Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

About to leave
Faithful descends from a shrine of the Batu Bolong temple.
family faith
Mindra family flown over by hundreds of dragonflies at the Batu Bolong shrine on the outskirts of Senggigi.
Sisters Pagodas
Balinese Hindu Pagodas at the Pura Meru temple in Mataram, capital of Lombok.
temple scriptures
Priest consults a book under the gaze of a statue in the Pura Meru temple
Offerings to the head
A woman carries a tray with offerings on her head for a Balinese Hindu ceremony for her family
Batu Bolong vs Gunung Agung
Silhouettes of the Batu Bolong temple and in the distance, that of the Gunung Agung volcano in eastern Bali.
The Guardian II
A religious, priest of the Pura Meru temple of Mataram.
The Guardian
Priest at the door of a shrine in the Hindu temple Pura Meru, Mataram.
family prayer
Mindras pray to the Hindu-Balinese Gods at the Batu Bolong temple.
the Mindra
Mindra family gathered at the Batu Bolong temple
Family at Batu Bolong Temple
Mindra family climbs a rocky platform of the Batu Bolong temple.
the pre-ceremony
Ms. Mindra prepares the ceremony that the family is about to perform
more offerings
Lord Mindra holds a basket of offerings.
offering basket
Traditional Balinese Hindu Offering Basket
easy hinduist smile
Balinese Hindu believer.
The foundation of Indonesia was based on the belief in one God. This ambiguous principle has always generated controversy between nationalists and Islamists, but in Lombok, the Balinese take freedom of worship to heart

Bali sounded like a deserving but too much explored destination. Lombok called for us. Traveling for some time in Southeast Asia, we needed the refreshing calm that the neighboring island of Nusa Tenggara province foresaw.

It only took a short flight and landing in Mataram, the capital of its westernmost island, for us to move. A few hours of rest later, we were already given over to discovering Lombok.

“Where are you going? "What are your plans?" Can I help you?”. At each exit from the almost empty hotel, we are approached by tourist “agents” and would-be guides who, in clear financial desperation, do everything to sell us their services.

Lombok Motorized Exploration

We just need a motor scooter and two helmets, which they deliver to us in three strokes at prices that, despite counting in thousands of rupees, were so low that they didn't justify us haggling.

We immediately took advantage of the freedom granted by the scooter. We escaped to the tropical and jagged coastline of the island. Turn after turn, we follow the half-slope and come across peasants in conical hats who lead goats and cows through the green fields at the edge of the asphalt.

At sea level, we see fishermen aboard small perahus (handcrafted boats) next to their villages spread over the sands.

We found that perfect beaches abound in Lombok. Using a basic map, we determine their names.

On the northwest coast, between Senggigi and Pemenang, Malimbu and Mangsit stood out. Further north, that of Sira and, to the side, Medana. We found them deserted. The real reasons for so much waste intrigue us.

In conversation with other outsiders, we concluded that in tourist terms, Lombok was then, the Bali of twenty years ago.

Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, priest at Pura Meru temple

Priest at the door of a shrine in the Hindu temple Pura Meru, Mataram.

As we explore more of the island, we realize how it has preserved itself genuine, protected by a population, unlike that of Bali, which is mostly Muslim and traditionalist, which inhibits some Western “pagan” behavior, such as the tiny clothes typical of bathing inactivity.

The Sasak Muslim Majority and the Hindu Balinese Minority

Today, the Sasak Islamic ethnicity makes up 90% of the population. Hindu Balinese make up the remaining 10%. These stand out from the crowd and are respected by it.

Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, family at Batu Bolong temple

Mindra family gathered at the Batu Bolong temple

Like the other smaller towns and villages on the island, Senggigi – the most touristic – wakes up to the call of “Allah Hu Akbar” early riser sung by the muezzins. It is governed by the following four appeals.

