Bali is a magical place on Earth and has great mystical temples to boast of. Visiting Pura (a temple) on vacation can sound cliche, but trust me, the temples in Bali are truly mesmerizing. After a whale of a time on the beaches, temple hopping can certainly award you the best experience. Heads up: You don’t want to be religious by heart to visit temples. Here is a list of temples to visit in Bali to witness the culture and heritage of the land.
Offering the most stunning sea views, the Tanah Lot temple becomes an important landmark and an important temple to visit in Bali. It is one of the seven sea temples built during the 16th century in Tabanan's Beraban village in devotion to the Balinese Sea Gods. The temple’s architecture is marvelous; you can explore the holy water cave under the temple and greet the holy snake in the temple’s cave. prefer to explore the temple during the evenings to witness the beautiful sunset. The traditional Kecak dance performance starts at 6.30 p.m., but you can visit Tanah Lot from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Plan to explore during January–April, when you can enjoy the pleasant weather as well as the temple’s parade festival.
The Ulun Danu Beratan temple located on Lake Beratan is popularly called the floating temple. This ancient landmark is one of the best temples to visit in Bali and was built in 1633. The unique Balinese architecture has three courtyards, and the inner one has two shrines dedicated to Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva. Given that it is surrounded by water on all sides, the temple appears to be floating and creates an absolutely stunning atmosphere during sunsets. Photographers are drawn to take advantage of the natural exposure provided by the gorgeous mountains and the enticing atmosphere. Public access to the temple is available every day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple's entrance fee is 50,000 IDR (Rs. 270) for adults and 25,000 IDR (Rs. 135) for children. Make sure to have Indonesian Rupiah with you when you visit the temple, because neither internet nor card payments are accepted there.
Pura Besakih is a sacred place of worship for Hindus located at the center of Mount Agung, the tallest mountain in Bali. It was built over a thousand years ago and is known as the "Mother Temple" of Bali. The pura is made up of a number of smaller temples, each with a distinct purpose and function. Pura Penataran Agung is the most important temple among them, where the majority of ceremonies and rituals are carried out. The holy trinity—Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu—have shrines here. The elevated position of the place paves the way for the breathtaking panoramic views of the lush hills and charming rice terraces. This is one of the must-visit temples in Bali to relish the stunning and breathtaking views. Visitors must pay IDR 60,000 for adults and IDR 30,000 for children to enter the temple, which is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Goa Gajah translates to “elephant caves,” but no pachyderms are found here. People say that the place got its name from the stone figure inside that depicts the Hindu god Ganesha, who is known for bearing an elephant head. It is an archeological site and one of the most beautiful temples to visit in Bali. The temple courtyard has a large wantilan meeting hall and an assortment of large old stone carvings. Five of the allegedly seven statues of Hindu angels holding water-spouting vases that were discovered in the pool's 1954 excavation. There are three stone idols wrapped in red, yellow, and black cloths inside the small cave. The complex's northern portion is predominately Buddhist, while the southern portion, south of the river, is predominately Shivaite. You can visit Goa Gajah daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Penulisan Temple, located in the Kintamani highlands, is one of the must-visit temples in Bali that attracts tourists as well as native devotees. Arranged at 1745 meters and around 3 kilometers, this sanctuary is the most elevated one and comprises 11 terraces, of which the first five are the temple complex and were built over the period of the 10th and 12th centuries. Penulisan Temple is believed to be one of the oldest temples in Bali, and it has remained the main worship center for many centuries. The temple, being located on a hilltop away from the bustle, becomes the perfect place to feel serene. Try to visit this place during the dry season (April to September), as there is a potential for flooding during the winter. Penulisan Temple is open to visitors daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and no entry ticket is required.
The national cultural heritage site Pura Tirta Empul features a legendary narrative of good versus evil. Located in the village of Manukaya, the temple complex was built circa 960 AD. Tirta Empul, which means “holy water spring,” refers to the water source located within the temple. Pura Tirta Empul comprises three courtyards, namely the inner, outer, and central courtyards. People offer prayers at the Madhya Mandala (central courtyard) by approaching the rectangular purification bath. The temple narrates the tale of king Mayadenawa, how he poisoned the pool of water, and how Lord Indra made holy water spring up and saved the people who had drunk the poisoned water. It is one of the fine temples to visit in Bali and is open between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Renowned for its magnificent location, Pura Luhur Uluwatu rests on top of a steep cliff that is roughly 70 meters above sea level. It is one of the six important spiritual pillars and a must-visit temple in Bali. The best time to visit Uluwatu is in the evenings when you can witness spellbinding sunsets and enjoy the daily Kecak traditional dance performances that happen in the nearby amphitheater. Archaeological remains prove that this temple dates back to the 10th century. Hindus believe that this hilltop temple merges the powers of Lord Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu. The temple will remain open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but try to see the temple before sunset and enjoy the Kacak dance performance, which happens at 6 p.m. every day. There is no public transit available to get to Uluwatu Temple, and getting back into town without a planned shuttle or taxi will be challenging.
