Candi Dasa or often Candidasa is a seaside town on the eastern cost of Bali that rests on the edge of a fresh water lagoon, named Candi Dasa Lagoon. The town is centred around Jalan Raya Candida, where a number of hotels, restaurants, and shops line the main road. It is popular tourist stop, attracting divers and those looking for a more sedate alternative to the busy, nightclub filled Kuta area or the large, manicured resorts at Nusa Dua.

Most sources say a fishing village was founded on the site by the 12th century and before the modern name of Candi Dasa was adopted it was known as both Teluk Kehen (“Bay of Fire”) and Cilidasa. It is thought that the temple near the lagoon, with a statue of the fertility goddess Hariti surrounded by a group of children is the origin of the name cilidasa which translates from Balinese as “ten children”. Many Balinese who want to have children go on pilgrimage to this temple to pray. The modern name is thought to be a corruption of this older name.

The town began to catch on as a tourist destination in the 1970s. The diving and snorkeling in the area brought many tourists and the village began to grow. Hotels, villas, and restaurants popped up along the main strip, and in more recent years, atms, health clinics, and mini marts are also found here. Apart from great diving and snorkeling, the town provides easy access to other destinations in eastern Bali.

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