Prehistory of Bali
As other region of the world Bali also left the artifacts from prehistoric period. Rough hand axes or stone adzes have been found in a village of Sembiran, North Bali, and on the bank of lake Batur. The finding in Bali was not associated with physical remains of the master of the tools, yet the finding in Java, at Sangiran river bed could be used as contextual explanation of the finding in Bali. These stone adzes in Java were associated with the skeletons of what is known as Java men or Pithecanthropus Erectus. More advanced tools were found at Goa Selonding on the hill of Pecatu on the foot of south Bali. These tools are small sharp pointed animal bone such as pig, deer, and animal horns, yet no human skeleton was found associated with. The finding of these tools reminds the similarity of the tools found at south Sulawesi and Australia. Goa Selonding was formed by melting lime stone which showing the melting forming stalactite and stalagmites. Now the area is very high on a hill, and barren, not a drop of water can be found. The remains of aquatic animals are also found during the excavation of local archaeological team. The area of Pecatu is a mass of lime stone consist of plenty sea animal fossils. So it was a great possibility that the area in the past was a sea bed which experiencing up lift gradually, as the hill is now more then 100 meters above sea level. The site of this findings in south Sulawesi associated with hand stamps on the cave wall such as found in south Africa.
More advance stone adzes were found spreaded over Bali, but the findings were not in-site, mostly have been kept by the people. This type of tools showing more work to make the surface more smoother with one adze is sharpened like axes, or more longer shaft. The tools would suggest that the creator had known the land cultivation, or at least were able to clear the land by cutting the woods, which was probable that the people started to settle at certain spot of land and gradually leaving food collector and hunting period. Around 2.500 BC Bali entered the period of bronze which remains were found in the shape of bronze drum and small bronze axes, finger rings, earings, bracelets and ring used on the leg. These artefacts were found in a stone coffin of sarcophagus. The finding of sarcophagus in Bali are spreaded in a wide area, lowland as well as highland. On the shore of Gilimanuk even the material associated with gold, which proves that the relation between islands or even with Asia mainland had occurred that time. This is also proved by the shape of sarcophagus imitating a boat which is common in Asia mainland. In Indonesia the distribution of findings are in north Sulawesi, east Kalimantan, Sumba and Sumbawa islands. Different way of burial found on the shore of Gilimanuk using earthen jar. The dead is put in a complete body including fragments of skeletons. During the excavation it was found 100 adults and children skeletons. the burial is estimated from bronze age culture with the character of people bearing Malay - Mongoloid. This method of burying the dead can be found in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippine. At the same time with this period of burial tradition various megalithic tradition seemed also developed in Bali. The remains of this can be found at various places, such as menhirs at Trunyan, Sembiran, Tenganan Kedaton and others. The adoration of goddess of rice and fertility or Venus seems also developed during this time, a finding now still preserved at Pura Penataran Jero Agung Gelgel showing the woman private body.
Bali 882 - 1343 AD
Bali entered writing period with the finding of various inscriptions at the village around Batur lakes, clay tablets and votive stupas near the village of Pejeng. From the writings it was clear that around the year of 800 AD the influence of Hindu and Buddhist have reached Bali. The writing type is showing a modification of ancient Javanese, and many similarities of Thai scripts, beside the type of Pallawa script from India also used. An inscription carved on a stone silinder found at now Sanur, mentioned for the first time the name of Bali Dwipa. this inscription was made in 913 AD. A clear record in political history of Bali started 882 AD with the appearance of a dynasty that ruled Bali named " Warma Dewa ". The first king mentioned was Sri Kesari Warmadewa ( ca. 913 AD ), 915 - 942 AD found Sang Ratu Sri Ugrasena known to ruled Bali, and changed by Chandrabhaya Singha Warmadewa ( 960 AD ), then sit on the throne the most famous king of Bali Dharmodayana Warmadewa ( 989 - 1001 AD ). During the rule of Udayana that art, social and spiritual of Bali developed, a strong influence of Hindu Java entered the stage of Bali. The most important events during this period are the changes of ancient Bali language into old Javanese language to be used in all written documents issued by the king, and the use of Javanese calendar with modular of 210 days. With the use of Hindu Javanese calendar a great changes must started on the schedule of temple ceremonies from every 365 days into 210 days. King Marakata took the throne between 1001 - 1049 AD, a little data on this king was found, but it is supposed that Marakata was one of Udayana's son. Anak Wungsu ( 1049 - 1077 AD ), he was the longest ruler on Bali, with the indication that the kingdom was going in a peaceful and stable condition for long time. He was the king commemorated at the temple of Gunung Kawi the ancient rock cut temple that we can still see until now. In between 1001 and 1010 appeared a king named Sri Wala Prabu. It is strange that a king was appear during he rule of Marakata. It was possible that the period between 1001 to 1049 were ruling 2 king. Walaprabu ( 1001 - 1010 AD ) and Marakata ( 1010 - 1049 ) The period is still to long and between 1010 - 1049 a possibility of other king on throne is possible until new data can be found. Next king was Sri Sakalendukirana ( 1080 - 1100 AD ) known from only 2 inscriptions, Sri Suradipa ( 1115 - 1119 AD ). Sri Jaya Sakti ( 1133 - 1150 ), Jayapangus ( 1177 - 1181 ), and the last Balinese king Sri Astasura Ratna Bumi Banten ( 1337 - 1343 AD ). In the ancient writing his majesty is pictured as a figure full of controversy such as good and bad of the Balinese, anti - religion and others. Yet controversy writing is probably written by new ruler below.
