Bali has thousands of temples located all around the island, called Pura. Pura is a Hindu open air temple where the Balinese go to worship and give daily offerings. There are three kinds of Pura: Family temple (found on Balinese family compounds), Village Temple (local town temple) and Functional Temple (dedicated temples). While there are many to choose from, there are three public temples in Bali that should be visited. Uluwatu, Ulun Danu, and Taman Ayun are the most popular temples.
Uluwatu sits on top of a high cliff, where below you can hear the waves crashing against its edge. It is dedicated to protecting Bali from the spirits of the sea. This temple has an amazing view of the Indian Ocean and is great for pictures.Things to note are there are plenty of monkeys roaming free. Unlike Monkey Forest, these monkeys don’t care for tourists. They won’t bother you for food, but they want to be left alone too. There are handlers on site, but you shouldn’t need to worry about them bothering you. It is recommended to go early as this is a popular temple and can get crowded. It is also great to visit at night for views of the sunset and to see the nightly Kecak and Fire Dance.
When you do a search on the internet for the temples of Bali, this is one that comes up most frequently in the searches. Imagine a beautiful temple sitting on top of a private island that can’t be accessed by foot. This temple is used for ceremonies to give offerings to Dewi Dau, the water goddess. This popular spot has photographers at the ready to take your picture and give you a print souvenir of your stay for a few dollars. Besides the temple are beautiful grounds where you can walk and even rent canoes and paddle boats to take your own tour around the lake. There are benches to sit on, a small playground for kids to play on and food for purchase.
Surrounded by a moat filled with fish sits this royal temple, dubbed the floating temple. Taman Ayun is encased by a big concrete wall without access to go inside. There is a path through beautiful gardens and around the temple, with plenty of viewpoints to look inside. There are also many cut outs in the walls that make for some fun pictures. The temple itself consists of nine multi-story roofs used for prayer by locals. Many bus tours go to this temple, but you can also hire a private driver to take you there to visit without the crowds.
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Visit a piece of history
Visiting temples in Bali is a must. All the temples charge a minimal donation to go inside. The temples mentioned above cost 15,000 IDR to 30,000 IDR (1.50 USD - 3.00 USD). Sarongs and covered shoulders are a must when entering a temple. Sarongs are given at the entrance of Uluwatu free of charge. Bring your camera and create memories of these beautiful temples, while learning their history. These temples have been around for over 300 years and are part of the Balinese everyday ritual. Enjoy your time and maybe even witness locals praying while you’re there.
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