Visit this modern temple-like monument to learn about Indonesia’s struggle for independence, enjoy views across Denpasar and stroll through a popular park.
The Bajra Sandhi Monument in Denpasar is dedicated to the history of Indonesia. Learn about the country from its earliest beginnings to its fight for independence against the Dutch and Japanese. The huge monument is in the shape of a bell, called a “bajra” or “gentra”, used by Hindu priests in religious ceremonies. The main room has dioramas and carvings that celebrate the country’s achievements.
Despite its traditional appearance, Bajra Sandhi is a modern building. It was built in 1987 and opened in 2003. The monument is also referred to as the Struggle of the People of Bali and its design is grounded in two main ideas. Yoni is a Hindu symbol for creation and regeneration and is strongly represented, as is the ancient Indian story of Mandara Giri Mountain in Ksirarnawa (milky ocean) about gods and giants who try to extract Holy Water of Eternity from Mount Mandara. Look for symbols that represent August 17, 1945, the day the Japanese surrendered.
Stand at the bottom of the steps that lead to the monument to appreciate its size. Bajra Sandhi is 45 metres (148 feet) tall and is made up of three floors, eight pillars and 17 gates. Climb up the tower in the centre of the monument to a viewing platform that looks out over Denpasar. Enjoy 360-degree views then walk back down to the exhibition room, where you’ll find temporary exhibits of photographs or paintings.
Stroll through the park that surrounds the monument. Visit on Sundays when the streets are closed to cars and locals come to exercise or relax in the sun. June and July see the month-long Bali Arts Festival fill the park, when there are daily performances, food stalls and arts and crafts.
The Bajra Sandhi Monument is in Renon in Denpasar. Hire a car or take a taxi from Kuta or the international airport. It’s roughly a half-hour drive from Kuta to Denpasar, depending on the traffic. If you’re coming from Sanur, take a bus in the direction of Teuku Umar.
The monument is open every day until late afternoon. There’s a small fee for admission.