Located in the Ubud District on the Indonesian island of Bali, Ubud is regarded as the cultural centre of the island. It comprises of 14 villages, each run by its own \\ banjar\\ (village committee). The town is popular as an art and crafts hub and has numerous artists\\ workshops and galleries to its credit. Ubud sits serenely amongst rice paddies and steep ravines, in the central foothil
Located in the Ubud District on the Indonesian island of Bali, Ubud is regarded as the cultural centre of the island. It comprises of 14 villages, each run by its own 'banjar' (village committee). The town is popular as an art and crafts hub and has numerous artists' workshops and galleries to its credit. Ubud sits serenely amongst rice paddies and steep ravines, in the central foothills of the Gianyar regency.
The town derives its name from the Balinese word 'ubad' that means medicine. The town got this name from its being a source of medicinal herbs and plants.
Ubud is a sacred town of the Hindus, owing to a Javanese priest, Rsi Markandya. He meditated at the Ubud locality of Campuan, at the confluence of two rivers, in the 8th century. He was instrumental in establishing the Gunung Lebah Temple on the valley floor, which is a popular pilgrimage destination.
Feudal lords made Ubud their seat in the late 19th century. These lords belonged to the 'satriya' family of Sukawati and played a prominent role in the emergence of the town as a famous arts centre. The lords owed their allegiance to the king of Gianyar, at one time the most powerful of Bali's southern states.
The town developed as an art and crafts hub after the arrival of Walter Spies, an ethnic German, born in Russia. He taught painting and music and dabbled in dance. Soon, numerous artists, including Willem Hofker and Rudolf Bonnet arrived in the town and taught and trained the Balinese in arts. Thus, Ubud became the cultural centre of Bali.
Ubud emerged as a centre of artistic pursuit in the 1960s, after the arrival of the Dutch painter Arie Smit. The artistic vigour of the town got an extra boost in the wake of the Young Artists Movement.
Tourists from across the globe throng the picturesque town of Ubud to experience the emergence of the town as a centre of the arts. Visitors come to the town to enjoy the traditional cultural performances. Tourists can seek relaxation of the body and look for spiritual peace, by availing yoga and meditation and by visiting the numerous spas across town.
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