On 22 September 2018, The President of the Republic of Indonesia, Ir. H. Joko Widodo inaugurated the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) statue in Ungasan Bali. Dressed in ‘baju adat’ Bali, or Bali’s traditional clothing, the President looked the part for this fantastic display for one of Indonesia’s newest monuments and icons.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana, which was designed by the artist Nyoman Nuarta, was dreamed up 28 years ago. Finally, almost three decades later, it stands tall on Bali’s bukit. The statue depicts the Hindu god Wisnu riding on the back of the mythological god-bird of Garuda, as of August 2018 it is the largest statue in the world and third tallest statue in the world. It’s taller than the Statue of Liberty!
The entire GWK statue stands at a total height of 121 metres, on a pedestal of 46 metres and has a wing span of 64 metres. It is found in the GWK Cultural Park which covers an area of 60-hectares in Ungasan, Bali. It is envisioned to be a cultural hub and has long been a destination for massive events and festivals on the island.
Visitors can actually enter the statue, just like entering Lady Liberty, and head up to (nearly) the top of GWK and enjoy the views out to Bali. Made with a steel frame and brass and copper skin, it weighs over 3000 tons, its green façade coming from the oxidation of the brass and copper.
It’s size and scale are quite hard to imagine without seeing it for yourself however, seeing Indonesia’s newest monument is definitely worth a visit!