The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue

Back in the 70s the Balinese passed a wonderfully phrased law which forbids the construction of any building “higher than a palm tree”. And just as well they did. Otherwise Bali would probably have ended up a lot like Honolulu.

So with high rise buildings completely outlawed in Bali, you can imagine my surprise to hear that there are plans for the construction of the world’s tallest statue at a private cultural park in the southern tip of the island!

It will be a statue of the Hindu god Vishnu riding his faithful mount Garuda (a mythical bird), and when complete is expected to stand an incredible 146 meters tall, or easily beating the world’s presently tallest statue, the giant 128 meter Buddha which can be found in Henan, China.

So huge is the planned statue in Bali that the wing span of the Garuda is estimated to reach a phenomenal 64 meters and an estimated 4,000 tons of copper and brass will be needed in the statue’s construction!

But progress has been painfully slow so far, and the incomplete statue of Vushnu – without either arms or a lower body - cuts a very bizarre sight indeed.

Vishnu at the GWK (Mandala Garuda Wisnu Kencana) cultural park in  Bali

Other parts of the statue are scattered around the park – like the Garuda’s head –

Garuda at the Mandala Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park, Bali

But most bizarrely of all are the huge separated arms and hands of Vushnu -

Worth visiting for the curious but it did get me thinking:

If buildings can’t be higher than a palm tree then perhaps neither should statues!

Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park,
Jl. Raya Uluwatu, Ungasan, Kuta Selatan Badung 80364 PO BOX 139 Nusa Dua Bali, Indonesia


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