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Written by Sairam on April 13, 2020 Share on

The Lake Temple Of Batur – Pura Ulun Danu Batur

The Pura Ulun Danu Batur Temple is a culmination of Bali’s beliefs, culture, history, rich heritage and is believed to maintain harmony and stability across the island. The temple dates back to the 17th century and is located in the southwest corner of lake Batur facing the north. This temple which lies at the foot of Mt. Batur is known to be the second most revered temple after the Besakih temple which is situated in the slopes of Mt. Agung. The temple was relocated and rebuilt in 1926 and is dedicated to the god Vishnu and goddess Dewi Danu. Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple also known as the ‘Head of the Lake’ stands testament to the Balinese worship of water and is one of the most significant landmarks of the country.

Image credit: Unsplash.com

The history and highlights

The Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple in Bali is situated at an elevation of 900 meters above sea level and offers a stunning view of the caldera of Mt. Batur. The words ‘Pura’ means temple, Ulun means the head or the source and Danu refers to the lake and the temple name is translated as the “Temple of lake source”.

During the eruption of Mt. Batur in 1917, the black lava flow destroyed the village and caused thousands of causalities but it did not enter the premises of the temple. Due to this, the locals considered this to be a good omen and decided to stay in the region. 9 years later in 1926, the Mt. Batur erupted again causing even more lethal destruction. It managed to enter the premises of the temple but the 11-tiered main temple survived. The 11-tiered shrine was relocated for a brief period whilst the village was being rebuilt. Then in 1926, the Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple was relocated and rebuilt in a different and more secure location at the foot of the hills. This is the current location of the temple.

The Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple consists of 9 main temples in total comprising close to 285 shrines dedicated to the gods of Agriculture, Water, Art, Crafts, etc. The main temple of the Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple is the Pura Pentaran Agung Batur. It consists of five courtyards and is divided into three areas such as the inner, middle and outer sanctums.

It’s most prominent shrines are the three 9-tiered merus dedicated to Mt. Batur, Mt. Abang and the king of the Gelgel dynasty Ida Batara Dalem Waturenggong, and the 11-tiered meru situated in the innermost sacred courtyard. The 11-tiered Meru is considered as the main shrine of the Pura Ulan Danu Batur temple and is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati.

How to reach?

The Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple is located in the central northeastern part of Bali. It is located in the foot of the Mount Batur Volcano and the Kintamani province of Bali.

The Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple is best reached by travel via car. You can pre-book a car hire and plan a visit to the temple.

The Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple is located 1Hr 50Minutes from Kuta or Denpasar and is located about 50 to 60 minutes away from Ubud.

If you are travelling from Ubud, the route via Jl. Raya Payangan and Jl. Raya Kintamani is said to be the fastest and most convenient.

It is recommended to stay in Ubud for the night during the visit to the temple as it reduces the hassle of long travel and allows exploring to the nearby places as well.

It is to be noted that the sightseeing entrance fees are to be paid in local currency (IDR) at the site. This fee is collected for the welfare of the temple.

Foreign visitors have to pay 35,000 IDR (120 INR ) during the weekdays and 50,000 IDR (250 INR ) during the weekends as the entry fee.

It is mandatory for international visitors and locals alike to purchase a ticket to visit the Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple.

Timings

The Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple is open from 7:00 Am till 5:00 pm local time.

It is suggested to visit the temple first thing in the morning and then go on to visit the nearby sights such as the Kintamani viewpoint or the Tampak Siring Or The Holy Spring Water Temple etc.

Tips
  1. Rent a Sarong either near your choice of stay or outside the temple as it is considered an auspicious part of Balinese tradition. Make sure you are dressed modestly covering your legs and shoulders.
  2. Make sure you carry the local currency in cash to purchase the entrance tickets and to do street shopping outside the premises of the temple.
  3. Similar to our tradition in India, make sure you are barefoot inside the premises of the temple.
  4. Beware of street peddlers trying to sell things at a much higher price than what they are worth. Make sure you ignore them and not let them affect your experience at the temple.
  5. Plan a trek to the peak of Mt. Batur before sunrise as it is one of the best sunrise spots in Bali.

Sunrise at Mt. Batur, visit the temple, lunch at a traditional Balinese restaurant and ending the day with some light shopping at the Ubud market is a perfect way to spend a day in Ubud. The Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple is a must-visit for anyone who wants to explore the Balinese tradition and culture.

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