7 Best Temples To Visit In Bali, Indonesia
Over the years, worship places have become essential for human beings as it brings an alluring kind of holiness and peace within the soul. Bali has proven that visiting its temples could take you to the utmost serenity of your life. Named the ‘Island of Gods’, Bali has its temples sitting from the breathtaking mountains, the magnificent volcanic view, the mysterious caves, and the rugged but sturdy coasts and sandy beaches. There are over 20,00 temples in Bali at the last count (Pura in Balinese), it would be impossible to visit them all for a short period, but you could at least visit a few. Listed below are the seven must-see Bali temples worth your time and effort.
Pura Lempuyang Luhur
Location: Jalan Pura Telaga Mas Lempuyang, Tri Buana, Abang, Karangasem, Bali 80852, Indonesia
Pura Lempuyang Luhur is one of Bali’s oldest and most sacred temples, equal to Besakih (Bali’s mother temple). The main temple lies 1,175 meters above sea level, on Mount Lempuyang in East Bali. The temple is reachable by taking a steep staircase of over 1,700 steps. However, the attractions along the way, including several other temples and the quiet mountain forest, could still make the staircase worth the trek.
The promise of a wonderful view awaits above the stairs, and one could see Mount Agung framed perfectly in the split gates that lead into the temple. It’s no wonder it’s been called ‘Heaven’s Gate.’
After an approximate 2-hour climb, Lempuyang Temple welcomes weary journeyers with a spectacular view and serenity. The temple itself provides a more mystical feel about sacredness and calmness. Afterwards, prayers come with refreshing holy water sprinkled by the priest, which soothes the body, mind, and soul.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu
Location: Jalan Raya Uluwatu, Pecatu, Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Uluwatu Temple, Pura Luhur Uluwatu in Balinese, is categorized as Bali’s six main Hindu temples. Besides the uniqueness of the architecture, the Uluwatu temple is located at the edge of a steep cliff, approximately 70 meters above sea level. Furthermore, aside from exploring the temple itself, one can also be transfixed by the Indian Ocean’s roaring waters from the cliff’s top.
Uluwatu temple is also deemed the best location to stare at sunset scenery because sunsets can be viewed from the cliff’s top without interference. According to tourists, the best time to visit the Uluwatu temple is in the afternoon before sunset. Aside from viewing the sunset scenery, performances will be seen on stage by Balinese Kecak dance daily. Watching Balinese Kecak dance at Uluwatu temple has become one of the travelers’ main priorities during the Bali holidays.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
Location: Danau Beratan, Candikuning, Baturiti, Tabanan Regency, Bali 82191, Indonesia
Pura Ulun Danu Temple comprises four distinct temples: Dalem Purwa Temple, Terate Bang Temple, Lingga Petak Temple, and Penataran Pucak Mangu Temple. The three main temples in the complex are tiered shrines dedicated to God Vishnu’s worship, which boasts 11 tiers; god Brahma with 7 tiers; and Shiva with 3 tiers. All these temples were constructed to honor the gods and provide fertility and prosperity on their land.
What attracts tourists’ interest in Ulun Danu Temple Beratan is the temple located in the middle of Lake Beratan, set within the highlands of the mountainous Bedugul region in Bali, Indonesia. The mountains surrounding this location and the lake mirroring the temple provide an enchanting and dreamy sight of the scenery, making this temple a hot spot for photographers and tourists.
With the clear waters of Lake Beratan Bedugul surrounding the Ulun Danu temple area, it looks as if the Ulun Danu temple is floating on the Beratan lake water surface. Since it is located in the highlands, the Ulun Danu Beratan temple region is often covered in cold mist and fresh air. Besides seeing the temple’s beautiful scenery, travelers can also enjoy the lake water activity, such as renting a boat to get around Beratan lake.
Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati
Location: Jalan Kajeng, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
The temple is dedicated to Saraswati, who, according to Hindu mythology, is the divine consort of Brahma, the four-faced creator deity. Her name is a combination of two Sanskrit words, “Sara,” a lake or pool, and “vati,” to possess, which means She Who Has an Abundance of Water.
Taman Saraswati temple’s main attraction lies in the architectural beauty and the existence of the lotus pond surrounding the temple. Moreover, every 19:30 (Bali time), at the temple area of Taman Saraswati Ubud, there will be a Balinese dance performance.
Tanah Lot Temple
Location: Jalan Raya Tanah Lot, Beraban, Kediri, Tabanan, Bali 82121, Indonesia
Tanah Lot Temple is a Hindu shrine designed to worship God Baruna, God of the sea, to provide prosperity and keep the balance between the sea and earth. Tanah Lot Temple, Pura Tanah Lot in Balinese, stands for land “Tanah” and sea “Lot,” which is also quite an appropriate name because it is situated on top of a rock and resembles a small island floating in the sea.
It is one of the seven ocean temples on Bali’s coast that provides mystical holiness over the roaring waters. Pura Tanah Lot is built on a rock with a 3-acre size and is reachable by a few minutes walk because it is just 20 meters from the shoreline.
The Tanah Lot Temple still stands strong despite the crumble it experienced in the ’80s. About one-third of the rocks at the temple’s base was replaced with artificial rocks, but it is still sturdy as ever.
Location: Jl. Gunung Mas No.Ds, Besakih, Rendang, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80863, Indonesia
Known as the Mother Temple of Bali, Besakih is essential for the Balinese as they consider it the holiest place of worship. The temple is located 900 meters, in estimates, up the slopes of Mount Agung, an active volcano.
However, at about five to six kilometers from the volcano’s crater, Besakih sits safely outside Agung’s danger zone—set currently at a radius of four kilometers from the crater by Indonesia’s volcanology center.
During Agung’s last eruption in 1963, which killed around 1,600 people, lava flows narrowly missed Besakih, which many saw as an indication of the temple’s holiness. Isn’t it interesting how it is located inside the safe zone?
Location: Jalan Raya Batuan, Batuan, Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia
Batuan Temple is a local Hindu temple and a focal landmark in the namesake village of Batuan, about 10 km south of central Ubud. This 11th-century shrine faces a large communal hall where devotees worship and present offerings. The place’s main attraction is the well-preserved sandstone motifs, traditional Balinese paintings, and temple architecture. One can also see multi-tiered thatched-roof shrines within the temple’s inner courtyard.
Batuan temple has a grand complex of shrines that face a separate large communal hall from where most visitors start their visit. During major temple ceremonies, towering fruit and flower offerings occupy the space. On other days, local artists and craftsmen showcase their latest works, from batiks to framed paintings and statuettes.
Considering the sacred places, one must know the proper etiquette whenever entering the temples, including wearing appropriate clothing, being respectful to the structures and locals, etc. Knowing more about the places is also essential before exploring to avoid trouble. It is exciting and enchanting to think of places where serenity is offered at your table.
Bali, as the Island of Gods, will not fail to take you to your heart’s content, may it be on the cold mountains, the screaming waters, the whispering caves, or even up above a sleeping volcano lies. All in all, Bali is the place that’s really worth your while.