What are the famous temples in Bali?


Explore Bali’s enchanting beaches, rich cultural heritage, and spiritual temples! Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, famously known as “The Floating Temple,” stands gracefully on the serene waters of Lake Bratan in Bedugul, paying homage to Dewi Danu, the goddess of the lake. With its pagoda-style roofs adorned with intricate carvings and vibrant decorations, the temple attracts visitors seeking spiritual awakening and meditation from around the globe.

What makes it unique? Pura Ulun Danu Bratan’s distinctiveness lies in its illusion of floating on the lake, earning it the moniker “The Floating Temple.” Rent a boat to explore the lake, savor local produce from nearby vendors, indulge in Indonesian cuisines, and relish this Balinese gem. Immerse yourself in the tranquility that will leave a lasting imprint on your memories.

History of Bali

Bali, an exquisite Indonesian island, weaves a historical tapestry dating back to the 1st century AD. Evidence of early human habitation, as indicated by ancient stone tools, unfolds into the island’s development into a mighty kingdom in the 10th century. Notable sea temples like Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, Tirta Empul, and Besakih bear testament to Bali’s rich history.

According to Hindu mythology, Vishnu created Bali to discover Amrita, the life-giving elixir, for his devotees. Bali is believed to be a realm where gods and goddesses reside on earth, with approximately 80% of Balinese practicing a unique blend of Hinduism and local customs. Uncover the island’s captivating history by exploring these magnificent temples.

Famous temples in Bali

To explore the famous temples in Bali, learn about Pura Besakih, Tanah Lot Temple, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Tirta Empul Temple, and Goa Gajah Temple. Discover the unique features and cultural significance of each temple and enrich your understanding of Balinese spirituality and architecture.

Pura Besakih

Pura Besakih has an impressive feature. It is not just one temple, but a collection of many! These are from different clans, and it shows the Balinese concept of unity in diversity. People come together but retain their beliefs.

Visitors can choose a guided tour to learn more about the temple’s cultural importance and history. To avoid crowds and enjoy a peaceful atmosphere, go early in the morning.

Tanah Lot Temple

The beautiful Tanah Lot Temple is located in Bali. It sits atop a rocky cliff, with crashing waves of the Indian Ocean below. It’s believed that venomous sea snakes guard it from evil spirits. Its stunning views, including mesmerizing sunsets, make it one of Bali’s most photographed sites.

This temple dates back to the 16th century and has been a major pilgrimage site for Balinese Hindus. It’s dedicated to Dewa Baruna (God of the Sea). Legend states that he protected this island from sea spirits.

A unique feature of the temple is its location – surrounded by water during high tide. You can access it only during low tide, via a natural land bridge.

Pro Tip: Plan ahead if you want to avoid the crowds. It’s one of Bali’s top tourist attractions, so arrive early for tranquility and photos without too many people around!

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

Bali has a hidden treasure – the Ulun Danu Beratan temple. It’s 1200m above sea level and is a shrine to Dewi Danu, the Goddess of Water.

The stairs take you up to amazing carvings and stones – each one telling a story about Bali’s culture. Lush gardens surround it, with exotic flowers and fountains.

If you’re visiting, go early to avoid the crowds. Dress modestly and a guide can help you learn more about the Balinese customs and traditions.

Tirta Empul Temple

Tucked away in a lush area of Bali lies the Tirta Empul Temple. This sacred Hindu temple is stunning. It has connections with water, which is believed to have rejuvenating properties. Its design reflects the Balinese culture through statues, carvings, and stone stepping pools.

Visitors can join the locals in a purification ritual by dipping in the 13 sacred pools. This temple stands out with its well-preserved architecture and breathtaking scenery. Its historical roots go back 1,000 years.

Fun fact – Legend says the Tirta Empul Temple was created at a spot kept secret by an ancient priest called Rsi Markandya. He had a vision of sacred water at that spot.

Goa Gajah Temple

This ancient temple, perched on a hillside, captivates travelers from all over the globe. Demons and other mythical creatures adorn the entrance.

Inside, discover many Hindu and Buddhist statues. Said to bring luck and protection. Additionally, take a calming dip in the nearby waterfall.

For an extra special experience, hire a local guide. They can explain the stories behind each carving. Plus, Balinese traditions!

Outside the temple door, find souvenirs. Or, explore nearby restaurants. Try some delicious Balinese cuisine!

Features and Significance of Temples

Bali temples are special! They boast intricate details and designs that show off the island’s history and traditions. People go to these sacred places to pray and seek blessings from the gods. Each temple has its own customs and rituals.

