The Indonesian island of Bali is well known for its laid back appeal, beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, volcanic areas, arts, culture, and spirituality. There are good surfing opportunities, a lively night scene, and fantastic shopping to be found on the island.
There are also a number of excellent temples to be enjoyed, where one can really take a peek into the spiritual side of Bali. With over 20,000 stunning temples on the island, it is a tall order selecting the best temples in Bali. Each offers something different for visitors. There are those, however, that are more popular with tourists, offer something truly unique, or are spiritually important.
So here are some of Bali’s most stunning temples!
Situated up Gunung Agung mountain, Pura Besakih is the most important temple in the Balinese faith. Both tourists and faithful Balinese flock to the temple in droves. Also known as the Mother Temple, it offers some spectacular sweeping views of the surrounding area. The temple is ornate, and spread over several levels. It contains many shrines, offerings, statues, and carvings. There are various scams in operation around the temple, however, so one must be very cautious and wary. A common trick is that touts tell visitors that they must have a guide to enter the temple – this is not true, but the touts can be very persuasive, inventive, and believable, also sometimes becoming rather aggressive.
Pura Luhur Lempuyang
Another important religious site, Pura Luhur Lempuyang is said to protect the people of Bali of malevolent spirit forces. Endurance and determination is required to reach the temple, with over 1,500 steps cut into the jungle being the means to climb the mountain to the temple. There are wonderful views waiting for those who do make the challenging ascent.
This temple complex is home to a large pool of spring water, believed to cleanse, purify, and heal. A bathe in the waters is also said to bring good luck, health, and fortunes. Seeing the Balinese making their offerings before climbing into the sacred waters is a special sight.
Pura Taman Ayun
Pura Taman Ayun is a stunning temple surrounded by a moat. There are lovely landscaped areas as well as rich decorations and ornamental effects. Several pagodas are scattered throughout the grounds. It was constructed in the 1600s by a former Balinese King, and is an excellent example of a royal temple.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
An important temple, it is split between the mainland and a beautiful island lake. A stunning multi tiered pagoda appears to float magically in the glistening lake.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu
Standing on a ragged cliff edge, this temple hosts an important spiritual ritualistic performance every night. Fire dancing, chanting, masks, and more create a dramatic atmosphere in the reenactment of the Ramayana.
These are just a small selection of Bali’s most stunning temples and a suggestion as to which of the many beautiful temples to put high on your list!