Taman Ayun Pura of Mengwi village is located 17 kilometers northwest of Denpasar. The temple complex is known for its architectural marvels and is one of the best temples to visit in Bali. Tamam Ayun stands for “beautiful garden,” and likewise, the temple has expansive gardens and fish ponds filled with beautiful lotuses. The temple was built in 1963, and the pre-Balise architectural marvel will help you imagine the life of the royals. Taman Ayun Pura used to be the main place of worship among the Mengwi people. The pura is also the unifying symbol among the royals of Mengwi and its people. The temple is across the street from the Manusa Yadnya Museum. The museum is a fantastic resource for learning about Balinese rites of passage and rituals. You can visit the temple from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.
The best temple to visit in Bali and get literally soaked in devotion is this underwater temple. It is named Taman Pura and is a part of the conservation program that began in 2005. As part of the program, statues, and idols are placed at a distance of around 15 meters in the Pemuteran Bio Rock area. Now there are 10 statues and a temple structure in addition to a number of bio-wreck dive sites. It is one of the coolest temples to visit in Bali for a unique experience.
The beautiful Buddhist temple Vihara Dharma Giri is located in Pupuan, Tabanan, West Bali. The enormous, white sleeping Buddha statue at the temple is its most famous feature. In addition to providing a special opportunity for tourism, the temple has a serene and comfortingly quiet atmosphere. You are free to wander around its magnificent complex and discover zen. On the ground floor of the temple, there is a welcoming courtyard where you may relax and have some refreshments. The 10-meter-long sleeping Buddha is then visible after climbing a flight of stairs. A modest pavilion with a big bell may be found after climbing a few more stairs to the top level. The temple is accessible to everyone, and there is no fee to enter. Nevertheless, you must give money when you enter as part of a donation.
Located in the Gianyar village of Bedulu, the Pura Samuan Tiga dates back to the 10th century. It is around a 20-minute drive from central Ubud or 800 meters to the east of the Goa Gajah temple complex. The temple was constructed by the Warmadewa dynasty, which is also credited with creating the famous Tirta Empul Temple complex. With its elaborate sandstone carvings and imposing temple gates, the old temple is a fantastic location to view ancient Balinese temple architecture up close. Samuan Tiga contains seven courtyards instead of the typical three found in Balinese temples. Walls and split gates are used to divide them, and staircases are used to connect them. The name of the temple, Samuan Tiga, translates to "meeting of three," and it refers to the Hindu trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva, as well as the mountain, the land, and the sea. It is one of the best temples to visit in Bali.
Penataran Sasih Temple is known as "the Moon Temple" because it houses the "Moon of Pejeng," an ancient bronze kettle drum. It is Southeast Asia's largest bronze kettle, measuring approximately 2 meters in length and dating back to 300 BC. The Hindu temple dates from 1266 AD and served as the Pejeng kingdom's state temple. Pura Penataran Sasih also has a stone Seat of Ganesh in the main courtyard, as well as a modern chronogram in front of the entrance and several Hindu sculptures. Pura Penataran Sasih is located about 6.5 kilometers east of Ubud and is one of the recommended temples to visit in Bali.
Located in the heart of Bali, the Gunung Kawi Temple complex is made up of a number of ancient shrines carved into a rock cliff. The Tirta Empul Temple is a kilometer to the north and is situated next to the sacred Pakerisan River, which is also visible from the main site. A temple courtyard with historic Hindu shrines in a more modern architectural style is located across the river from the antique reliefs, making it one of the best temples to visit in Bali. The Pejeng region of Bali is well-known for its extensive collection of archaeological sites, and Gunung Kawi Temple is a famous temple in Bali and also a well-liked pit stop for travelers passing through the Gianyar regency's central uplands. You have been transported back in time and away from modernity as you descend the additional 300 stairs to the river, which is surrounded by lush paddy terraces and a breathtakingly green valley.
The gorgeous and appealing Sebatu Temple, which exudes uniqueness, can become your spiritual tourism destination. As you enter the temple courtyard, you'll notice the stunning natural surroundings and the crystal-clear water, which create a wonderfully magnificent environment. As the story spreads through word of mouth, the Sebatu Temple is incredibly sacred and magical. The general public has been allowed access since it first started. Because the temple is placed directly on a river bank, visitors must descend some concrete stairs to access the temple. It is believed that holy water purifies the body and the spirit. Also, people believe that according to the karmic state of the person taking a shower, the water will change hues like red, dirty, yellow, and others. It is a unique temple to visit in Bali.
The late King of Karangsem built the former royal palace known as Tirta Ganga in 1946. It is well-known for its Patirthan temple, bathing ponds, and Karangasem royal water palace. Tirta Gangga is based on Balinese Hinduism, in which the Ganges River and its waters are worshipped. The Ganges River's waters are loved for their value in irrigation, agricultural richness, recreation, and economic activity. The Patirthan temple illustrates Tirta Gangga's historical importance to Balinese culture as a sacred water and pilgrimage place and is one of the best Bali temples.
Temples in Bali are archaeological marvels; you can relish the ancient architectural designs, and the sunset views from the temple are truly divine. However, keep in mind that wearing revealing clothing will prevent you from entering the temple, so dress modestly when going. You can wear sarongs, a Balinese dress that covers your legs below the knees. Apart from other sightseeing, there are a lot of temples to visit in Bali. You can book a Bali tour package with Pickyourtrail to have a delightful and divine vacation.
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