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Ubud-cover-2nd-edition 100 years ago Ubud was a palace, a market, some temples and rice fields dotted with single storey houses. It wasn’t much different at the start of the 1970s, less than 50 years ago. During ten decades ‘magic hands’ have slowly transformed Ubud into a major tourism centre – famous for its culture, for art, music and dances and for the Balinese Hindu religion with its frequent colourful ceremonies. There is now even an annual world famous literary festival. Around Ubud whole villages specialize in painting, carving and sculpture and the 15 kilometres long district of Tegallalang is the world’s largest handicraft centre. The Balinese philosophy of harmony  has made Ubud and, indeed, Bali, one of the world’s centres of holistic living and yoga and in 2012 UNESCO recognized the Tri Hita Karana philosophy embodied in wet rice irrigation systems and monuments in five regencies of Bali, including Gianyar, where Ubud is located. This philosophy is now a resource for the world. Ubud and Gianyar’s famous terraced landscape  has now also attracted thousands biking and trekking south from the volcano and lake at Batur, enjoying the views, the people, the villages, the ecology and even adventure tourism, especially white water rafting. Ubud’s tourism ‘catchment area’, now effectively extends north to Batur, west to Kedewaton, east to Tampaksiring and south to Sukawati. This book tells the story of the making of Ubud and identifies some of the ‘magic hands’ that created it.

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