Recognized as the world’s prominent tourist destination, Bali becomes one of the exotic places on the planet the most visited. Not only does the Island of God attract the global day trippers with the sprawling white sand beaches and majestic Hindu temples but also its historical values. Here is a dazzling array of facts concerning the history of Bali Island you need to know.
Austronesian Immigrants Flocked to the Island in 2000 BC
According to the historians, Bali was populated by the peoples who migrated from Taiwan popularly known as the Austronesians in 2000 BC. It is such no wonder that regarding culture and language root, the locals are closely related to those inhabiting in Malaysia and the Philippines. These groups brought the stone culture where the stone-based tools for hunting and surviving were applied in their daily life. Speaking of the physical appearance, the Austronesian people own the brown skin tone.
The Ancient Balinese Kingdom and Majapahit Empire
The early kingdom that ruled Bali in the old days specifically in 914 is, in substance, clearly expressed in the old inscription found in an area of Blajong on the eastern part of Denpasar. It cites that the first emperor of ancient Balinese kingdom is none other than Khesari Warmadewa. The honored king also dwelt in a palace around Besakih temple. After his death, the power fell on the king of Jayashinga Warmadewa. The leading person established two bathhouses in the village of Manukraya.
Out the successors, King Udayana played the most significant role in governing. He married the Javanese queen named Gunapriayadharmapatni. The marriage had led to cultural assimilation and allowed the Hinduism values and Javanese civilization to flourish in Bali. In addition to the royal life, this time was where a couple of Hindu sects such as Bhairawa, Waisnawa, and Sora originated and when the famed irrigation system named Subak was developed.
Majapahit Empire colonized Bali in 1343. The era of Queen Tribhuawana Tunggadewi commenced the exploration journey to Bali. She dispatched Gajah Mada to deliver a letter to King Sri Astasura with an aim to defeat the king’s hand called Kebo Iwa. The following months, Gajah Mada and the troops attacked the land and won the battle. The true evidence of how Majapahit took control of the island is by way of the historical charters of 1384-86. When the kingdom of Majapahit fell in 1520, a departure performed by the Javanese population took place massively.
Portuguese CameThe truth that the exotic island of Bali has direct contact with the European people in 1512 leads to more profound curiosity among history enthusiasts. On the authority of the credible source, the first European nation who began an expedition to Bali was the Portuguese. A sailing boat under the instruction of Antonio Abreau and Francisco Serrao was once sighted off the northern shore of Bali. At the bottom, the Portuguese expedition had an objective to reach out the eastern part of East Indies – the Moluccas. Another attention-grabbing fact is that Francisco Rodriguez in 1512 mapped the tropical paradise.
Dutch East Indies Governed the Island
When the Dutch East India Company was established in 1962, the Dutch control over Indonesia got stronger. Bali fell under the administration of Dutch colonial in the 1840s. The northern coast was affected earlier by this harsh colonialism. Apart from the power reason, don’t you know that the famous naturalist who invented the Wallace line theory named Alfred Russel Wallace once took his journey in Bali in 1957?
The struggle to get liberated from the Dutch colonial carried out the Balinese kingdoms all across the region began in the late 1890s. The paramount moment to note was when the Dutch assaulted Sanur region involving thousands of people comprising the locals as well as the royal family members. In the end, the Dutch side decided to demand to surrender. The battle named Puputan Margarana that happened in 1946 marked another fight of Balinese toward the invaders.
The history of Bali Island also has a close connection with the Japanese colonials. The Imperials began their invention when the World War II took place. The notable moment during this occupation was I Gusti Ngurah Rai (the prominent local military officer) successfully created a Balinese freedom army. Compared to Dutch authority, the Japanese one was relatively shorter. The Island of God finally returned to the Indonesian control after Japan lost in the second global war.
After the Independence of Indonesia
Right after Indonesia gained its independence in 1945, Bali was supposed to be free from the Dutch intervention. It turned out that the island became one of the parts of State of East Indonesia. Once the Netherland recognized the Indonesian freedom in 1949, Bali appeared as an Indonesian province governed by Anak Agung Bagus Suteja.
All in all, the history of Bali Island comes with a side out of the ordinary that makes the history lovers want to dig it more.