One famous temple is Pura Besakih, also known as the “Mother Temple.” It sits at the base of Mount Agung and is the biggest Hindu temple in Bali. It has over 80 structures and is a popular attraction.

It’s significant for Balinese people as it symbolizes the harmony between nature and religion. You can witness traditional ceremonies that show this spiritual connection. Visiting Pura Besakih means getting a taste of Balinese culture.

Exploring Bali temples is a great way to understand the island’s religious roots. Don’t miss out on experiencing this aspect of the cultural heritage during your visit.

How to Visit Temples

Visiting temples in Bali should definitely be on any traveler’s bucket list! To make the most of your experience, remember these simple tips:

  • Wear proper clothing, and cover your knees, shoulders, and midriff.
  • Bring a sarong and leave your shoes outside.
  • Respect local customs – stay quiet in prayer areas, avoid pointing feet at statues & shrines, and don’t touch or take photographs in front of the shrines.
  • Purchase incense & flowers to offer if you’d like.

Locals make offerings every day as part of their religious routine. You’ll see bowls filled with rice grains, flower petals, and incense sticks placed along the pathways to the temple.

Last summer, I visited Tirta Empul Temple. There, I encountered a group of performers preparing for a dance performance. The way they coordinated their moves was incredible – each step was designed to honor gods & goddesses worshipped since ancient times. It was so mesmerizing that it brought tears to my eyes!

Temple Etiquettes

When visiting temples in Bali, etiquette is important. Dress modestly, covering knees and shoulders. Take off your shoes before entering the temple grounds. Keep your voice low to show respect. Don’t touch sacred objects and statues, or leave designated paths.

Observing ceremonies is essential. No photos during religious rituals. Ask permission to take pics of locals or offerings.

Leave a donation at the entrance – a sign of gratitude. Can be just a few thousand rupiahs.

Pro Tip: Learn about temple culture and history. Enhances experience and allows appreciation of unique atmosphere and significance.

Temple Festivals and Celebration

The culture of Bali is alive in its temple festivals and celebrations. Visit Pura Besakih, the most important and biggest Hindu temple. See the wonderful dances at Galungan and Kuningan, two of the holiest days for Hindus.

Locals dress up in their traditional clothes and go to temples with offerings, like fruits, flowers, and sacrifices. Watch the amazing processions as people carry big pyramids, known as ‘penjor‘, with leaves and flowers. The air is rich with traditional gamelan music, creating a spiritual atmosphere and lots of joy.

Pro Tip: Wear decent clothes when visiting any of the temples. Bring a sarong or scarf if you’re wearing shorts or a skirt. Cover your legs!


The majestic Besakih temple, dubbed the “Mother Temple,” is nestled in Bali’s lush green forests. It’s Bali’s holiest temple and one of its most iconic landmarks. It houses over 80 temples with intricately designed buildings, shrines, and statues. Plus, you can get sweeping views of the island from the foot crest of Mount Agung.

Visiting Besakih transcends religion or spiritual beliefs; it’s a gateway to Indonesia’s customs. Wear appropriate attire here – sarongs and sashes are available to borrow or buy on-site. Hire a local guide to get insider info about the site’s history and religious significance. Visiting early in the morning can enhance your experience due to fewer crowds.

For a spiritual retreat or striking scenery, add Besakih to your list.It encapsulates Bali’s unique aesthetic and offers extraordinary history.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the famous temple in Bali?

A: The most famous temple in Bali is Tanah Lot, which is located on a rock formation in the ocean.

Q: How old is the temple of Tanah Lot?

A: The temple is believed to have been built in the 16th century, although some sources suggest that it may be much older.

Q: What makes Tanah Lot so popular?

A: Tanah Lot’s location on a rock formation in the ocean provides a stunning and unique backdrop for photos and is revered as one of Bali’s most sacred sea temples.

Q: What is the best time to visit Tanah Lot?

A: The best time to visit Tanah Lot is in the late afternoon when the sun starts to set, creating a dramatic and picturesque scene.

Q: How much does it cost to visit Tanah Lot temple?

A: The entrance fee for Tanah Lot temple is IDR 60,000 for adults and IDR 30,000 for children.

Q: Are non-Hindu visitors allowed to enter the temple?

A: Non-Hindu visitors are not allowed to enter the temple, but they can still stroll around the grounds and take in the stunning views from a distance.

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Jarrod Partridge

Jarrod has spent six years living in Bali, visiting every corner of the stunning island while immersing himself in the local culture. He fell in love there - with the football team Bali United - and spent many an evening with the locals, cheering the team on to two Liga 1 championships.

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