Spectacular Temples That Should Not Be Missed
Bali is known for its beautiful and enchanting temples, which are commonly referred to as “Pura” in Balinese. A visit to this island would not be complete without a trip to see at least a couple of them. We have listed the best and most famous temples including pictures, rules for visitors, and what clothing must wear during temple visits.
Tirta Empul – Holy Springs at Tampak Siring
Tirta Empul is one of the largest and classified as the busiest water temple in Bali. Located in Tampak Siring Village, Gianyar Regency, it is about a 120-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport. For more than 1.000 years, the Balinese have been visiting this sacred place for ritual purification.
Legend has it that Indra, one of the Hindu Gods created the spring that feeds the 13 fountains of the temple and infused the waters with magical powers. The local Balinese believe by doing self-cleaning in the holy water brings good health and fortune. Wearing a Balinese sarong and sash before entering the temple complex is mandatory. You can rent it at the ticket counter should you don’t have your own. Women in their period are forbidden to enter the temple areas.
Pura Besakih – The Mother Temple Of Bali
This is the largest of all the temples of Bali. Pura Besakih is the mother temple of the island. Located in Besakih village in Karangasem to the east of Bali, this temple is the most important and considered the holiest temple of the Balinese. It takes a 120-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport. A visit to this extensive temple complex should not be missed. This 1.000-year-old temple is located 1.000 meters above sea level on the slopes of the sacred mountain, Gunung Agung, the tallest mountain and highest volcano in Bali.
Stairs ascend through a monumental split gate or Candi Bentar to the courtyard of the main temple, Pura Panataran Agung where the central shrine is dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu. There are many other shrines to explore that are open to the public, while some inner courtyards are reserved for worship and closed to visitors. Balinese have their own traditional clothing and etiquette to enter the holy places. Visitors are required to wear traditional Balinese dresses, including the sarong and sash before entering the temple area. In respect of local custom, the wearing of singlets, tight t-shirts, mini tops, and the like, is not permitted. Women in their period are also forbidden to enter the temple areas.
Pura Ulun Danu – Batur
Pura Ulun Danu is one of top temples to visit in Bali but still relatively still unknown to foreigners and some visitors. It has its own charmed with its interesting thatched roof layered with reminiscence of pagoda structure and located just at the edge of the temple, allowing chance of reflections of its grandeur.
Known as a floating Pagoda, this amazing Balinese temple appears to float on the lake. The compound is located on the shores of Lake Beratan, with some shrines standing out in the water. When the water level rises to its full capacity the shrines appear to be floating. Located about 1.200 meters above sea level in the village of Bedugul, approximately a 120-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport.
The temple is dedicated to the Goddess of lakes and rivers, Dewi Batari Ulun Danu. Tourists are welcome to visit. However, in respect of Balinese customs, a sarong and sash must be worn when visiting this holy place, and women in their period are forbidden to enter the temple areas.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu – Beyond The Golden Sunset
Another iconic Balinese temple is Pura Luhur Uluwatu. This temple is located on the edge of a high cliff facing the Indian Ocean and is popularly known as the best place to enjoy and capture the mesmerizing sunsets of Bali. Uluwatu consists of two Balinese words “Ulu” which means high place or edge and “Watu” which means stone. The steep cliff, ocean view, and sunset are extremely beautiful. This amazing temple is a must-visit and should be put on your bucket list.
I suggest you arrive before sunset should you wish to explore the spectacular location and surrounding area. The stunning Kecak & Ramayana Dance performance is also something that should not be missed. Visitors are expected to wear a sarong and sash that have been provided at the temple entrance. Women in their period are forbidden to enter the temple areas.
PURA LUHUR LEMPUYANG – STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
Spend a whole day exploring Lempuyang Temple, one of Bali’s oldest temples. Known for its natural beauty and cultural heritage, it is also believed as one of Bali’s most iconic temples on the island. Located in East Bali, at the foot of Mount Agung in Karangasem, approximately 90 minutes drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport.
This temple is known for its unique iconic gate overlooking Mount Agung. To reach the temple, visitors need to climb up over 1,700 steps, just like the stairway to heaven. However, the trek offers many panoramic views and impressive sights along the way. All visitors are required to wear a sarong and sash. These are provided outside the temple entrance. While women in their period, are also forbidden to enter the temple areas.