg
Mount Agung

It is hardly surprising that the Balinese have evolved such a philosophy of life and that each new cultural influence has adapted itself to the same basic outlook because all around them this central belief manifests itself.

First of all it is revealed in the presence of the volcano, Gunung Agung, which both gives and deprives man of life. This high mountain (2142 meter above sea level) whose peak pierces the heavens, attracts the clouds which not only surround it with mistery, but also produce rain, which is then channeled by rivers to every corner of the island, bringing life and goodness to the land and by the same token carrying its debris.

When one baths near the source of a river one is cleansed of all sins, which are then swept away to be deposited in the depth of the ocean. In the same way the lava enriched soil makes the land exceptionally fertile and productive. On the other hand, however, a vocanic eruption, such as the one in 1963, provokes chaos and destruction engulfing life, homes and treasured possessions.

Ever conscious, therefore, of the awesome presence of Mount Agung and its significance, a parallel has been drawn in their minds with the Hindu trinity in its aspect of lifegiver, protector and destroyer. It is for this reason that Mt Agung is revered as the throne of Sang Hyang Widi, the high slopes of the lofty mountain being chosen as the location for the most sacred temple of all, the mother temple of Besakih.

To the Balinese then the high mountain of the north with Agung at their head have come to embody the very concept of goodness. Likewise, the sea is the epitome of evil, where fanged creatures lurk in the unknown depths. This is basically a pre-Hindu concept, which has grown up with the people since time immemorial, and necessitates that everything should be oriented towards the mountains of the north away from the sea, where rivers flow southwards to deposit refuse and waste.

It is from this notion that the people of Bali have grown to attach great importance to the cardinal points and the significance of direction. When a particular star or planet assumes a northern course, for example, this is often taken as an auspicious sign, whereas a southern course denotes ill omen. Just as height symbolises goodness and depth evil, therefore, so north and south bear the same connotations.



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Tourist Information :

1. Airport Ngurah Rai, Tuban,
    Phone : 62-0361-751011.

2. Bina Wisata Ubud, Ubud.

3. Gov, Tourist Information Center,     Jl.Bunisari 36B, Kuta.

4. Gov. Tourist Office,
    Jl.S.Parman, Niti Mandala,
    Renon, Denpasar, Phone :
    62-0361-222387.

5. Denpasar Gov. Tourism Office.       Jl. Surapati 7, Denpasar.
    Phone : 62-     0361-234569.
    Fax : 62-0361- 223602.

6. Buleleng Gov. Tourist Office.
    Jl.Veteran 23, Singaraja.
    Phone : 62-0362-25141.