What are the must see temples in Bali?
Published on December 14, 2023
Bali, also known as the "Island of the Gods", is a popular tourist destination for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and rich culture. One of the most prominent aspects of Balinese culture is its temples, which are scattered throughout the island. These temples not only serve as places of worship for the Balinese people, but also offer a glimpse into the island's unique architecture and spiritual beliefs. In this article, we will explore the must-see temples in Bali and why they are worth adding to your itinerary.
The Importance of Balinese Temples
Balinese Architecture and Design
Balinese temples are known for their intricate and ornate designs, which are a reflection of the island's rich cultural heritage. The temples are built using traditional techniques and materials, such as volcanic stone, red brick, and wood carvings. The architecture of these temples is heavily influenced by Hindu and Buddhist styles, with each temple having its own unique design and layout.
For the Balinese people, temples are not just places of worship, but also serve as a connection to the spiritual world. The temples are believed to be the dwelling place of the gods and are used for various religious ceremonies and rituals. Visiting these temples can offer a spiritual journey for those seeking a deeper understanding of Balinese culture and beliefs.
The Must-See Temples in Bali
Pura Tanah Lot
Located on a rocky outcrop on the southwest coast of Bali, Pura Tanah Lot is one of the most iconic temples on the island. The temple is dedicated to the sea god, Baruna, and is believed to be guarded by sea snakes. Visitors can only access the temple during low tide, but the stunning views of the temple against the backdrop of the ocean make it worth the wait.
Known as the "Mother Temple" of Bali, Pura Besakih is the largest and most important temple on the island. It is a complex of 23 separate temples, each dedicated to a different Hindu deity. The temple is located on the slopes of Mount Agung, the highest volcano in Bali, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Pura Besakih is a must-visit for those interested in Balinese Hinduism and its rituals.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Situated on the shores of Lake Bratan in central Bali, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is a picturesque water temple dedicated to the goddess of the lake, Dewi Danu. The temple is surrounded by lush greenery and offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. It is a popular spot for photographers and is a must-visit for those looking to experience the tranquility of Balinese nature.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu
Perched on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, Pura Luhur Uluwatu is a temple dedicated to the spirits of the sea. The temple is believed to protect Bali from evil spirits and is also home to a group of mischievous monkeys. Visitors can watch the traditional Kecak dance performance at sunset, making it a popular spot for tourists.
Pura Tirta Empul
Located in the village of Tampaksiring, Pura Tirta Empul is a holy water temple that is believed to have healing powers. The temple is built around a natural spring, and visitors can participate in a purification ritual by bathing in the holy water. The temple is also known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings.
Planning Your Bali Temple Tour
To make the most of your temple tour in Bali, it is recommended to hire a local guide who can provide insight into the history and significance of each temple. You can also join a group tour or rent a private car to visit the temples at your own pace. It is important to dress respectfully when visiting temples, covering your shoulders and legs out of respect for the Balinese culture.
Bali's temples are not just places of worship, but also offer a glimpse into the island's unique architecture and spiritual beliefs. From the iconic Pura Tanah Lot to the tranquil Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, each temple has its own story to tell. A visit to these temples is a must for anyone looking to experience the rich culture and spirituality of Bali. So, make sure to add these must-see temples to your itinerary for an unforgettable journey in the "Island of the Gods".