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  Balinese Architecture

IF, instead of walking, we look at Balinese villages from above the impression of order is no less extraordinary. Houses are all identical and strikingly parallel in layout with family temples, kitchens and rooms occupying the same relative position in the walled compound.

Large temples, likewise, all have the same structure with their main shrines occupying the same 'kaja kangin' (east-mountain ward) corner and villages, all with the same banyan tree, in the vicinity of the similarly located princely mansion.

And, all around this orderly world, the greenness of the trees and the glitter of rice fields. More than any of the so-called tourism 'objects' vaunted by the industry, it is in this harmonious integration of Man and Nature that the genuine charm of Bali can be found.

Traditional architecture in Bali originates from two sources. One is the great Hindu radiation brought to Bali from India via Java. The second is an indigenous architecture pre-dating the Hindu epic and in many ways reminiscent of Polynesian building.

Even the Balinese it has been noted, is surrounded by a stone wall dividing its sacred precincts from the village very much like Hawaiian and Tahitian places of worship.

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