Within the public park of Renon Square, in the centre of the frenetic capital of Denpasar, stands the imposing Bajra Sidhara, one of Bali’s most important monuments, symbol of the struggle of the Balinese people against Dutch colonialism. The work on construction began in 1987, but the monument was officially inaugurated in 2003. The form of the structure is similar to the sacred bell that Hindu priests use during ceremonies, in fact, the name is comprised by the words Bajra (bell) and Sidhara (sacred). The monument, created following the rules of the Tri Mandala, is made up of various sculptures and covers a surface of around 5000 square metres. It has four entrances and a winding staircase which leads to a hall with large 45 metre high windows which offer a stunning view of the entire city. On the second of three levels inside the Baira Sidhara, around thirty Balinese dioramas explain the history of Bali, from the farmers and hunters of prehistory to the independence from Dutch rule. The ground floor hosts administrative offices, the library and a number of exhibition halls for temporary exhibits. In the basement of the monument, a modern interactive three-dimensional art museum was opened in 2016, the IAM Bali (Interactive Art Museum). In the beautiful surrounding park, the local population typically practices a variety of sports, from baseball to football, as well as jogging. If you are in Bali during the opening of the famed Bali Arts Festival, the Balinese Art Carnival is celebrated right in front of the Baira Sidhara monument.
Here, rests a magnificent statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana, national emblem of Indonesia and, with a height of over 120 metres, one of the tallest monumental statues in the world.