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Directory Home> About Bali > History of Bali
 
HISTORY OF BALI
 
One of the most dramatic and enduring developments in the history of Bali came about when a form of Hinduism, which had been introduced to Java, was transported to and widely accepted in Bali in the first century. This religion was, in fact, a fascinating mix of Siwa Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism, both originally came from India and brought to Indonesia by Indian traders. Artifacts found include statues, bathing places, caves and temples. Inscriptions dating back from around the 9th century AD were discovered on a stone pillar near Sanur.

The peak of its success in Java came with the rise of the Majapahit Empire, but these Majapahits were eventually forced further east to Bali as Islam gained followers throughout Sumatra and Java. Some Javanese shamanism was thrown in en route, and by the time this religion reached , it merged with Bali's own form of animism. The foreign religion was welcomed enthusiastically by the Balinese, who saw it as a further step in civilization. Any discussion of arts or architecture in Bali now usually refers to the "pre-Majapahit" period, which is distinguished by its primitive simplicity, or "post- Majapahit" which is much more elaborate and detailed.
 
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