Ancient historical period: Indianized kingdoms (800–1343 CE)

The Belanjong pillar written in both the Indian Sanskrit language and Old Balinese language(in 914 CE) is mentioned “Wali Dwipa”. Wali means ritual and Dwipa means island. “Wali Dwipa” literally means the island of rituals and offerings. This ancient description of the island with strong magical ritual tradition can be really found in the Balinese people’s current way of life.

In this inscription is also described the reign of the Balinese king Sri Kesari. The Buddhist king of the Sailendra Dynasty led an expedition to establish a Mahayana Buddhist government on Bali.

Balinese Temple Sculptures

With inter-marriage between Java and Bali royalty Airlangga, became the great ruler of East Java, who ruled on both Java and Bali in the 12th century.

The island of Java again started to encroach significantly on Bali with the invasion of King Singarasi Kertanegara in 1284 CE. Kertanegara was then toppled by Raden Wijaya, founder of the Majapahit Empire.


Middle historical period: Majapahit dynastic rule (1343–1846 CE)

Majapahit Golden Age

Bali, a Hindu kingdom, is the last remaining trace of the once great Majapahit Empire, which ruled almost the entire Indonesian archipelago from monkey templeSumatra to New Guinea between the 13th and16th centuries.


Javanese defeated the Balinese king in Bedulu in 1343. Gelgel remained the paramount kingdom on Bali until the second half of the 17th century.


The rule of the Majapahit marks the strong influx of Javanese culture into Bali, most of all in architecture, dance and the theatre, in literature with the introduction of the Kawi script, in painting and sculpture and the wayang puppet theatre.


With the rise of Islam in the Indonesian archipelago, the Majapahit Empire finally fell.

Bali became independent at the end of the 15th or beginning of the 16th century

In turn, the Balinese king Dalem Baturenggong expanded his rule to East Java, Lombok and western Sumbawa.

Nine Hindu kingdoms of Bali would endure for centuries. The largest of these kingdoms was the North Bali kingdom of Buleleng, comprising almost a third of the island. Buleleng’s capital Singaraja grew to be the island’s economic and cultural centre. The kings that ruled here were the kings of entire Bali.

European colonization

In the early 20th century, Indonesia was colonization by the Netherlands. Bali’s kings finally relinquished their rule of the island.



The Japanese came to Indonesia and Bali In 1942. They declared themselves to be the protectors of Asia, who would help to the local people in the fight against colonialism and for freedom. They succeed and the Dutch were conquered with the help of local people. But Japanese were just as colonialist as the Dutch were.


When the armed forces led the by USA destroyed Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan, World War II ended, Japan was officially defeated and the Japanese left Bali.

In August 17, 1945, Indonesia declared its independence. The first president and vice president of Indonesia became Sukarno and Hatta, and the over 13,000 islands of the archipelago have been united since that time.



The boundaries of these lost kingdoms live on today in the form of Bali’s Regencies, or kabupaten. Although they hold no formal authority, the royal families are still revered, and occasionally a prince may hold a position of power in today’s political landscape.