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History of Bali

Bali, by virtue of being one of the main islands of Indonesia, has had an important role to play in the history of Indonesia as a country. Bali has a history of Hindu kingdoms (many signs of which still remain, in the magnificent Hindu temples scattered across the island), established initially by immigrants from neighbouring Java. Bali, in fact, remained a stronghold of Hinduism for quite a while.

Islam arrived in Indonesia during the 1300s, and the establishment of a Muslim empire resulted in the downfall of the Hindu Majapahit kingdom, whose rulers fled to Bali in the 1400s. They stayed on in Bali (in fact, their descendants are still highly respected in Balinese society), but were ousted from whatever power they held by the arrival of the Dutch, who took control of the island by the twentieth century. Bali remained under the rule of the Dutch until the independence of Indonesia, in 1949.


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