This does not prevent, at the same time, in the Pura (temple) Batu Bolong, the Mindra family, dressed in the precept of sash (handkerchief) and sarong Colorful carry out the elegant rituals of Balinese Hinduism.

Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple

Mindra family climbs a rocky platform of the Batu Bolong temple.

The Fascinating Hindu Ritual of the Mindra Family

pass through candi bent (parting portico) loaded with a basket with fruit, flowers and sweets that they place on the stone altar. They pray in the first sanctuary and advance towards the sea. Then, they cross a new candi bentar to access the second sanctuary.

Balinese Hinduism believer with offering tray Lombok, Indonesia

A woman carries a tray with offerings on her head for a Balinese Hindu ceremony for her family

There, before proceeding to their purification with water, they leave another offering beside two small red towers, protected by nagas and three statues of kalas.

Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Mindra family at Batu Bolong temple

Mindra family flown over by hundreds of dragonflies at the Batu Bolong shrine on the outskirts of Senggigi.

The kalas are the ugly and pot-bellied demons of time, insatiable devourers of everything and everyone that the Balinese try to appease, even more so with the arrival of the full moon or the new moon, which they believe influence the human mind and generate aggression.

This ritual takes place after sunset, during the setting of twilight. The Balinese believe that this is when the kala demons are looking for food.

Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, family at Batu Bolong temple

Mindras pray to the Hindu-Balinese Gods at the Batu Bolong temple.

Balinese Hinduism is more distant from Indian than Lombok from India. Like the Hindus of the sub-continent, the Balinese believe in the Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu trinity.

But they also believe in a supreme god, Acintya or Sanghyang Widi Wasa who cannot be thought, conceived or imagined and who, accordingly, is only very rarely worshipped.

Believer in Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia

Faithful descends from a shrine of the Batu Bolong temple.

Unlike what happens in India, where almost free and invariably bright images of these gods proliferate, in Lombok, as in Bali, the trinity is never seen.

The Bali and Lombok Indonesian Hinduism Refuges

The genesis of Balinese culture and religion lies in the Majapahit era, a kingdom of Indian influence that, from 1293 to 1500, dominated several indonesian islands and the Malay Peninsula.

Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Mindra family at Batu Bolong temple

Balinese Hindu Pagodas at Pura Meru Temple of Mataram, capital of Lombok.,jj

This kingdom eventually had to take refuge from the invasion of the Sultanates of Malacca and Demak. Found shelter in Bali, off the great Java island.

One of the pre-Majapahit beliefs that the Balinese preserved was the kaja, the orientation of temples facing mountains, the sea or the sunrise, in deference to their animistic spirits.

It is out of respect for this belief that the Mindra family ritual takes place under the distant and sacred supervision of Gunung Agung, the greatest volcano of Bali.

Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple, Agung volcano in background

Silhouettes of the Batu Bolong temple and in the distance, that of the Gunung Agung volcano in eastern Bali.

Their faith has obvious effects on them that characterize Balinese believers. The tranquility of mind they share is unusual and feels like availability and friendliness.

They share an almost fluent English speech that is haughty but, at the same time, humble. And they combine elegant speeches with contagious natural smiles.

Believer in Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia

Lord Mindra holds a basket with offerings characteristic of Balinese Hinduism

A few words are enough to authorize us to photograph a moment that is intimate. Despite not resisting abusing in the name of photography, not for once do they lose their composure or even their patience.

Instead, they ignore us as much as they can. Without haste or signs of anxiety, they complete their prayers and offerings.

Believer in Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia

Ms. Mindra prepares the ceremony that the family is about to perform

The Forces of Good and Evil of Balinese Hinduism

The expression of Balinese Hinduism does not always result in self-control. Among its ceremonies are exhibitions of dramas danced on nights with a full moon as the eternal battle between good and evil.

They are respectively represented by the lion or dragon Barong and the witch widow Rangda. Its actors go into a trance. By action of Rangda, they try to injure themselves with daggers. Protect them Barong.

Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, priest at Pura Meru temple

Priest consults a book under the gaze of a statue in the Pura Meru temple

In Bali, the exhibitions of Balinese Hinduism are always sacred. Still, commercial versions are carried out that help to promote tourism.

In Lombok, they continue to take place almost solely for religious reasons. They have their greatest expression at the Ogoh Ogoh parade, which takes place in the capital Mataram, the day before the Nyepi holiday – sunset on March 15th to sunset on March 16th.

This is the day of silence and retreat that marks the beginning of the new Hindu year. And from Balinese Hinduism.

Bali and neighboring Lombok.

Guwahati, India

The City that Worships Kamakhya and the Fertility

Guwahati is the largest city in the state of Assam and in North East India. It is also one of the fastest growing in the world. For Hindus and devout believers in Tantra, it will be no coincidence that Kamakhya, the mother goddess of creation, is worshiped there.
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Indonesia

The Volcanic Sea of ​​Java

The gigantic Tengger caldera rises 2000m in the heart of a sandy expanse of east Java. From it project the highest mountain of this Indonesian island, the Semeru, and several other volcanoes. From the fertility and clemency of this sublime as well as Dantesque setting, one of the few Hindu communities that resisted the Muslim predominance around, thrives.
Moyo Island, Indonesia

Moyo: An Indonesian Island Just for a Few

Few people know or have had the privilege of exploring the Moyo nature reserve. One of them was Princess Diana who, in 1993, took refuge there from the media oppression that would later victimize her.
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok. The Bali Sea Deserves such a Sonda

Long overshadowed by the neighboring island's fame, Lombok's exotic settings remain unrevealed, under the sacred protection of guardian Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia's second-largest volcano.
Gili Islands, Indonesia

Gili: the Indonesian Islands the World Calls "Islands"

They are so humble that they are known by the term bahasa which means only islands. Despite being discreet, the Gili have become the favorite haunt of travelers who pass through Lombok or Bali.
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Sheets of Bahia, Eternal Diamonds, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

Lençóis da Bahia: not Even Diamonds Are Forever

In the XNUMXth century, Lençóis became the world's largest supplier of diamonds. But the gem trade did not last as expected. Today, the colonial architecture that he inherited is his most precious possession.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
Big Freedia and bouncer, Fried Chicken Festival, New Orleans
Ceremonies and Festivities
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Big Freedia: in Bounce Mode

New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz and jazz sounds and resonates in its streets. As expected, in such a creative city, new styles and irreverent acts emerge. Visiting the Big Easy, we ventured out to discover Bounce hip hop.
Mdina, Malta, Silent City, architecture
Mdina, Malta

The Silent and Remarkable City of Malta

Mdina was Malta's capital until 1530. Even after the Knights Hospitaller demoted it, it was attacked and fortified accordingly. Today, it's the coastal and overlooking Valletta that drives the island's destinies. Mdina has the tranquility of its monumentality.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Djerbahood, Erriadh, Djerba, Mirror
Erriadh, Djerba, Tunisia

A Village Made Fleeting Art Gallery

In 2014, an ancient Djerbian settlement hosted 250 murals by 150 artists from 34 countries. The lime walls, the intense sun and the sand-laden winds of the Sahara erode the works of art. Erriadh's metamorphosis into Djerbahood is renewed and continues to dazzle.

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Martian Scenery of the White Desert, Egypt
White Desert, Egypt

The Egyptian Shortcut to Mars

At a time when conquering the solar system's neighbor has become an obsession, an eastern section of the Sahara Desert is home to a vast related landscape. Instead of the estimated 150 to 300 days to reach Mars, we took off from Cairo and, in just over three hours, we took our first steps into the Oasis of Bahariya. All around, almost everything makes us feel about the longed-for Red Planet.
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Naghol: Bungee Jumping without Modern Touches

At Pentecost, in their late teens, young people launch themselves from a tower with only lianas tied to their ankles. Bungee cords and harnesses are inappropriate fussiness from initiation to adulthood.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

