Bali, Indonesia: must see 6 Temples

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Must see temples in Bali

Bali – the island of more than 10.000 different temples. Several of its ancient temples became Bali’s most iconic landmarks and are worth the drive through Bali’s busy traffic. If you are planning your trip to Bali, you definitely need to visit more than just a few of those amazing temples. Bali’s temples are called Pura, which came from the Sanskrit word ‘puri’, and it means ‘palace’ or ‘city’. Each of these temple is unique in its own way: some are very popular and thus overcrowded; some are less known but they do not lack in beauty or of interest. Here are my top 6 favorite temples that I highly encourage you to visit.

The Besakih Temple 1

The Besakih Temple 2

1. The Besakih Temple

The Besakih temple is known as the Mother Temple, and it is the largest and the holiest Hindu temple in Bali. The Besakih temple is actually a complex of 23 separate temples, which is located in the village of Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung. Besakih is one of the most visited temple in Bali, and it usually gets very busy and crowded. Sunday is usually the ceremony day for Balinese people. You might get offered guided tours by some very pushy vendors, who might even not let you go inside without such tour, especially on Sundays. It is thus advisable to visit Besakih early in the morning or in the evening, when things around the temple tend to quiet down.

Uluwatu-temple_2

Uluwatu-temple_1

2. Pura Luhur (Uluwatu temple)

Uluwatu Temple is one of Bali’s postcard temples and is known for its stunning views as well as for its Indonesian traditional dance performance that are carried out every evening. Located 70 meters above the crashing waves, Uluwatu temple is a perfect spot for watching the sunset. It could get very crowded around the sunset time, as it is a quite famous touristic destination on the island. Beware of monkeys and hold on to your belongings; every time I visited Uluwatu I saw a monkey with somebody’s sunglasses. They also like to grab water bottles or any other loose items.

Pura Bratan 1

Pura Bratan 2

3. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

This is one of the most photographed and iconic Bali temples. This temple is located in a fairytale setting: lake Bratan with its amazing scenery of surrounding mountains. It is a major water temple in Bali and is dedicated to the lake goddess, Dewi Danu, to ensure plentiful water and bountiful crops. This is one of the most peaceful places I have visited in Bali. Try to get here early in the morning if you want to experience its truly beauty: no people, quiet, rising sun, calm lake, misty mountains and stunning architecture of Ulun Danu Bratan temple. During the high tide, the water level covers most of the temple’s base, creating an illusion of a floating temple. Mirror-reflection lake, hazy mountains at the background and calm atmosphere have made this temple one of the favorite destinations for tourists.

Pura-Tirta-Empul_1

Pura-Tirta-Empul_2

4. Pura Tirta Empul (Holy Water Temple)

Also known as ‘holy spring water temple’, and as the name suggests, it is believed that the spring water emerging from the land is the infinite creation. Tirta Empul is a sacred place for Hindu society in Bali and is thought of as the spiritual heart of Bali. Balinese people believe that this water source can heal different diseases and bring good fortune. Everyday the water temple is visited by many Hindu people and tourists to do the ritual and sanctify themselves. The temple is located a few kilometers away from Ubud and can be visited together with Pura Gunung Kawi.

Pura-Gunung-Kawi_1

Pura-Gunung-Kawi_2

5. Pura Gunung Kawi

It is the oldest Balinese Hindu temple, which is carved into the rock. It seems to be one of the least visited temples in Bali, and yes, there are usually only a few tourists around. I really liked this place: very calm, unusual and spiritual. In order to get to the temple, be prepared to go down many steep steps. The temple itself is carved from the rock and you have to take your shoes off before entering. One can also see some beautiful carvings in the huge stone wall just nearby. It is an amazing temple and a beautiful place to visit, so mysterious and relaxing.

Lempuyang-Temple_1

Lempuyang-Temple_2

6. Lempuyang Temple

Lempuyang Temple is also called ‘The Temple of Thousand Steps’. It is located at the summit of Belibis Hill, 1058m above the sea level. This place is a bit further away from Bali’s main touristic area, hence less touristic. Lempuyang Temple is of great importance to Balinese people and is one of the island’s nine temples that ‘protects’ the native people from evil spirits. There is no exact documentation when the temple was actually built, but it is believed to be the oldest temple on the island. It is by far my favorite temple in Bali, very peaceful and a beautiful place. The top of the temple offers stunning views of Mount Agung, the highest volcano in Bali, and its surroundings.

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