Garuda Wisnu Kencana or affectionately known as GWK, is a cultural park carved out of limestone in Bukit Ungasan, Jimbaran, south of Bali (it's about 40 KM from Denpasar).

It is devoted to the Hindu god Vishnu, the source of wisdom, who rides on the back of Garuda, the mythical bird, heading towards Amerta, the symbol of perennial virtue.

Garuda Wisnu Kencana made from more than 4.000 tons of giant slabs of copper and brass, the statue of Vishnu is 23 meters high although the original plan was for a 146 meter gold plated Vishnu riding Garuda on top of an 11-storey entertainment complex.

But further construction now proceeds at a snail's pace due to the crisis of 1998 and later the bombings in Bali, which must have discouraged investors.

The statue and its pedestal are surrounded by more than 240 hectares of cultural park, which was once an abandoned and unproductive limestone quarry.

The cultural park provides attraction with supporting facilities such as Lotus Pond, which can accommodate some 7.000 people, the Festival Park, a 800-seat amphitheater with first class accoustics, street theater and an exhibition hall.

At present, the statue of Vishnu, the statue of Garuda and the hands of Vishnu are placed temporarily in three different plazas within the park. They were made in Bandung, West Java, and transported by sea piece by piece.

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