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Enjoy the beauty of Bali, ‘Island of the Gods’.
If you’re thinking of an exotic island holiday, why not go for broke and choose Bali, the dream island par excellence? One of 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago, it’s unique in the fact that 93 per cent of its population are Hindus, reports Budget Travel, giving it the highly spiritual quality that writer Elizabeth Gilbert captured and made famous in her novel ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, now a film starring Julia Roberts.
In fact Bali has become known as ‘Island of the Gods’ and you’ll find some form of spiritual celebration here nearly every day. When villages near the sacred volcanic Mount Agung were destroyed by an eruption in 1963, the terraced complex of three Hindu temples at the Besakih (the Mother Temple of Bali), atop the mountain, escaped by just a few feet. Locals saw this as a miracle and you can now witness impressive regular processions of mantra-singing worshippers paying homage at the temples. They climb the steps with offerings balanced on their heads, bells jingling and in the presence of ‘umbul-umbuls’, ceremonial Balinese flags.
Discover your own spiritual side at the Nirarta Centre, an 11-room hotel set in a lush valley at the foothills of the sacred mountain. Enjoy daily meditation sessions, massage and good local cuisine. The island is also renowned as a surfers' paradise and offers great scuba diving, or land lubbers can try a jungle trek or simply walk along beaches of fine white sand.