Sacred Monkey Forest

by • 30 de abril de 2013 • DENPASAR, ECOTOURISM, EXPERIENCE, INDONESIA, KUTA, UBUD, videoComments (1)4154

Leia em Português

One of the most ravishing tours we took in Bali was the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud (beautiful area in the heart of the island). The ride itself announced that something amazing was about to come.

Elephant Temple

Elephant Temple

We took a taksi in Kuta, in the south of Bali, and headed to Mount Batur. It was very far to go by scooter (about 40 km of mountains and curves), and besides it was a cloudy day with rainfall forecast. We negotiated an affordable price with a taksi driver who was willing to spend the day with us, making stops wherever we wanted.

Preparing offerings at he public market of Denpasar

Preparing offerings at he public market of Denpasar

We drove through the chaos of Kuta and the capital Denpasar, with the architecture of the marvelous temples mixed with the maddening traffic noise, the millions of motorbikes coming from and going everywhere (sidewalks, median strips, red lights), the dirt of the streets, the offerings all around.

Typical houses in Denpasar

Typical houses in Denpasar

Not far away from the center of Denpasar, the green of the rain forest started to appear among the bigger terrains, the wider streets, the banana trees and creeks creating a passage from urban to rural. It did not take long to reach the first artistic villages. Painting, sculpture in wood, rock, bamboo, silver, dancing… hard to describe the charm of these places where the art meets the forest.

Art in stone

Art in stone

Next surprise: terraced rice paddies. Taking advantage of the mountainous topography, people from Bali – as well as other Asian peoples – cultivate rice in paddies carved out of the mountains by hand. It helps decrease erosion and surface runoff, besides making irrigation easier. All this creates a breathtaking view.

Terraced rice paddies

Terraced rice paddies

Trail in the forest

Trail in the forest

So, after all these unexpected gifts, we arrived in SACRED MONKEY FOREST in Padangtegal, Ubud. Really inspiring, mystical and charming.

Rainforest, dense and with lots of green, paved paths for pedestrians who must respect them (right at the beginning people are told not to invade the monkeys area, they might become aggressive in case it happens). It is an ecological reserve where 300 long-tailed maquaques live freely and in harmony with the visitors.
Looking at each other

Looking at each other

Temple

Temple

The sanctuary has 3 temples, built in the second half of the 14th century, during the Pejeng dynasty.

Temple in the forest

Temple in the forest

According to the Hindu-Balinese philosophy, peace and liberty are obtained only when we respect and observe three harmonious relationships known as the Tri-Hita Karana Doctrine: 1) the Gods blessed life and created nature and everything that belongs to it; 2) nature provides subsistence and nourishment to human activities; 3) human beings have the obligation to establish traditional artistic villages, to build temples of worship, to make daily offerings, to preserve nature and to solve problems together.

Interaction

Interaction

Indeed, during the walk through the forest, you feel indescribable peace, and the balance among nature, animals and humans is impressive, a case study for researchers worldwide.

We spent a few hours there with a feeling of awe, doing trails and playing with the monkeys. We lost track of time, we would have stayed longer if it were possible. They are playful, they scratch, clean their nails and pick lice. They sit down and drowse off, they walk all over you if you let them. We saw a group of monkeys playing in a lake, jumping into the water from the trees and swimming like kids.

Exotic lizard

Exotic lizard

TAKE NOTE

For further information, check the offical wesite of the forest. Monkeys and their diseases: we learned that some people were got rabies or some other kind of infection after having contact with the animals. Take care and follow the behavior rules inside the park. We even had a small incident; I accidentally stepped on the tail of a monkey and it almost attacked me, but fortunately my scream scared it off and nothing worse happened.

Translated by Lúcia Maciel English teacher Contact: luciamaciel@territorios.com.br © All rights reserved. Pictures and report 100% originals.

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