As a home for Hinduism in Indonesia, there are so many historical temples you could find on the island. There even be a saying that you have not been in Bali if you have not visited any of these temples. This is why travellers from all around the world would always include ‘Balinese temple visit’ as one of their to-do lists in Bali.
Balinese temples are sacred and holy. All tourists visiting these places must respect and follow the rules and traditions, such as wearing no short or mini outfits and women having period are not allowed to enter. It would highly recommend to rent a local tour guide who could provide and tell you the rich information and interesting histories about the place.
We now would like to share top five Balinese temples which are so legendary and picturesque.
Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur)
Photo: Courtesy of asiagreenresorts.com
Uluwatu Temple a.k.a. Pura Luhur, is situated at the top of a cliff. The scenery around this temple is magical, especially during sunset. You could watch Balinese signature Kecak Dance performance daily at this place which would be accompanied by the maginificent tranquil Indian ocean as the backdrop. The performance is available daily from 6 PM – 7 PM.
Also located in this region is a forest inhabited by many monkeys who nestle around the temple. However, please be careful as some monkeys could be very naughty and steal your belongings. Don’t wear glasses and hold your camera by its strap.
Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
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Ulun Danu Bratan Temple is a magnificent getaway at Bratan Lake, Bedugul. Its location makes the temple so photogenic and look magical during the sunrise. The temple is surrounded by a big lake that creates a beautiful reflection of the temple with a magnificent mountain view as the background. With perfect timing and good angle, you would have an insta-worthy shot! Furthermore, you could also do fishing and other water activities around here.
Photo: Courtesy of bejitour.com
Besakih Temple has stood for over a thousand years, making it one of the most well known and oldest temples in Bali. That’s why, it is called the “Mother Temple”. In fact, this temple is laid near the tallest mountain in Bali, Mount Agung. Besakih Temple has implemented several restorations due to earthquakes and Mount Agung’s eruptions long ago.
Best spot to take photo is at the temple gate entrance on top which if you take it during sunrise, Mount Agung would clearly show itself and be your background.
Tirta Empul Temple
Photo: Courtesy of ydcbalitour.com
The legendary Tirta Empul Temple is located near Tampak Siring, Bali. It was founded during the Warmadewa Dynasty, around 962 A.D. Legend says that the water source in Tirta Empul Temple is sacred and has an ability to heal. It flows through the baths, pools and fish ponds inside. Because of this belief, many people come here for meditation and purification. You can really feel the rich culture of Hinduism on your visit to this temple.
It is best to plan your visit not during Hindu’s public holidays because the locals would also come here to pray, creating a very very long queue.
Tanah Lot Temple
Photo: Courtesy of mikebali.com
Last but not least, the most famous of all, Tanah Lot Temple. What makes this temple different from any others is the existence of a small cave with sea snakes inside. Myths say that the snake is the reincarnation of Brahmin’s scarf, named Danghyang Niratha. One story in particular claims that the water source of Tanah Lot Temple has miraculous powers. If you drink the water and pray for your wish, your wish would come true.
Since it’s one of the most crowded tourist attractions in Bali, you could also spot many shops that sell Balinese souvenirs and crafts. Most visitors would choose to stay until 6 PM to watch Kecak Dance performance and see the gorgeous Balinese sunset.