The Temples Of Bali

Bali is the only predominantly Hindu island in Western Indonesia. Indeed, the sacred is everywhere on what is nicknamed "the island of the Gods". In Bali, spiritual sites blend into the landscapes of the island and are an integral part of daily life for the Balinese. So, ready to fall under the spell of this bewitching island? Majestic and unmissable, here are the 11 most beautiful temples to see in Bali!

Ulun Danu Temple

Pura Ulun Danu temple in Bali, near Bedugul

The Pura Ulun Danu temple: on the shore of Lake Bratan

This temple is one of the symbols of Bali , if not THE symbol of Bali found on postcards. It must be said that it is rather pretty, on the shores of Lake BratanIt is located just a few kilometers from the small town of Bedugul.

This temple is dedicated to the goddess of water, “Ulun Danu” meaning “the beginning of the lake”. This site actually contains several temples dedicated to specific gods and goddesses. And in particular the famous "meru" with 11 roofs, representative of this site. Merus are wooden towers often found in Balinese temples. Superimposed thatched roofs adorn these temples. These roofs are always odd in number and their number varies according to the dignity of the god to whom the temple is dedicated. Ulun Danu therefore has a temple with 11 roofs, the maximum possible, because it is reserved for the spirit of Mount Agung, the sacred volcano of the island of Bali. Given its geographical location towards the north of the island, it is convenient to stay in the vicinity of this temple  during part of your stay in Bali. Then to roam the “surroundings” for a few days.  

You can find details about what you can do in Bedugul and its surroundings on the dedicated article.

The temples of Besakih

Procession in one of the temples of Besakih in Bali

The temples of Besakih during a procession

We are talking here about temples in the plural because there are several, 86 to be exactThey are located in eastern Bali, at the foot of Mount AgungThese temples are one of the most important Hindu sites on the island of Bali.

The fact that it is located on the edges of Mount Agung plays on its layout. It is indeed on the side of a hill, which implies having to regularly climb steps to browse the site.

The walk makes us discover in turn the different temples, more or less large. We find these merus with thatched roofsBut also the touches of red, yellow, white, and black colors, often present in Balinese temples. These colors each represent a Hindu deity.

FYI I had the opportunity to read that visiting these temples was "complicated", because of independent local guides trying at all costs to accompany you for the visit. And of course by charging for this service. For our part, we visited this site with the help of a guide who also served as our driver for the dayWe had no issues. That was in 2011 though, and that may have changed since.

Gunung Kawi Temple

Gunung Kawi temple in Bali

Gunung Kawi temple: one of the oldest in Bali!

This temple is located in central Bali, a half-hour drive north of UbudIt dates from the 11th century, which gives it a totally different aspect from the other temples on the island, as it is older.

It has indeed a dozen sanctuaries dug directly into the rock of a cliff.

One of the particularities also of this temple is that one reaches it after having crossed some beautiful rice fields.

We are therefore amazed both on the way to the temple, and once there when we discover this temple carved into the rock.

Tirta Empul Temple

The temple of Tirta Empul where the Balinese come to purify themselves

The temple of Tirta Empul where the Balinese come to purify themselves

I mention it in the wake of Gunung Kawi, because it is  only a few kilometers away.

In terms of organization, we visited the Gunung Kawi temple in the morning, had lunch there (in the restaurant facing the rice fields), then visited Tirta Empul in the afternoon.

The temple of Tirta Empul has the particularity of benefiting from a sacred hot spring in which the Balinese come to bathe to purify themselves.

The principle is as follows: one must first deposit an offering at the level of the main templeThen come and bathe in the poolAnd finally come and pray under one of the 13 fountains that flow into the basin, in order to purify your spirit. Balinese people try to visit this site about once a year.

In addition to this purification pool, which is an opportunity to rub shoulders with the Balinese in the practice of their religion, there are other pools on this site in which one does not bathe.

The two temples of Gunung Kawi and Tirta Empul are not far from Ubud townThey thus add concrete points to include when visiting Ubud and its surroundings. This is one of the reasons why Ubud is often a base for one or more nights during a touring stay in Bali.

© Floraison | All rights reserved.
Blogger Theme Created by pipdig