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Visit Bali!

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Tourists visit Bali for various reasons - Balinese culture, hospitality, natural beauty, etc. But there are few reason why devotees should consider visiting Bali. Bali is a predominantly Hindu state in the largest Muslim country in the world. Centuries back this was a Hindu country but got invaded by Muslims and thus the locals were converted. However, Bali which was the epicenter of Hinduism has some how maintained their culture in spite of all the onslaught of time. There are more than thousand temples in Balinese style. There are huge statues of Hindu demigods, Lord Vishnu, depiction of Mahabharata and Ramayana at various junctions of the city. World's largest Garuda Vishnu deity is located in Bali. The local law is that no residential, office or hotel building can be higher than their main temple. Every village has at least three types of temples in beautiful Balinese style - one for Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Lord Indra dev and Varun dev are worshipped at lot of places. However, they don't have deities inside the temple. There is good respect for forefathers who have departed and every house have a worship place for them. Almost every house has a deity just outside their house within their property. Some of the centuries old temples are located at very beautiful places. One reason for visiting Bali is to get inspired by seeing how the local Balinese Hindus have somehow preserved the centuries old culture in spite of being a part of muslim country. They are very frequently having various local traditional cultural ceremonies. Almost each Balinese observes about 50 ceremonies in a year where they invite their local villagers, friends and relatives for the function. Each Balinese spends minimum of ten percent of his income for the purpose of various traditional ceremonies.

In India, we have got lot influenced by western culture, bollywood, financial reasons, etc and have largely given up our Krishna or God conscious culture contrary to the Balinese people. 

Bali has got seven prominent ISKCON temples. Each temple is unique and very beautiful. More beautiful is the see how the locals are nicely engaged in Krishna consciousness although their financial situation is not good. The deities are nicely decorated. All ISKCON festivals are nicely celebrated. The devotees are simple and happy. Its indeed a very pleasant experience to see how the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has spread to Bali. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All the activities in ISKCON temples is under the supervision of H H Kavichandra Swami, Bhakti Raghav Swami and Ramai Swami besides few other senior devotees.

Devotees in groups or individually can visit Bali and get further inspiration in their Krishna consciousness. Its a good place for outing for the grihastas. It makes lot of sense to arrange the tour before end. Fortunately, one does not have to struggle to find a honest tour operator. There is a devotee mataji in Bali who runs a licensed travel agency since more than a decade. Her name is Sudevi Mataji ( +62 81280678899, +62 81805443373). She is a devotee since childhood. Her parents are few of the pioneers in the initial phases of setting up ISKCON in Bali. She has her own office, staff and many vehicles. Profits form her tourism goes to support local devotees and temples.

 Instead of going to Europe or USA, its spiritually more enlivening to go to Bali.

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