Worried about a recent rise in ‘disrespectful behaviour’ by travellers visiting their sacred Hindu sites, authorities in Bali are considering placing new laws on temple visits, according to the Indonesian province’s deputy governor.
Known as Cok Ace, Tjokorda Oka Artha Sukawati said behaviour had worsened because Bali had been “too open with tourists”, which had resulted in more visitors but a decline in “the quality of tourists”.
“This is the government’s attempt to maintain the Pura [temples],” Cok Ace said at a recent regional council meeting,” he said.
“The temples need to be preserved since they are the spirits of Bali’s cultures and customs.”
To be evaluated in the coming weeks, the new laws would see tourists banned from visiting the island’s temples and sacred sites unaccompanied.
According to The Guardian, a recent photo of a Danish tourist sitting on a sacred shrine prompted the Government crackdown.
The photo, which shows a tourist sitting on the Linggih Padmasana shrine at Puhur Lutur Batukaru temple - considered a highly offensive act - went viral.
Police have been instructed by a religious council to find the person responsible for the act.
But there have been other incidents that have provoked the ire of local officials, such as a snap of a woman doing yoga in a bikini in front of an ancient temple.
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