Ulun Danu Temple in Bali

Ulun Danu Temple in Bali

Bali Golden TourBali Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is a temple dedicated to the goddess of the lake is Ida Batari Dewi Ulun Danu on the edge of a huge crater. The dominant shrines are Meru’s (pagodas) dedicated to the lake goddess and the gods of Mount Batur and Mount Gunung Agung, the largest volcano in Bali. The temple was built in the 17th century in worship of the main Hindu trinity, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, as well as the lake goddess, Dewi Danu.

The sight and cool atmosphere of the Bali uplands have made the lake and this temple a favourite sightseeing and recreational spot as well as a frequently photographed site. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, literally ‘the source temple of Lake Beratan’, is easily the island’s most iconic sanctuary sharing the scenic qualities with the seaside temples of Uluwatu Temple and Tanah Lot Temple. The smooth reflective surface of the lake surrounding most of the temple’s base creates a unique floating impression, while the mountain range of the Bedugul region encircling the lake provides the temple with a scenic backdrop.

INSIDE 2 ULUN DANU TEMPLE | LAKE TEMPLE | Bali Golden TourUlun Danu Beratan Temple mostly called as a Ulun Danu Temple but not to be confused with Ulun Danu Batur Temple, which is on the rim of the caldera at Batur Lake. It is especially important for the Balinese. Only here can you get holy water of a particular variety. The water is collected from the lake itself, directly in front of the temple. Visitors have to wear a sash and not go near. Bathing is forbidden.

The lake is the ultimate source of water for the rivers and springs that irrigate central Bali. It is therefore of the utmost importance. The temple priests say that the lake is fed by springs located at each of the wind directions. Each of the springs is the origin of water for that particular region of central Bali. So, farmers from North Bali collect their holy water from the northern spring of the lake and so on.

Ulun Danu Temple lies by the western banks of Lake Bratan in the Bedugul Highlands at a level of 1239m, is one of the most picturesque and most photographed temples in Bali. Ulun Danu is inside the caldera of the now extinct volcano Gunung Catur. It is one of the main sources of irrigation in the Balinese highlands, and so the temple is dedicated to Dewi Danu, the lake goddess.

Flying into Macau

Flying into Macau

Flying into Macau these days and arriving in its brand-new airport, you see at a glance how small it is: a low, rocky peninsula connected to China by a sandspit three hundred yards wide, and two even smaller islands, Taipa and Coloane, which are linked by a bridge and a causeway.

Macau’s whole area comes to less than seven square miles, one quarter the size of Manhattan. it has no natural resources and no agriculture, apart from some quiet public gardens and lovingly tended flowerpots. Of its half a million people, fifteen thousand are Portuguese, ten thousand are “other,” and the rest, thronging the busy streets, savoring the breezes off the South China Sea, chattering into portable phones, and very occasionally creating small traffic jams, are Chinese.

Collectively, however, they all call themselves Macanese and live together in obvious harmony. The road signs and shop windows are in Portuguese and Chinese, but everyone-or at least everyone employed in gambling, tourism, or religion, Macau’s essential industries-speaks English.

Flying into Macau

From the air, Macau is a small, slow, inviting place. The approach I like better is from the sea, best of all toward dusk, in foggy weather (the ferries and hydrofoils from Hong Kong all carry radar, and often need it). The estuary of the Pearl River, forty miles wide, looks as vast and empty as the open ocean, with the next landfall at Saigon or Singapore.

Suddenly the engines slow, a row of buoys slides alongside, and through the mist looms a bump of land crowned by the fortress and hermitage of Our Lady of Guia, a pair of ancient cannons, and the winking lantern of the first lighthouse ever built on the China coast-a very Portuguese mix of faith, antique firepower, and maritime know-how.

So, too, is the way Macau clings to the outermost edge of China, as Portugal itself does to the far end of Europe, with nowhere to go but to sea. A loose grip on the wheel, you feel, and you might miss Macau altogether. Yet at this hour, when night veils the casinos, the horse- and dog-racing tracks, the bank towers, and the other schemes Macau has had to adopt to stay afloat, the fort and the church beside it remind us what a mighty monument to human perseverance this brave little out-post has been-and still is.

A Trip to Great Wall of China

A Trip to Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China as some believed originated as a military fortification against intrusion by tribes on the borders during the earlier Zhou Dynasty. In 770-BC-476BC, the ducal states extended the defense work, and built large structures to prevent the attacks from other states.

The Great Wall of China was eventually separated during the Qin Dynasty, which preceded the Zhou Dynasty. The Zhao, Qin, and Yan kingdoms were connected to form a defensive system on the northern border of the country of Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. In 214 BC the building of the Great Wall of China was on its way. The Great Wall of China took as long as ten years to build.

The Great Wall of China took hundreds of thousands of laborers working daily beyond human limitations to construct and build. Many persons that did not work were thrown into the foundation trenches starving from hunger and exposure of the earths changing weathers. The Great Wall of China was then called The Longest Cemetery on Earth. Buried beneath its structure were more than 400,000 persons.

The Great Wall was stretched from Linzhao (eastern part of Gansu Province), in the west to Liaodong (Jilin Province) in the east. The Great Wall of China served as both a defense and symbolized the power of the emperor. The Great Wall of China was partly successful in repelling invading Mongol forces more than a century ago.

The Great Wall of China has more than 300 million trees, and its purpose was to serve as a barrier from the dust storms that swept into China from the Gobi Desert and other low-rainfall areas. The Great Wall of China was dubbed This Great Green Wall. During the 50’s, the city of Beijing was beset by 10 to 20 dust storms every spring. Visibility was only half a mile for 30 to 90 hours each month. By the 1970’s the storms had reduced resulting in greater visibility at less than ten hours per month. The reduction made work easier for the many laborers.

The Great Wall of China towered China’s mountains, plunging to the lower valleys, and marching across burning desert plains. Very cold winds coupled with snowstorms, made it very difficult for workers. At the same time raging desert sun and stinging sandstorms oppressed the workers, making their jobs difficult, and often risky.

Bali: Island of the Gods

Bali: Island of the Gods

Find your center on an island so spiritual it’s become known as “Island of the Gods.” The warm, spiritual essence that writer Elizabeth Gilbert discovered here and celebrated in Eat, Pray, Love has been native to Bali for centuries. It’s one of 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago—and the only one on which Hindus form the majority (93 percent). Even more striking is the fact that there is a spiritual celebration here nearly every day.

Three Hindu temples at the Besakih (the Mother Temple of Bali) survived a 1963 eruption that destroyed nearby villages while missing by mere yards this terraced complex atop volcanic Mount Agung. The event is still considered a miracle by locals, who arrive in regular procession; they balance offerings on their head and climb the steps to the sound of mantras, jingling bells, and the sharp flutter of umbul-umbuls (ceremonial Balinese flags).

Anyone interested in exploring the inner self might like the Nirarta Centre, an 11-room hotel set amid rice terraces and gardens that holds daily meditation sessions. After finding your center here, channel your energy into jungle treks, scuba diving, and big-break surfing along beaches of fine white and volcanic black sand. Exhale against a backdrop of rice paddies and Impressionist sunsets that illuminate the Indian Ocean.