THE GARUDA WISNU KENCANA STATUE
A masterpiece came from the hand of Balinese Artist Nyoman Nuarta, shaped as a large statue which built at Mandala Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, bukit Ungasan Jimbaran Bali, still on going processed and plan to be finished in the year of 2005, designed to be the landmark for tourism of Bali and Indonesia.
THE LEGEND OF GARUDA WISNU
The establishment of the statue is God Wisnu the Protector God of Hinduism riding on mythical bird Garuda, inspired from Adi Parwa's tale on the episode of Garuda with his loyal and sacrifice to save his mother from the shackles of slavery life, by devoted his life to serve the God Wisnu by being his means of transportation.
[ Statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana at Candi Belahan, East Java, was built during the time of Majapahit on Airlangga's reign who ruled over Java and Bali in the 11 century, inspired the development of Garuda Wisnu Statues which could found in many places in Bali. ]
The tale tells about a whirlpool in a sea of milk created by gods and giants by using Mount Mandara. The whirlpool caused a horse called Oncesrawa to appear, and then the Tirtha Amertha (the water of life). Anybody who drinks the Tirtha Amertha, he will never die because he will never experience being old. He will look young at all times. The gods and giants then fought to get the water, but finally the gods prevailed and took the water to keep in heaven.
Based on the tale, the Garuda eagle, the son of Goddess Winata, fought hard to get the Tirtha Amertha to free his mother from 1,000 dragons, the sons of Goddess Kadru, which had made his mother a slave. The Garuda eagle, accompanied by his parents' prayers, fought his best to beat the gods in the heaven to get the Tirtha Amertha. After a long fight, finally they made an agreement that the gods would hand over the Tirtha Amertha on one condition, i.e. that the Garuda eagle would serve God Wisnu. Garuda was very pleased with the offer because he knew that he would be able to free his mother.
Garuda eagle then took the Tirtha Amertha to the 1,000 dragons, which wanted to have eternal lives. His mother safe and free. Then Garuda told the dragons," You are all only allowed to drink the Tirtha Amertha after having a bath." The dragons soon went to bathe in the nearby river and left the water unattended. None of them realized that the water should never be left unattended. Finally, God Indra came and took the Tirtha Amertha and returned it to the heaven.
The Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue is hoped to stimulate the dynamic of physical and spiritual values, and the balance between skala and niskala (the real and unreal worlds) so that harmony on the earth can be created. The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue is the symbol of the mission of environmental safeguard and the world savior.