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Must-Visit Pura Temples in Bali

Must-Visit Pura Temples in Bali

Bali's diverse landscapes are adorned with Pura temples, hence the moniker 'Island of a thousand Temples'. Some of these majestic ancient compounds are open to the public, inviting travelers to visit and experience its timeless beauty first-hand. Lace up your comfortable walking shoes and join us as we delve into the enchanting realms of Bali's must-visit Pura temples, where spiritual tranquility seamlessly blends with breathtaking natural vistas.

Must-Visit Pura Temples in Bali

Besakih: The Crown Jewel of Balinese Spirituality

Besakih Temple

Nestled on the slopes of the mighty Mount Agung, Besakih Temple stands tall as the largest and most prominent temple complex in Bali. Home to more than eighty temples, this sacred site offers not only a profound spiritual experience but also panoramic views of Bali's mountainous terrain, meandering rivers, and idyllic rice paddies. As you ascend the stone staircases, shrouded in misty clouds, the journey becomes a pilgrimage of both body and soul. Don't forget your camera; every step unveils a picturesque spectacle.

Goa Gajah: Unveiling the Mysteries of Gianyar's Ancient Cave

Goa Gajah

In the heart of Gianyar, Bali, lies the historical wonder of Goa Gajah, an ancient cave steeped in archaeological significance. This sacred site, dating back to the 11th century Warmadewa Era, is a captivating blend of a relic-filled courtyard, a traditional Balinese meeting hall (wantilan), and meticulously carved stone structures. The pool, excavated in 1954, reveals statues depicting Hindu angels. Goa Gajah, once a locus for Buddhist and Hindu worship, now stands as a sanctuary for spiritual convergence and acculturation.

Gunung Kawi: Carved Elegance in the Valley of Kings

Gunung Kawi

Set in a ravine amidst Bali's lush rice paddies, Gunung Kawi stands as a testament to ancient Balinese artistry. Stone carvings, etched into the hillside, honor the kings and queens of the 11th century. A downhill walk, accompanied by the gentle murmur of the river, leads you to this sacred site nestled in the "Valley of Kings." Comfortable walking shoes become your companions on the journey, ensuring you are ready to absorb the historical richness of this remarkable temple.

Luhur Lempuyang: A High-Altitude Sanctuary of Spiritual Tranquility


Seated majestically atop Mt. Lempuyang, the spectacular Pura Luhur Lempuyang temple offers not only breathtaking high-altitude views but also a profound spiritual experience. The journey to the summit, although challenging, is made manageable by a paved road. Clouds enveloping the temple create an ethereal atmosphere, inviting visitors to explore its grandeur, meditate in solitude, partake in prayers, or witness the captivating chants led by ceremonial priests. A visit to Pura Luhur Lempuyang demands time, but the spiritual rewards are immeasurable.

Taman Ayun: A Glimpse into Mengwi Village's Regal Past

Taman Ayun

Northwest of Denpasar, the magnificent Taman Ayun stands as a testament to traditional Balinese architecture in the Mengwi Village. Constructed in 1556 by King Mengwi I Gusti Agung Putu, this temple complex unfolds its grandeur against a backdrop of expansive gardens and lotus-filled ponds. A stroll through Taman Ayun is not just a historical journey but a vivid imagination of how Balinese royals lived in the past, with their pools, courtyards, and enclosures. This temple, devoted to worshiping the ancestors of King Mengwi, provides a fascinating glimpse into Bali's royal heritage.

Tanah Lot: Sunset Bliss and the Mythical Origins

Tanah Lot

Perched dramatically on a rock in Tabanan, Tanah Lot Temple invites visitors to discover bliss amidst the crashing waves and vibrant hues of the dusk sky. The history of this site traces back to the 16th century, attributed to the revered Dang Hyang Nirartha. The temple's formation involves a mythical episode where Nirartha, spending the night on the bird-shaped rock-island Gili Beo, experienced enlightenment. Banished from Gili Beo, he moved the rock with divine powers, constructing Tanah Lot. The best time to visit is during Odalan, a ritual held every 210 days, witnessing rows of Balinese women carrying offerings to pray at this picturesque temple.

Tirta Empul: The Sacred Springs of Spiritual Purification

Tirta Empul

Known as the Holy Water Temple, Tirta Empul beckons visitors with its beautiful sacred springs and an aura of spiritual sanctity. Legend has it that this temple, created by the God Indra, possesses curative properties. The intricate entrance, marked by the large Balinese gate or Candi Bentar, leads to an outer courtyard with Dwarapala statues guarding a gate. The main attraction, Jaba Tengah, reveals crystal-clear pools with 30 waterspouts gushing into two sacred purification pools. Local Balinese and Hindu worshippers line up, eagerly participating in the 'melukat' purification ritual. To preserve the sanctity of this site, wear sarongs before entering the area.

Uluwatu: Cultural Beauty on the Cliffside


Similar to Tanah Lot Temple, Uluwatu Temple graces a rocky perch below a pristine beach, offering one of Bali's best spots for sunset delights. As one of the six main temples in Bali, known as Pura Sad Kahyangan, Uluwatu holds cultural significance, being associated with Empu Kuturan's worship and Dang Hyang Nirartha's attainment of Moksha. The temple's cliffside location provides a breathtaking backdrop for the captivating Kecak Dance, performed in the evening. Below Uluwatu Temple lies the renowned Uluwatu Beach, a haven for surfers and those seeking relaxation amidst cultural beauty.

Ulun Danu Beratan: Majestic Temple on the Highlands

Ulun Danu Beratan

Situated amidst the mountainous Bali highlands, the majestic Ulun Danu Beratan Temple commands attention. Perched above Lake Beratan, this traditional architecture pays homage to the Goddess Danu, the deity of water, lakes, and rivers. The temple complex comprises four sacred buildings, each dedicated to a different deity, including LingaPura for Shiva, Pura Puncak Mangu for Vishnu, Pura Teratai Bang as the main temple, and Pura Dalem Purwa for Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa. As you stroll through the site, absorbing its history and heritage, the crisp mountain air beckons you to enjoy water recreation on the picturesque Lake Beratan. Recognized nationally for its beauty, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple has even graced Indonesian 50,000 paper money, solidifying its place as a cultural and natural gem.