Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park (Indonesian: Taman Budaya Garuda Wisnu Kencana) or GWK, is a cultural park located at Ungasan, Badung in the island of Bali, Indonesia about 10–15 minutes driving from Ngurah Rai International Airport. It is devoted to the Hindu god Vishnu, and his mount, Garuda, the mythical bird who became his companion. Planned to be established as a landmark or mascot of Bali, construction of the giant statue of Vishnu riding his mount Garuda, as high as 120 metres was completed in August 2018.
The park has a land area of about 60 hectares and is located at an altitude 263 metres above sea level.In the area there is also a statue of Garuda which is directly behind the Plaza Wisnu. Garuda Plaza is where the Garuda statue as high as 18 meters is placed temporarily. At this moment, Garuda Plaza is the focal point of a large corridor of carved limestone pillars covering over 4000 square meters of open space i.e. Lotus Pond. With a space capacity capable of accommodating up to 7,000 people, Lotus Pond has earned a reputation as a venue for holding major events and international events. There is also a statue of Vishnu's hand which is part of the statue of Lord Vishnu.
Good to Know and What not to Miss Plaza Wisnu, on the highest level of grounds in the park, is where the statue’s upper part of Vishnu body is placed. Traditional Balinese dance is performed here, with the majestic statue as a background. By the statue is Parahyangan Somaka Giri – a sacred fount that purportedly bears magical healing powers. The water is rich in important minerals that have healing abilities. Street Theatre is the main commercial area where tours begin and end. You will find a GWK Souvenir Shop, ‘Bali Art Market’ store, and a reflexology outlet here. The story of Garuda Wisnu Kencana is related here in carvings on four limestone walls. A Barong dance is also performed at this spot every day. The largest outdoor venue in the park is Lotus Pond, contained by massive quarried limestone blocks. The 4,400sqm area can hold up to 7,500 people for dramatic big-scale events, such as music concerts, mega runway fashion shows, and much more. The garuda-head part of the statue makes a phenomenal background for events. The most beautiful vista of the island in the area is found in the Indraloka Garden. It holds medium-scale events such as wedding parties, company gatherings, and more.
The GWK Amphitheatre accommodates up to 800 people and features high-quality acoustics. A number of plays have been performed here. This was also the venue of the international ‘Bali for the World’ event in 2003 that was intended to resurrect Bali’s tourism industry after the Bali Bombing in 2002. Don’t forget to watch Bali’s famous Kecak dance performed here every day at 18:30! Balairung Dewi Sri is the name of the GWK exhibition hall, derived from the goddess of rice and fertility. Fun free services are provided here such as nail painting, hair braiding, and more. Visitors are also welcome to watch a feature video on the making of the GWK statue or Panca Yadnya (Balinese Hindu five holy offerings). Visitors can purchase the video at the GWK souvenir shop. Tirtha Agung is the area where you will find the hands part of Vishnu statue.
A Balinese parade around the park is scheduled at 17:00 daily. Jendela Bali, a panoramic restaurant, is situated in the Street Theatre area. It provides authentic Balinese food and daily entertainment. The Berandas is a new addition to Street Theatre, serving an all-you-can-eat buffet. The Vishnu statue on its own is planned to be at least 75 metres tall and the garuda statue should be around 70 metres tall. The weight of the statue will be approximately 4,000 tons. Some parts of GWK statue will be covered in gold foil. The project will take longer time for completion than initially planned due to Indonesia’s monetary crisis.