Top 10 Must-see Temples in Bali 2014.04.15

must see temples Bali is known as the Island of Gods, but it could easily also be called the Island of Temples. There are over 20,000 pura (Balinese for "temple") on the island, some clinging to clifftops, others hugging the coast, and even some nestled in the mountaintops.

It's possible to visit a couple of different temples in one trip, while the larger temple complexes (like Besakih) can take longer to explore.

Below we list the Top 10 temples in Bali to see. Visit just one or visit a few. Either way, no trip to Bali is complete without donning a sarong and sash and observing the locals in their place of worship.

1. Pura Besakih

ブサキ-05 Besakih is Bali's most important temple and an important part of the local Balinese Hindu faith.

The "Mother Temple" is located at an altitude of 3000m, on the slopes of sacred Gunung Agung (Bali's highest mountain) in East Bali. The sprawling temple complex is actually made up of 23 separate temples, some of which date as far back as the 10th century.

Besakih is a popular tourist attraction, and many travel agencies and hotels offer day trips to the temple.

Entrance Fee Rp. 10,000 per person / Rp 5,000 per vehicle
Opening Hours 08:00 - 17:00

2. Pura Taman Ayun

DSC_6972 Pura Taman Ayun is located about 18 km north of Denpasar in Badung regency, heading towards Singaraja. Built by a King of the Mengwi dynasty, the inner temple is surrounded by a moat on three sides and features 11 towers known as merus.

Entrance Fee Adult Rp. 15,000 / Child Rp. 7,500
Opening Hours 08:00 - 18:00

3. Gunung Kawi

Gunung Kawi is an ancient Hindu temple complex situated on the Pakrisan River in Tampaksiering, north-east of Ubud.

Access to the temple is down a flight of around 300 steps, however the rice terrace views along the way make up for it. The complex features 10 giant statues carved into the cliff-face, thought to depict the royal family of the Udayana dynasty.

Crossing a bridge at the bottom of the valley, visitors can see another group of stone monuments carved on the left side of the main temple across the river. The best time to visit Guning Kawi is early in the morning.

Entrance Fee Adult Rp. 10,000 / Child Rp. 5,000
Opening Hours 07:00 - 17:00

4. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

bali_bedugul (4)

After Tanah Lot, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is perhaps the most photographed temple in Bali. Located on the shores of Lake Bratan in North Bali, the temple honors Dewi Danu, the goddess of the waters. Ceremonies are often held here to pray for the continuous supply of water to Bali's farmers.

Entrance Fee Adult Rp. 15,000 / Child Rp. 10,000
Opening Hours 07:00 - 17:00

5. Tirta Empul


Tirta Empul is a Hindu temple whose holy waters are believed to have healing properties. The temple is located 30 minutes' drive from Ubud and features a long rectangular pool carved of stone filled with koi and fed by a sacred spring via 12 fountains. Worshipers first make an offering at the temple, then bathe and pray in the main pool.

Entrance Fee Adult Rp. 10,000 / Child Rp. 5,000
Opening Hours 08:00 - 18:00

6. Pura Luhur Lempuyang


This impressive temple is situated 30 minutes' drive from Amed, in Bali's beautiful north-east. With amazing views of the ocean and Gunung Agung, Pura Lempuyang is one of Bali's most sacred temples.

It is a two-hour climb to the summit, up 1700 steps, however there is also a bottom temple close to the parking area if you don't feel like the trek right to the very top. The lower temple is still fairly high up though and offers beautiful views of the volcano and the ocean.

Ceremony days are a good time to visit, when worshipers will be dressed in their temple finest.

Entrance Fee Donation
Opening Hours 08:00 - 17:00

7. Pura Goa Lawah

This Hindu shrine, locted about 10 minutes' drive from Kusamba, is one of nine directional temples in Bali.

The main attraction here is a cave on the north side of the main temple area, filled with tens of thousands of fruit bats. Legend has it that the cave is also home to a dragon-like snake called Basuki who feasts on bats.

The nearby black-sand beach makes Goa Lawah a popular site for post-cremation purification, for the Balinese families that can afford it.

Entrance Fee Adult Rp. 10,000 / Child Rp. 5,000
Opening Hours 08:00 - 18:00

8. Pura Tanah Lot

tanahlot_temple (2)

Tanah Lot temple is the most renowned temple in Bali and seems to have become an icon of the island. The uniqueness of this temple is its location perched on a large rock in the middle of the sea.

The temple is only accessible at low tide, when you can cross over and walk to the base of the temple. It is a very popular tourist destination, especially in the late afternoon, towards sunset.

Entrance Fee Adult Rp. 30,000 / Child Rp. 15,000 / Parking Rp. 5,000
Opening Hours 07:00 - 19:00

9. Goa Gajah


The popular tourist attraction of Goa Gajah is located about 4 km east of the center of Ubud. Dating back to the 11th century, the ruins comprise a temple, several monuments and shrines, ancient bathing pools, and the famous "Elephant Cave".

Goa Gajah is an important Hindu archaeological site and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 1995.

Entrance Fee Adult Rp. 10,000 / Child Rp. 5,000
Opening Hours 08:00 - 18:00

10. Pura Luhur Uluwatu

uluwatu_temple (8)

Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of Bali's most picturesque temples. Overlooking the dramatic Indian Ocean coastline on the Bukit peninsula, the view from the temple's cliff-top location is one not to be missed.

Traditional Kecak dance performances are held daily at sunset, but get there early to ensure you get a seat as the shows are often fully booked.

Entrance Fee Adult Rp. 30,000 / Child Rp. 15,000 / Parking Rp. 5,000
Opening Hours 07:00 - 19:00

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