The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park (GWK) continues to preen ahead of the G20 Summit. A number of buses were seen lined up opposite the Jendela Bali restaurant. Guards are also seen there. Especially in the entrance area to the G20 welcoming dinner arena on November 15, 2022.
GWK Cultural Park is one of the favorite destinations on the Island of the Gods. President Joko Widodo and the heads of delegations will attend a dinner in the Lotus Pond area as part of a series of G20 Summit activities.
GWK Director of Operations Stefanus Yonathan Astayasa stated that his party was 100% ready to receive the visit.
“We are starting to make improvements to venues and access. Our priority is access. This is because access for the G20 must be free of lines. We are preparing feasibility, beauty, neatness to make this welcoming dinner perfect,” he said as quoted from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy’s press release.
He added that work on access to be passed by the heads of the G20 member states had been carried out since last June. “So we make some access and it takes time,” he added.
Apart from GWK, there were actually several other destinations proposed to Jokowi before finally choosing this cultural park because of the uniqueness and strong character of this tourist area.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park was designed by Nyoman Nuarta since the 1980s. It took quite a long time for the idea of GWK to be accepted by the community, initially it was considered a mere waste of money. This project could only start in 1997. On September 22, 2018, the 60 hectare cultural park was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo.
The specialty of one of the favorite destinations in Bali lies in the statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana which towers over 120 meters high. The statue became a timeless icon of civilization. The statue made of copper, steel and brass depicts the Hindu god Vishnu riding on his mount, the bird Garuda.
On the shoulder of Lord Vishnu, there is an ornament made of thousands of pieces of gold mosaic glass. An ornament called ‘badong’ is also attached to the crown and chest of the statue.
“As an icon that Bali and Indonesia are proud of, we are happy to be chosen because many delegates want to know what this destination is really like,” said Stefanus.
Lotus Pond Area Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park (GWK) Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy
As the venue for the banquet, Lotus Pond is the biggest landmark in GWK known as the main square. The outdoor area can accommodate up to 7,500 people.
The wide expanse of the courtyard looks very majestic with limestone cliffs that line up on either side. The view at that point is even more captivating with the presence of a Garuda statue at one end of a row of limestone cliffs.
Stepping into the main door of the Lotus Pond there is Tirta Agung (holy water). There visitors can also find carved stone walls (reliefs) which contain the story of Garuda Wisnu Kencana until it finally became the mount of Lord Vishnu – Hindus believe him to be the guardian deity of the universe.
The lotus (lotus) symbolizes beauty, prosperity and fertility, and is always carried in the hands of Vishnu. Although the lotus flower has roots in the mud, on the surface it blooms into a beautiful flower and becomes a rich symbol of humanity and the cosmos.
“It is planned that around 300-400 people will attend the dinner at Lotus Pond. The remaining G20 participants who did not take part in the dinner can have dinner at the Jendela Bali restaurant,” he added.
Stefanus is also optimistic that the G20 event will have a positive impact and increase tourist visits to GWK in the long term. Moreover, the manager is continuing to make improvements.
“From inside the GWK statue, now tourists are spoiled with a variety of different experiences, starting from the ground floor of the statue to the top of the 23rd floor. The goal is for GWK to give a memorable impression for tourists,” he said.
As the implementation of the G20 Summit GWK closed the location from tourist visits for four days, from 12 to 15 November 2022. And during those four days, GWK took some of its employees off.
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