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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Temples in Uluwatu: 4 Must Visits

Bali is a small Indonesian island well known for its mesmerizing beauty. It is home to some beautiful temples. Temples in Uluwatu, especially, have a spiritual vibe. You can enjoy your spiritual journey at Uluwatu temples or an educational trip with your child.

1. Famous Temples in Uluwatu

The temples in Uluwatu are either dedicated to the Hindu gods or are Buddhist temples. Notwithstanding, you can find inner peace in these temples. Let us know about these famous temples in Uluwatu.

1.1 Ulun Danu Bartan Temple

Ulun Danu Bratan Temple (locally called Pura Ulun Danu Beratan) is known as ‘The Floating Temple’. The temple complex is constructed on the first island’s western shores of Lake Beratan.

1.1.1 Location

Ulun Danu Bertan Temple is located on the western banks of Lake Bratan.  The Lake Bratan terminated into the Bedugul Highlands, which is at a height of 1239m. It is one of the most beautiful and most visited temples in Bali.

Ulun Danu Bratan Temple

Ulun Danu is situated inside a caldera, now an extinct volcano in Gunung Catur. It is an essential source of irrigation for the Balinese highlands. As a result, Dewi Danu, the lake goddess, is worshipped in this temple.

Tourists can easily reach Beratan Temple, as the main road leads directly to the Iconic Handara Gate. The temple is a hotspot for locals and tourists because it is surrounded by a calm and peaceful atmosphere.

Tourists can hire cheap cars with a driver who provides the best service.

1.1.2 Highlights

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple was built during the rise of the Mangwi Kingdom. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple’s name comes from the lake where it was built.

The floating temple complex comprises four shrines, including the distinct Lingga Petak Shrine to the east. All four gates are facing in each direction.

In the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, one can find holy water of a particular variety. From the lake itself, the water, which is present in front of the lake, is collected.

1.1.3 Custom and Beliefs

It is said that the goddess of the lake, Ida Batari Dewi Ulun Danu, is worshipped in this temple. The temple is located in the village of Bedugul.

Before entering the temple, you are to wear a sash. You are not allowed to go near the lake or bathe in it. The lake is the source of water flow for the nearby rivers. Also, the lake helps in irrigation in Central Bali.

According to the temple priests, each direction has a spring used for specific purposes.

The Ulun Danu Beratan temple is a vast complex with four important sacred temples nearby. These temples are often visited by Hindus who are on their way there for the Tirta Yatra. They see these temples because they are one of the oldest, most sacred, and most important temples for the Hindus in Bali.

1.1.2 Lingga Petak Temple

The temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Siwa. Each door of the temple faces all four directions. Inside the Lingga Temple is a sacred place where the holy water is stored.

Most Beautiful Temple in BALI | Pura Ulun Danu Beratan

Lingga Petak has a unique appearance, being located between two large rocks of Black and Red colour. It feels like it is floating on Lake Beratan. Both tourists and locals usually visit the lake.

1.1.3 Penataran Pucak Mangu Temple

Gusti Agung Putu founded the temple to worship the Hyang ing Parwata. The deity is placed in Pucak Mangu in Bharat Hyang Danawa, according to the papyrus of Padma Bhawana.

This temple is also called Danu Beratan Temple. Pucak Mangu Temple worships the lord Shiva, Sadha Shiva, and Parama Shiva. The temple is facing south. This occurs once visitors enter the Balinese Gate “Candi Bentar” towards Lake Beratan.

1.1.4 Terate Bang Temple

The temple functions to worship the Brahma God. It is said that this is the palace of Lord Agni. The hot spring smells like sulphur. When a tourist enters the court, he or she can sense a powerful sulphur smell, and the water tastes sour.

temples in uluwatu
Image by DEZALB from Pixabay

The acid in the water signifies that it gives out the energy of prosperity. This is helpful to those with the heart of a businessman or merchant.

The temple is located next to the lake. If tourists happen to visit them, they have to rent a speedboat from Lake Beratan to watch the beauty of Lotus Temple.

1.1.5 Dalem Purwa Temple

The temple worships the Danu Goddess. The Purwa temple faces toward the eastern side and is located on the south bank of Lake Beratan.

1.1.6 Beji Temple

The Beji Temple Complex is located in the Ulun Danu Temple Complex. The temple is used for the Ngebejiang Ceremony. The ceremony is about asking for holy water, Tirta,” to purify the ceremony facilities.

Pura Beji temple (northern Bali)

Moreover, the Beji Temple is used for the Melasti Ceremony “Ahead Of Nepal Day” by the community. The Beji Temple is located on the east side of the Enjung Beji Hotel, but no wall surrounds the temple.

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is an ancient relic and a famous tourist destination. The beauty of this temple and the temple located on Lake Beratan, called Lingga Petak, makes most tourists prefer this place to click photographs.

