Although Bali is famous for its authentic Hindu philosophies, Blimbingsari Village is one of the few Bali villages whose majority of the residents is Protestant. Despite this matter, the character of Bali does not deteriorate in this village; even the village's churches are adorned with Balinese Hindu style carvings.
The influence of Balinese Hindus in Blimbingsari are applied to several more activities, including Christmas tradition, naming hierarchy, and religious rituals. One of the most unique activity is the churches’ rituals, where the villagers of Blimbingsari wear ceremonial clothes native to Hindu temples while listening to their sermons, while the priests’ liturgies are accompanied with Bali’s gamelan music. This unique assimilation continues to draw visitors from all around the world that are considerably curious about the village’s culture.
Nothing is impossible for God. That is what the founders of Belimbingsari believed in when they were exiled from Bali and settled upon a haunted and untamed jungle in 1939. Against all odds, what was once believed to be an uninhabitable and deadly jungle became the permanent settlement for the Balinese Christians of Belimbingsari, with numerous houses and a 20-acre wide church that's adorned with Bali's architectural character.
Originally, the church wasn’t made to look like a temple, until an earthquake destroyed the original building in 1971. After that, the church was rebuilt and remodeled to look like a Balinese temple, earning the nickname “Pura Gereja” or The Temple of Church, and gaining recognition from the World Church Council as one of the most unique churches of the world. This church is now the center point of Blimbingsari Village, which could be easily mistaken for a Hindu temple if not for the signboard and a few crosses on the roof.
Today, the Belimbingsari community stands stronger than ever, with significant progresses in several categories, including sanitation, security, economy, and population growth - it even won the national Community Based Tourism Award for the best community-based tourism village in 2017. The village welcomes anybody with open arms, and is already quite popular among local and foreign tourists, and anybody who's been there will tell you the same thing; you haven't been to Bali if you haven't been to Belimbingsari.
To get to the village, you will need to make your way to Gilimanuk. You can do this by taking a bus or a bemo rickshaw from Ubung terminal in Denpasar, or by a 30-minute ferry ride from Banyuwangi, which runs every 20 minutes, 24 hours a day. Blimbingsari Village is located around 25 km southeast of Gilimanuk on the main coastal road. Although there is no public transport that regularly goes into the village, you can hail a motorcycle-taxi or take your own transport to go there.
With the increasing visits from both local and foreign tourists, the government formed a team dedicated to Blimbingsari tourism. This team has managed to open 85 homestays comprised of the locals’ houses, making it easier to get to know them once you arrange a homestay deal. Otherwise, you can also visit here on a daytrip from Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, or Medewi.
Blimbingsari, Melaya, Jembrana Regency, Bali 82252
Phone: +62815-47240571 (Wayan)