Denpasar is the capital of Bali, and is the main gateway to the island. The city is also a hub for other cities in the Lesser Sunda Islands.With the rapid growth of the tourism industry in Bali, Denpasar has encouraged and promoted business activities and ventures, contributing to it having the highest growth rate in Bali Province. The population of Denpasar was 834,881 in 2012, up from 788,445 at the 2010 Census. The surrounding metropolitan area has roughly 2 million residents.EtymologyThe name Denpasar – from the Balinese words "den", meaning north, and "pasar", meaning market – indicates the city's origins as a market-town, on the site of what is now Kumbasari Market (formerly "Peken Payuk"), in the northern part of the modern city.HistoryColonial eraIn the 18th and 19th century, Denpasar functioned as the capital of the Hindu Majapahit Kingdom of Badung. Thus, the city was formerly called Badung. The royal palace was looted and razed during the Dutch intervention in 1906. A statue in Taman Puputan (Denpasar's central square) commemorates the 1906 Puputan, in which as many as a thousand Balinese, including the King and his court, committed mass suicide in front of invading Dutch troops, rather than surrender to them.Independence eraIn 1958 Denpasar became the seat of government for the Province of Bali. It remained the administrative centre of both Badung Regency and the City of Denpasar.Both Denpasar and Badung Regency have experienced rapid physical, economic, social and cultural growth. Denpasar has become not only the seat of government, but also the centre of commerce, education, industry, and tourism.