For any travel itinerary, Bali temples are an unavoidable tourist attraction. May it be for religious reasons or, for it’s attractive architecture. Either way, here is a guide about what each temple that I have visited have to offer. I have ordered them according to the Wow factor each place brings in terms of architecture.
Uluwatu Temple – Best of Bali Temples
Located on top of a steep cliff, This temple owns a breath taking view to the ocean. Of all Bali Temples, this place owns one of the best sunset views. There is a long pathway made from the temple to the next point of the cliff, to give a better view of Uluwatu Temple .To make the most out of your photography visit, you should plan for an evening visit. You can get the best photograph of Bali temples with the suset as the backdrop at this place.
Also known as the Monkey temple, as you get mischievous monkeys all over the place. We were a bit lucky as they were just begining to enter the temple. Our driver came along with us, just to make sure that we are safe. (They steal your phones to hats, if you are not careful of your belongings)
Uluwatu temple requires sarongs. These are given at the entrance, along with the customary yellow sash.
Tanah Lot Temple
Located in between the crashing waves, this temple is known for it’s offshore setting. Making it an important landmark, Tanah Lot is one of the popular Bali Temples in any itinerary. There are few other shrines around the main temple, which can be reached till the gates. But no one as I know, can enter in to the temple. During our visit, there were red flags put around the main Temple. It indicates that the sea is rough and you are posing around it at your own risk.
Need to mention the park that is made around the temple. It has a beautiful garden where the visitors can relax and walk around and also a restaurant and some small shops. The temple also has the “Kecak” fire dance performance (Which we skipped) happening during the evenings. If you wish, you can plan your trip to witness both the dance and the sunset.
There were enough and more tourists who didn’t care about getting drenched, and crossed the waves to reach the temple. Of course the stairway was closed but there was a little cave where people could go in. If possible, do take the risk of getting splashed head to toe and reach it, so you can take some fun pictures while you are at Tanah Lot.
Ulundanu Beratan Temple
Until we got ourselves to Blue point & Padang Padang beach, This place was our favorite, for several reasons. Raining has already begun by the time we entered the area, and the mist which covered the area was just dreamy! The Temple is located in a Lake, with it’s usual Tall Bali temples architecture. While no one can walk in to the temple, crossing the water, there is a pathway made at the edge of the Lake, allowing a closer view of the temple to the visitors.
Again, the surrounding garden is beautifully maintained and there is a secondary garden on the other side, with another small area for religious practices. You can only go up to a certain extend. While we were there, the mist was covering up the place rapidly. We rushed back to the entrance so we didn’t get drenched. As much as the mist made us awe, the dampness of the weather gave me a bit of a dull feeling. It didn’t last for long though. I forgot about it when I saw the pictures that he has snapped and they look amazing 🙂
Tirta Empul Holy Springs
Also known as the “Water Temple”, this place again required us to get bali-fied with sarongs and sashes. Alith, our tour guide, explained us that we can pray any god that we believe in (as how a lot of them were doing around the temple). Then, start from the first fountain and keep bathing from each while keeping the prayer in mind. The place was crowded at the time we visited, and I was questioning myself on how some of the women there wore only the sarong with no visible changing room. So we opted for the easier option, to drink a bit of water from the fountain and wash our faces.
The water is super clean! With a lot of people dipping themselves in the tank, the water was still, crystal clear. Behind the fountain-ed tank, you find the natural springs. That was like a picture from a story book for me. With little plants grown in the tank, visible in the clear water, you see about 2 places where water is bobbing up, making ripples. It looked like something you find in an animated movie, Those oh-so-pretty underwater scenes in “Finding Dory” ( I couldn’t think of anything better to explain)
After the visit to the temple, you have to go to the car park through a little marketplace. I’m not sure about you but for us, it was just impossible to walk across without spending some Indonesian rupiah. It was fun to bargain and see that it has immediate results! I got a little dream catcher for my friend, fridge magnets as souvenirs and I <3 BALI T-shirts as keepsakes for us. So, 3 Bali Temples covered, one more to go!
Taman Ayun Temple
Taman Ayun temple holds an important place with it’s history, with a story that runs back to 1600’s as I remember. The Entrance has a crossover from a small pond, where a long path towards the temple is there. An outdoor stage on one side and a beautiful water fountain on the other is also along the pathway.
This temple is used by the royal family for their rituals and the front entrance is only utilized by them. For foreigners, there is a path made around the temple so we can have a good look at the architecture inside. There are several tall shrines made inside the secured area, which are apparently for those who come from different casts.
The visit over here can be a very short one as there is not a lot of details you can see. Of course the architecture is something that is different, and good to have a look, but I think I enjoyed rest of the other temples lot more than Taman Ayun 🙂
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