Balinese Temples

Temples (Pura) - There are many stunning temples in Bali, and each with its own uniqueness and treasure to be seen. Take time to explore as many as you can - you will definitely not be disappointed. And remember, always show respect and dress modestly when entering temples.

Pura Ulu Danau Bratan is the most picturesque temple on the island. Situated on Lake Bratan, this half-Hindu, half-Bhuddist temple juts out onto the lake. An important irrigation temple dedicated to Dewi Danau, the Water Goddess. The 11 roofed meru is a spectacular sight at dawn or dusk. The nearby Botanical Gardens (Lila Graha) are a definite must-see.

Pura Kehen, located at the northern end of the town of Bangli, this three-tiered 11thC temple sits on the side of a hill and is ranked 2nd in importance to the Mother Temple, Besakih. The cool, lush surroundings emanate tranquility. Try to visit this temple mid to late afternoon when its at its best and the tourist buses have gone. The views are superb!

Pura Tegeh Koripan, situated on the edge of Gunung Batur (mountain), this temple is reputed to be the oldest on Bali. The temple lies at the top of a challenging yet rewarding 300 step climb up the hill, where you will find the temple, more often than not, covered in mist. The moss-laden steps and areas in the temple are slippery so be careful. Spectacular views and a mystical place at dusk!

Pura Luhur Batukaru is a beautiful garden temple with a seven-tiered pagoda similar to those found in Thailand. It’s a sacred mountain sanctuary surrounded by forests and invariably covered in mist. It lies some 700 metres above sea-level and is an important Subak temple. It has great views of Bali and beyond. It is best visited in the early morning or late afternoon.

Pura Bukit Dharma Durga is situated in the ‘Holy Land’ 500 metres north of the town of Blahbatuh, surrounded by Banyan trees. From the lower part of the temple, climb the 80 steps up the hill to the top where you will find the statue of King Airlangga’s mother. It is a funerary statue in the shape of the six-armed goddess of death, Durga.

Pura Sada is a beautifully decorated temple near the market in the village of Kapal. Originally a sanctuary of the Mengwi royalty, it dates to the Majapahit era (12th-14th century). It has a 16 metre high tower, but it is the 64 stone shrines that are the feature of this temple. They are believed to commemorate fallen warriors.

Pura Panataran Sasih is home of the renowned ‘Moon of Pejeng’, a 3rd Century BC bronze, single-cast Kettle Gong whose origin is unknown. There are numerous legends associated with the Kettle Gong. The temple itself was the main shrine of the old Pejeng kingdom and has numerous sculptures and statues dating from the 10th to 12th centuries.

Pura Goa Lawah was founded in 1007 by a holy man. The distinct feature of this temple is the bat cave and its associated legends.

Pura Taman Ayun is a magnificent garden temple, dating back to 1634 and is the second largest temple complex in Bali. The royal temples of the Raja of Mengwi, its main features are the many meru towers, the 29 ancestral shrines, as well as the beautifully constructed moats and gardens.

Pura Uluwatu is precariously located at the point of a sheer cliff on the island’s southern peninsula. It is one of the oldest and most important temples in Bali, one of the six original khayangan temples on the island.

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