Bali 1343 - 1846
The year of 1343 is the start of the kingdom of Nusantara or Indonesia. The kingdom of Majapahit in East Java united Indonesia archipelago including Bali. Majapahit sent new ruler to Bali which is known as Kepakisan Dynasty. Dalem Ketut Sri Kresna Kepakisan ( 1350 - 1380 ) is the first king of Bali under Majapahit with the center of administration at Samprangan now the city of Gianyar. But his successor Dalem Ketut Ngulesir ( 1380 - 1460 ) moved the capital of the kingdom to Gelgel ( near current Klungkung town ). Among this dynasty, Dalem Watu Renggong ( 1460 - 1550 ) is the most famous ruler. As Udayana's great name, Watur Renggong is kown to have annexed Blambangan ( East Java ), and Lombok. Various works of arts, temples, and writings were created during his rule. Watu Renggong succeeded by his oldest son who was said still to young and need custody of 5 assistants. He was Dalem Bekung ( 1550 - 1580 ). During his rule 2 big clashes happened almost put the kingdom in great troubles. Following the dead of Dalem Bekung he was succeeded by his younger brother Dalem Segening ( 1500 - 1605 ). The areas of Gelgel beyond Bali such as Blambangan, Pasuruan, Sumbawa under danger of other kingdoms of Bone and Makassar, yet for a while the king could overcome the danger although the influence of Bali gradually decreasing. He was succeeded by his son Pemayun with the name of Dalem Di Made ( 1605 - 1686 ). During his rule Bali lost Pasuruan, Blambangan and Sumbawa. Pasuruan and Blambangan annexed by Mataram ( Islam sultanate ), under the rule of Sultan Agung, while Sumbawa taken over by Makassar. In 1620 VOC traders started to visit Bali and with their good diplomacy, they were hosted well in the palace. During the rule of Dalem Di Made internally arose conflict with his ex. minister which caused the fall of the throne to I Gusti Agung Made. Yet king children were saved and protected in secret place. With the help of vassals which still loyal to the king took up the throne from I Gusti Agung Made and enthroned one of Dalem Di Made's Son, I Dewa Agung Jambe ( 1710 - 1775 ). He moved the capital of the kingdom to Semarapura, now Klungkung city. The king is known to have built the floating palace at Kerta Gosha which can be visited during Besakih Tour or any other tour to east Bali During his rule Klungkung lost Buleleng, Mengwi, and Karangsem. Even the vassal such as Blambangan was taken over by Mengwi, Lombok by Karangasem, and Sumbawa again taken by Karangasem. During 2 consecutive rulers Dewa Agung Di Made I ( 1775 - 1825 ) and Dewa Agung Dimade II ( 1835 - 1870 ) the kingdom had broken into 10 kingdoms each strived over to extend their influence over Bali and beyond.
Bali 1846 - 1949
Various emissaries from Dutch Trade Association had visited Bali since 1601 yet the palace did not allow them to make any trade agreement with Bali. Only 1830 British trade King & Co opened their branch in Bali, and 1839 Dutch shipping company open a service in Kuta, and Mads J. Lange also opened his trade office in Kuta. With the opening of these trade base the Dutch started to launch attack on Bali, started from North Bali in 1845, yet the war continued until 1849 and the last resistance of Jagaraga fall to the Dutch in 19 April 1849. 12 May 1849 the Dutch launch attack to Klungkung, but the commander Michels was shot and dead. The attack then cancelled. In 1904, a Chinese ship was trapped by the sea sand, the people of Sanur tried to assist the ship by relocating the cargo, but the Chinese owner of the ship reported to the Dutch in Surabaya that his ship was rubbed. So the Dutch had the reason to attack Badung which led to the war called " Puputan " Badung in 20 September 1906. The fall of Badung then followed by Pupulan Klungkung in 28 April 1908. With the fall of Klungkung, Bali practically under the control of Dutch until independence of 1945Bali History
Gunung Kawi Rock Carving
Guwa Gajah Stone Carving
Kerta Gosha Tribunal Pavilion
Le Mayeur Museum
Yeh Pulu Rock Panel
Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.