Uluwatu Temple Travel Guide
A temple that is perched on top of a steep cliff at the edge of a plateau 250 feet above the waves of the Indian Ocean and a protector that guards the place against evil spirits? What’s not to like?
It was my 5th day in Bali, and while enjoying Adi Dharma Resort’s buffet breakfast, I heard a group from another table discussing their sunset experience at Uluwatu Temple.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu
After hearing their vivid description of the place, I immediately booked a van and scheduled an afternoon trip to the temple.
Blooming Bougainvillea inside the Temple
Pura Luhur Uluwatu, or Uluwatu Temple, is a Balinese sea temple located in Pecatu Village, Kuta South District of Badung Regency of Bali. It is on top of Bali’s most spectacular temples and is deliberated as an architectural wonder in black coral rock, exquisitely designed with outstanding views.
Tourists enjoying the view
Locals believe that the place is expanded in the 11th Century by a Javanese sage, Empu Kuturan while others claim that the temple was built in 1546 AD by Dang Hyang Nirartha, a Hindu monk from Daha Kingdom in East Java. However, several archaeological remains proved that the temple is of megalithic origin, dating back to around the 10th century.
Hindu temple set on the cliff bank with a stunning view of Indian Ocean
The name Luhur means “something of divine origin” and ulu meant “land’s end” and watu meant “rock” in the old language. The name itself fittingly defined what this exceptional temple is all about. Pura Luhur Uluwatu is regarded as one of the key nine directional temples of Bali and is meant to protect Bali against the evil.
Entrance to the Temple
Uluwatu Temple has two entrances, one from the south and one from the north. The entrance doors take the form of stone Bentar gates. Standing across from each gate, there are two figures of elephant-headed men. The forward-facing part of the gate is festooned with sculptures fancying flowery patterns. Behind the gate, there are stone steps that lead to the inner court, and along the steps, trees are grown to provide shade.
View from the other cliff
A small forest lies at the front, and hundreds of monkeys dwell here. They are believed to guard the temple against bad influences, but in reality and on a note of caution, the monkeys can and will come and grab off your small belongings. Therefore, keep your valuables in your pocket at all times.
Looks can be deceiving
The serpentine pathway to the temple is fortified by concrete walls on the cliffside. It takes about an hour to get from one end to another as there are several fenced points along the way to stop. The gaps between the gate and the walls are filled with a surface full of relief sculpture, and there is this small rectangular court stretching out above the sea to the south.
Beautiful Sunset in Uluwatu Temple in Pecatu Village, Bali Indonesia
If you plan to visit Bali anytime soon, I suggest you include the Uluwatu Temple in your itinerary. The sight of the sun setting over the dramatic temple by the cliff is a sight to behold.
Tourists waiting for the Kekak Dance Performance
And while doing so, you should also watch a dramatic “Kecak Dance” which is an onomatopoeic title for the sound of the chant.
Sunset from Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple by Vin Crosbie via Flickr
The men’s chorus chants the words ‘Cak ke-cak ke-cak ke-cak’ in rhythm over and over again while dramatizing the famous epic Hindu story of the Ramayana. As the sun sets during the performance and the sky dims, the story builds to a climax as well! The ticket fee is at Rp 75,000 per person.
Uluwatu Sunset by Si and Amy via Flickr
If you’re into surfing, the place is also a popular spot for surfers though most of the surf spots are only suitable for advanced or expert surfers; the waves are really big there.
Caption: Dont forget our gameplan! Get an iPhone not a Samsung OK??
The temple is only accessible from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for visiting vacationers. The entrance fee is Rp 20,000, and people need to be properly dressed to enter; it’s a good thing that sarongs and sashes can be rented at the entrance. Note that while you are free to walk around the temple grounds, the central courts can only be entered during special rituals.
Caption: Stop snatching Lollipop son we cant sell them on eBay!
The temple is inhabited by a large number of monkeys. Beware, they are not friendly and extremely adept at snatching visitors’ belongings, including bags, cameras, mobile phones, and eyeglasses. I’m not sure if they sell it on eBay LOL, but I personally saw a monkey holding an iPhone running away from the poor victim.
There are people in the area who serve as “Monkey Police” who try to reclaim some snatched items, but it’s a best-effort thing.
How to get there?
The place is a 45-minute drive from Nusa Dua and if you’re coming from Kuta, a taxi to Uluwatu will take 30 minutes and cost about Rp 150,000 one way. Joining a tour is the cheapest way to get to Uluwatu, and this destination is widely offered by tour operators all over the island.
Uluwatu Entrance Fees
As of 2016, The entrance fee to enter Uluwatu Temple is 30,000 Rp.
The temple is open from 9am to 6pm for tourists but is open 24 hours for worship.
Selfie at the Cliff
Melo in Uluwatu
Accurately, the Uluwatu Temple fulfilled of its ancestral role as it manages the remarkable pedigree with fitting dignity.
Cebu Pacific Air flies direct between Manila and Denpasar (Bali) every Tuesday and Saturday. For the latest seat sales and bookings, go to www.cebupacificair.com, call the reservation hotlines (02) 7020888 or (032) 2308888 or follow Cebu Pacific Air’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.