1.1.7 Things to do at Temples in  Ulun Danu

  • Jukung Tour.   On Lake Beratan, visitors can rent a jukung (a traditional boat). They can use jukung to roam around the beautiful lake. This is a great experience that one cannot quickly recover from.
  • Take Photos with Animals.   Tourists are allowed to take photographs of some of the exotic animals.
  • Children’s Playground.   In this place, there is a space for a children’s playground. It is very convenient for families who are travelling with their children. Children can play on the small swings, slides, and all other playing equipment they can find in their home playground.
  • Markets.   While going around the temple, tourists can find small shops to buy souvenirs for their family members and friends, a variety of casual clothes, etc. They can find lots of stuff at a very cheap rate.

1.2 Tanha Lot Temple

Tanha Lot Temple is a Hindu temple located on an island near the coast of Bali.

1.2.1 History

The temple was founded in the 15th Century by a holy priest, Dang Hyang Nirartha. He was a Hindu preacher who played a crucial role in the propagating Hinduism in Bali. It is said that he discovered the site while on a spiritual Journey. He was fascinated by the area’s magnificence and chose to build the temple. But before building the temple, Dang Hyang meditated and performed several rituals.


Over many centuries, the temple has encountered diverse situations, like earthquakes that have caused severe damage to the concrete walls of the temple, erosion on the rocky outcrop, etc. Even after facing these challenges, the temple has been successfully renewed and conserved by the ages of the Balinese populace.

It is considered to be one of the holiest sites on the island. Because of its unique location and architecture, it has become a crucial mark of Balinese originality and ancestry. The most eye-catching feature of the temple is its scenic location.

1.2.2 Location

If talking about the location, the temple is located on the island’s west coast, about 20 kilometres away from the crowded tourist centre of Kuta. The exact location of the temple is Jl. Raya Tanha Lot, Beraban, Kediri, Tabanan Regency, Bali, 82121, Indonesia.

1.2.3 Landscape

The temple is on a rocky platform surrounded by water from all four sides. When there is low tide, tourists can walk across the sandy beach leading to the inner temple and, side by side, explore the rocky shore.

It can be said that Tanah Lot Temple has more to offer than just being a beautiful landmark. A visit to the Tanah Lot Temple is a must.

1.2.4 Highlights

As the temple is located on the western coast of Bali, it is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the ocean. Tourists coming from various places gather around the cliff to watch the scene.  It is said to be a truly unforgettable experience.

temples in uluwatu
Image by Christopher Jayanata from Pixabay

The temple is not just a religious site but is also known for its cultural performances. Visitors can watch the traditional dance of Bali. The performances are about the rich culture and heritage of Bali. It is a great way to learn about their traditions.

Adjacent to the temple, there is a small park where visitors are allowed to explore. The park is filled with tropical plants and flowers. Tourists can find small temples and shrines in the garden, which are a must-visit.

1.2.5 Entry Ticket

If one plans to visit the temple, they should be up-to-date with the entry fee structure. This year, the entry fee for the Tanha Lot Temple for adults is 60,000 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), and for kids, it is 30,000 IDR (ages 4–12).

temples in Uluwatu
Image by ASSY from Pixabay

The fees accumulated at the Tanha Lot Temple are utilized for the upkeep and conservation of the temple complex. They must maintain this temple so future generations can rejoice in its beauty.

The temple complex is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is usually advisable for visitors to visit the temple in the early hours to avoid the crowd. They will be able to enjoy the peaceful environment around the temple. Some other areas are open to tourists.

1.2.6 Customs and Belief

Tanha Lot Temple is worth watching. It has a proper dress code, rules, and regulations that everyone should follow strictly. Tourists are supposed to dress decently, covering their shoulders and knees.

temples in Uluwatu
Image by Anita from Pixabay

They should remove their shoes before entering the temple premises. When rituals are performed in the temple, the tourists are requested not to disturb the environment.

The Batu Bolong Temple, located on the northern side of Tanha Lot Temple, usually opens from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Pura Enjung Temple, located on the southern side, opens daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The temple was built in dedication to the god of the sea. The structure is built into the side cliff roughly 70 m above the ocean.

1.3 Besakih Temple

The temple is also known as Pura Agung Besakhi. It is one of the largest Hindu temple complexes in Bali.

Besakhi Temple has been famously known as the “Mother Temple” for over 1,000 years. It is situated in the eastern part of Bali. The temple is surrounded by rice paddies, mountains, hills, and streams, which is breathtaking scenery.

BESAKIH "BALI'S MOTHER TEMPLE" #BaliGoLiveCulture #BaliGoLiveDestination #BaliGoLiveAdventure

The Besakih temple was nominated for a World Heritage Site in 1995. The temple performs around 70 ceremonies that are held every year.

1.3.1 Location

The exact location of Besakih temple is in the village of Besakih, sub-district Karangasem District, Bali, Indonesia. It takes around 68 km, or 2 hours, from the Ngurah Rai International Airport or a 1.5-hour drive from the Ubud area.

1.3.2 Highlights

The largest temple complex, Pura Penataran Agung, has seven layers of the universe. Each of them has their main shrine. The distance between Pura Pasimpangan and Pura Pangubengan is approximately three kilometres.

temples in uluwatu
Image by MariaHZ from Pixabay

The Pura Batu Temple is towards the east and on a cliff, approximately 70 minutes away from Pura Pangubengan.

