Photo: The Monument to Balinese People’s Struggle.

Bajra Sandhi Monument

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Bajra Sandhi Monument, or Monumen Perjuangan Rakyat Bali (Monument to Balinese People’s Struggle), dominates a large park in the central civic centre of Denpasar.

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The impressive bell-shaped structure honours the heroes of “Puputan”, the mass ritual suicides that occurred on a number of occasions in Balinese history, and commemorates Bali’s struggle for sovereignty. It houses a museum of dioramas depicting Balinese history, from the stone age through to independence. Climb the central spiral staircase for sweeping views of the city and then as far as Gunung Agung.

Fantastic views from the top of the monument. Photo taken in or around Bajra Sandhi Monument, Denpasar, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Fantastic views from the top of the monument. Photo: Sally Arnold

Based on a square mandala layout, the enormous black lava stone monument is rich in details loaded with Hindu philosophical meaning. The structure resembles a bell used by Hindu priests, and forms a yoni-lingga, an important symbol of the divine masculine/feminine. Mythological nagas and turtles are among the depictions. The monument is also a symbol of nationalism, with the Republic of Indonesia’s date of the declaration of independence represented by 17 stairs, eight central pillars and a height of 45 metres—17 August 1945.

The dioramas, although a little cheesy (aren’t all dioramas?) offer an interesting quick overview of local history. They are labelled in Balinese, Indonesian and English.

Who doesn't love a good diorama? Photo taken in or around Bajra Sandhi Monument, Denpasar, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Who doesn't love a good diorama? Photo: Sally Arnold

An internal koi-filled pond surrounds the steep 69-stepped spiral staircase, which some travellers may find a little challenging, but it’s worth the climb for the view. Menstruating women are asked not to climb(!).

The monument is enclosed within a walled courtyard surrounded by ponds and lush greenery. On weekends the large surrounding park, one of Denpasar’s few green spaces, is a hive of activity, full of joggers, cyclists and picnickers; this is a great time to soak up the local atmosphere.

We think the monument is worth a quick stop, and was interesting enough that we spent longer there than planned. It’s just a shame though that there’s little information available on-site about the architectural ... Travelfish members only (Around 300 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Bajra Sandhi Monument
Jalan Raya Puputan Niti Mandala, Denpasar
Mo-Fr 08:30-16:30, Sa-Su 09:00-16:30. Closed Hindu holidays.
T: (0361) 264 517 
Admission: Adults/children: 20,000/10,000 rupiah; Indonesian adults/children: 10,000/5,000 rupiah.

Location map for Bajra Sandhi Monument

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