Although there are no artifacts or records dating back to the Stone Age, it is believed that the first settlers in Bali migrated from China around 2,500 BC, and by the Bronze era, around 300 BC; quite an evolved culture existed in Bali. The complex system of irrigation and rice production, still in use today, was established around this time.
History is vague for the first few centuries. A number of Hindu artifacts were been found dating back to the 1st century (AD), which suggests that the main religion, around 500 AD, was predominantly Buddhist.
It wasn’t until the 11th century that Bali received the first strong influx of Hindu and Javanese cultures. With the death of his father around AD 1,011, Airlangga, a Balinese prince, moved to east Java and set about creating unity. Having succeeded, he then appointed his brother, Anak Wungsu, as ruler of Bali. During the ensuing period there was a reciprocation of political and artistic ideas, and the old Javanese language, Kawi, became the language used by the aristocracy. With the spread of Islam throughout Sumatra and Java during the 16th century, the Majapahit Empire began to collapse and a large exodus of the aristocracy, priest, artists, and artisans fled to Bali. For a while Bali flourished and the following centuries were considered the Golden Age of Bali’s cultural history which is still seen today on our many tours. The Balinese are open and very friendly people who welcome tourists to explore and share in celebration of their cultural and spiritual heritage.