A private cultural park, Garuda Wisnu Kencana is located on the Bukit Peninsula in Bali, Indonesia. It is most famous for the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue, which was built and designed by Nyoman Nuarta, who is Indonesia’s leading modern sculptor and renowned lecturer at Bandung, West Java.
Considered as one of the prime attractions in Bali, the cultural park can be found at south of Denpasar, which is part of the Unggasan area, Jimbaran Bali. Heralded as the largest stature in the world, it stands approximately 150 metres tall. Considered as the pride of Indonesia, the GWK statue is surrounded by more than 240 hectares of land. Due to its imposing size, it can be seen from the Benoa harbour, Kuta Beach, Nusa Dua and Ngurah Rai Airport, often acting as the first statue travellers see at a distance.
However, during the initial stages of establishing the GWK statute, the idea was met with controversy among the religious authorities of Bali Island. It was argued that due to its immense structure, the spiritual balance of the Island would be disrupted. Furthermore, the religious organizations claimed that the statue’s commercial appeal was inappropriate and unacceptable.
Perhaps the most fascinating design of the statue is its spectacular wings, which spans approximately 64 meters. It is made out of 4000 tons of brass and copper. The statue depicts Lord Wisnu, who is known as the source of wisdom as he rides on the back of Garuda, a mythical bird. It symbolises the manifestation of the Lord Wisnu’s conscience towards the perennial goodness.
Tracing back to its history, the cultural park was initially an abandoned limestone quarry. However, today it is an exciting destination, coupled with a festival park, a street theatre, an amphitheatre, the Lotus Pond, an exhibition hall and a souvenir shop. In addition, the park houses one of the famed restaurants in the region, the Jendela Bali The Panoramic Resto.
Presently, the statues of Wisnu and Garuda including the hands of Wisnu have been placed in three different places within the park on a temporary basis. With the intention of educating the youth about the significance of preserving cultural heritage, the park is also a place for international events, including exhibitions. Invariably, the park has exceeded the expectations of the public to become one of the premier venues for an array of occasions, performances, cuisines, rides and adventures.