Estancia Harberton, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

A Farm at the End of the World

In 1886, Thomas Bridges, an English orphan taken by his missionary foster family to the farthest reaches of the southern hemisphere, founded the ancient homestead of Tierra del Fuego. Bridges and the descendants surrendered to the end of the world. today, your Estancia harberton it is a stunning Argentine monument to human determination and resilience.
Hailuoto Island, Finland

Fishing for Truly Fresh Fish

Sheltered from unwanted social pressures, the islanders of Hailuoto they know how to sustain themselves. Under the icy sea of ​​Bothnia they capture precious ingredients for the restaurants of Oulu, in mainland Finland.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Almada Negreiros, Roça Saudade, Sao Tome
Saudade, São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Almada Negreiros: From Saudade to Eternity

Almada Negreiros was born in April 1893, on a farm in the interior of São Tomé. Upon discovering his origins, we believe that the luxuriant exuberance in which he began to grow oxygenated his fruitful creativity.
Suspension Bridge, Cabro Muco, Miravalles volcano
miravalles, Costa Rica

The volcano that Miravalles

At 2023 meters, the Miravalles stands out in northern Costa Rica, high above a range of pairs that includes La Giganta, Tenório, Espiritu Santo, Santa Maria, Rincón de La Vieja and Orosi. Inactive with respect to eruptions, it feeds a prolific geothermal field that warms the lives of Costa Ricans in its shadow.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Hell's Bend of Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Natural Parks
Fish River Canyon, Namíbia

The Namibian Guts of Africa

When nothing makes you foreseeable, a vast river ravine burrows the southern end of the Namíbia. At 160km long, 27km wide and, at intervals, 550 meters deep, the Fish River Canyon is the Grand Canyon of Africa. And one of the biggest canyons on the face of the Earth.
M:S Viking Tor Ferry-Wrapped Passenger, Aurlandfjord, Norway
UNESCO World Heritage
Flam a Balestrand, Norway

Where the Mountains Give In to the Fjords

The final station of the Flam Railway marks the end of the dizzying railway descent from the highlands of Hallingskarvet to the plains of Flam. In this town too small for its fame, we leave the train and sail down the Aurland fjord towards the prodigious Balestrand.
Zorro's mask on display at a dinner at the Pousada Hacienda del Hidalgo, El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico
El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico

Zorro's Cradle

El Fuerte is a colonial city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. In its history, the birth of Don Diego de La Vega will be recorded, it is said that in a mansion in the town. In his fight against the injustices of the Spanish yoke, Don Diego transformed himself into an elusive masked man. In El Fuerte, the legendary “El Zorro” will always take place.
Varela Guinea Bissau, Nhiquim beach
Varela, Guinea Bissau

Dazzling, Deserted Coastline, all the way to Senegal

Somewhat remote, with challenging access, the peaceful fishing village of Varela compensates those who reach it with the friendliness of its people and one of the stunning, but at risk, coastlines in Guinea Bissau.
Vairocana Buddha, Todai ji Temple, Nara, Japan
Nara, Japan

The Colossal Cradle of the Japanese Buddhism

Nara has long since ceased to be the capital and its Todai-ji temple has been demoted. But the Great Hall remains the largest ancient wooden building in the world. And it houses the greatest bronze Vairocana Buddha.
Back in the sun. San Francisco Cable Cars, Life Ups and Downs
On Rails
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Daily life
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Ross Bridge, Tasmania, Australia
Discovering tassie, Part 3, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania from Top to Bottom

The favorite victim of Australian anecdotes has long been the Tasmania never lost the pride in the way aussie ruder to be. Tassie remains shrouded in mystery and mysticism in a kind of hindquarters of the antipodes. In this article, we narrate the peculiar route from Hobart, the capital located in the unlikely south of the island to the north coast, the turn to the Australian continent.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.