Pura Peninjoan is approximately 20 minutes northwest of Pura Batu Madeg. It has a beautiful view, including all the shrines of Pura Penataran Agung beaches and southern Bali in the distance.

On the west is Pura Ulun Kulkul, famously known for the precious “Kulkul” on the island. The kulkul is said to be used to send or summon particular messages.

On the northern side of Pura Ulun Kulkul is Pura Merajan Selonding. The “Bredah” inscription says a king in Besakih, and a set of ancient Gamelan called “Seloding” is kept there.

Its mouth is closed because of erosion, but people still practice yoga. Pura Jenggala is to the southwest of Pura Penataran Agung, commonly called Pura Hyang Haluh by the local devotees.

1.3.3 Customs and Beliefs

The temple, one of the most famous temples in Uluwatu, is dedicated to the three gods of Hinduism.

In the middle is Pura Penataran Agung, representing Lord Shiva, known as the destroyer; on the right, there is Lord Brahma, known as the creator, at Pura Kiduling Kreteg. On the left, Pura Batu Madeg is reprehending Lord Vishnu, known as the preserver.

In the daytime, the temple remains overly crowded. Temple guards, touts, and hawkers keep an eye on everyone. There is a dress code that all tourists should follow. They have to wear proper tops, a sarong, and a sash.

1.3.4 Entry Fee

The entry fees for Besakhi Temple are IDR 60,000 per person for adults and IDR 30,000 per person for kids. The payments are taken in Indonesian cash, so all the tourists are requested to carry some money. The temple complex is open 24 hours a day. But for the tourists, time is restricted to 8 p.m. to 5 p.m.

temples in Uluwatu
Image by Jacqueline macou from Pixabay

1.3.5  Things to Remember

The best time to visit the temple is in the morning or the twilight. If tourists want to hire a guide, they can freely do so. No objection would be made.

If one visits the Besakhi Temple, one should walk a lot and climb many stairs. The strategy that the tourists can use is first to see the most significant temple, Pura Penataran Agung. And later on, at their own pace, they can visit several other key temples and places.

One of the places visitors must visit is The Kintamani Volcano. The place has stunning landscapes and beautiful villages, and the surrounding area has a rich culture. Mount Batur is still active and spills molten lava.

1.4 Goa Gajah

Goa Gajah is famously known as the Elephant Cave. It is an ancient religious place in Bali, founded in the 11th century.

The famous attraction of the place is a narrow cave that is heavily guarded by a wide-eyed demon-like structure. Inside the cave, several lingas depict Lord Shiva, his son, and a yoni that shows his wife, Parvati.

1.4.1 Highlights

A little space is kept for meditation, and there are also statues of the goddesses Ratu Brayut and Ratu Jhempinis. At the entrance of the cave, there is an elephant-like structure. It is believed that the system is kept to ward off evil spirits. This is the reason why it is named Elephant Cave.

temples in uluwatu
Image by DEZALB from Pixabay

In the complex, there is a large meeting hall that has a collection of religious sculptures that represent the culture of Bali.

There are six ancient sculptures and six female statues filled with two sacred bathing ponds. It has a complex for Buddhists that is located in Diwmhill. It is said that was the spot where a Buddha statue stood.

Goa Gajah is the best example of architecture and a religious marvel. It is a place where both Hindu and Buddhist fragments exist.

The best transportation medium to reach the Goa Gajah location is by motorcycle or cab. It is said that the best time to visit is during the dry season, which is between April and October. If the tourists visit in the early morning, they can enjoy the pleasant weather and explore the outdoors delightfully. They will also be able to avoid the crowds.

1.4.2 Tourist Attractions

  • Bali’s famous art. The wall at the entrance of the cave is decorated with a kaleidoscope. The kaleidoscope comprises landscapes, creepy creatures, and people’s cravings depicting ancient Balinese art pieces. To showcase the tales of Bali, they have engraved animals, demons, and monsters running in terror from the cave’s entrance through the art.
  • Green Pady Fields. The natural beauty of Goa Gajah is as mesmerizing as the historical and religious sites. The rice paddy fields are the best place to explore after one is done with the Elephant Cave. To experience the beauty of the countryside, it is the best place to visit. Tourists can stroll around the paddy fields and gather information on how the rice workers work and harvest the rice.
  • Ancient stone steps. Some old stones lead to the Goa Gajah structure from the parking lot. From these stairs, tourists can get a full glimpse of the Goa Gajah complex. The other stone staircases lead to the holy pools, meditation room, etc. The complex has been booming in preserving these staircases, which are a great example of Bali’s ancient architecture.


There are various other temples one can visit. But those mentioned above are the most scenic ones in Bali. Plan your trip to these fantastic temples in Uluwatu and cherish the inner peace and serenity these temples have to offer.

Remember to check for weather at the time of your visit. Be careful about pickpockets and scams. Enjoy your vacation in Bali by visiting the temples in Uluwatu.

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