The Garuda Wisnu Kencan Cultural Park also known as GWK Cultural Park was built by the Indonesian government. It’s Bali’s most iconic landmark and can be seen for miles. The Cultural Park is an interesting place to visit. Here you can learn about the culture of Bali and the different Gods.
Whilst we were here we took our time to admire the magnificent statues and learn more about the culture of Bali. There are different events/shows on throughout the day, so check out whats on and events that interest you before heading there. All the information can be obtained from their website.
The grounds are quite big and open, we suggest depending on the weather conditions you visit early or later in the day to avoid the heat of the sun in the middle of the day.
About the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue
I hear you ask what does Garuda Wisnu Kencana mean. The Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue shows God Wisnu riding Garuda. Lord Wisnu in Hindu mythology is seen as the protector of the Universe. Whilst Garuda represents loyalty, selfless devotion it is the national emblem of Indonesia and represents freedom. Kencana means gold.
The Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue including the stand is 120.9m high and 64m wide. Being the 4th tallest statue in the world it dwarfs the Statue of Liberty which is 85m high situated in the United States of America. Yes, it can be seen for miles, when walking along Legian beach you can see the statue standing proudly.
Whilst visiting the Cultural Park you can pay an additional fee and take a tour inside the statue. We felt it was worthwhile paying the additional fee to explore the inside of this massive statue. There is so much detail.
Tour groups go up inside the statue regularly. Don’t worry there are no stairs, there is a lift which takes you right up inside of the statue. You are required to leave all your belongings, sadly including cameras/phones in lockers which are provided. The tour goes for approximately 40 mins and provides you with loads of information about the Cultural Park, significance of the park, what was involved to build the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue and provide you with wonderful views of Bali.
If you look closely at the below photo on the left hand side you will see a hole, this is where if you opt to go inside the statue you look out.
Main Features of Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
The Kura-Kura Plaza is the first plaza that you come across. In Indonesian Kura-Kura means turtle. Here you will find a pond which has fountains that represent turtles rising from the water. Many tourists were taking a moment to take their selfie here
Here you will find a huge statue of Garuda Bird which is from mythologyy. The Garuda Bird has a body that is half bird and half man. Garuda is a symbol of freedom from every shackle and deprivation of human rights.
Standing on top of the stairway you get a great view of the park look down onto Lotus Pond. Always remember whilst walking around the park to look back, so you don’t miss a great photo opportunity!!
The Lotus Pond is a sparse area surrounded by massive limestone walls. If you are feeling a bit adventurous you can hire a Segway. The massive area is a great place to test out your Segway skills or hire a bike to explore the surroundings.
It’s here where you get to see the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue which stands at 20m high. This is a very impressive statue and many queue up to take their photo on the top of the stairs here.
Once you walk away from this amazing statue you soon see the main attraction of the park.
There is an amphitheater which every hour you can witness a cultural experience. If you haven’t witnessed Balinese Cultural Dances then recommend you stop here as they are fascinating, their costumes are absolutely amazing. The detail on their costumes is beautiful, the make up is stunning.
There are several places you can stop for a refreshment and a few places where you can shop for that special souvenir of Bali.
We loved the area set up with Combi Vans , here you can grab a refreshment before or after taking the walk up to the main Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue.
How Did We Get Here?
We opted to have a driver take us. It is very easy to grab a driver in Bali who will take you where ever you wish to go. Always negotiate your price before hopping in the car.
Once we arrived at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park our driver took us in a complimentary bus up to the ticket office from the car park. Here he left us to explore the Cultural Park at our leisure and was waiting for us in the car park.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park Location
- JlRaya Uluwatu, Ungasen, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80364, Indonesia
- 15km approximately 33min (however due to traffic if you are going by car it will take longer) from Legian, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Have you visited the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park? What was your experience? Perhaps you’ve visited another part of Bali which you found to be a great cultural experience you would love to share with us.