Renowned as one of the gorgeous islands in the world, Bali is an island and province of Indonesia situated at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands with Java to the west and Lombok to the east. The island is home to an ancient culture, many beautiful beaches, stunning waterfalls, and rustic villages that makes the island different from other destinations. In addition, there are around 10, 000 temples dot the highlands and coasts, boasting magnificent centuries-old architecture. Gorgeous and unique in their own way, these temples are the island’s most iconic landmarks and among must-include places in Bali tour packages. From the spellbinding location to mesmerizing views, the temples also act as magnificent sunset spots for nature lovers. Take a look at the list of most beautiful temples in Bali, tips, and more before you get convinced for making changes in your Bali trip itinerary.
Located on the inclines of Mount Agung, the largest volcano in Bali, Besakih Temple is a Hindu temple complex located in eastern Bali, Indonesia. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is the largest and the prominent temple complex on the island of Bali. Often called the Mother Temple of Bali, Pura Besakih is an extensive complex of 23 separate temples surrounded by scenic rice paddies, hills, and streams. Of these, Pura Penataran Agung is the main one. Built in six levels, the entrance of the temple is marked by a split gateway. Visitors need to ascend a giant stairway, decorated by carved figures from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, to reach the temple. One can also found Pura Batu Madeg, devoted to Vishnu to the northwest of the main temple, and Pura Kiduling Kreteg, devoted to Brahma here.
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Pura Tanah Lot
Pura Tanah Lot is an ancient Hindu temple situated in the southern part of Bali. Built during the 15th century by Dang Hyang Nirartha, the temple sits on an outcrop amidst constantly crashing waves. Of all the Bali temples, the beautiful sea temple of Tanah Lot is one of seven sea temples situated on the Balinese coast, and among the most prominent places to visit in Bali. Due to its stunning and unique offshore setting, the temple regularly features on Bali postcards and travel brochures. There are caves underneath the rock that are inhabited by sea snakes, believed to be the guardians of the temples. This scenic sea temple situated on the top of an outcrop lets you witness the best sunsets on the island. The temple can only be visited during the low tide whereas it is submerged during the high tide.
Uluwatu Temple or Pura Luhur Uluwatu is a well-known Balinese Hindu sea temple situated in Bali. Dedicated to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa, the temple is regarded as one of the six main Hindu temples in Bali, and among Bali’s picture-postcard temples, whose cliff base is also known among surfers as an exotic surf spot. Perched at the edge of a 70-meter high cliff projecting into the Indian Ocean, the temple was built in traditional Balinese architectural style. Besides its pilgrimage, Uluwatu Temple is also a famous place to see the sunset like as the sunset view at Tanah Lot temple and a nightly Kecak performance that re-enacts the Ramayana through chanting half-naked men, masked actors, and a dramatic fire-dance which takes place every day during the golden sunset hours.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Situated on the shores of Lake Bratan in Bedugul, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple or Pura Bratan is a major Hindu temple in Bali. Built by the King of Mengwi in 1633 CE, Pura Ulun Danu is dedicated to Dewi Danu, the goddess of water, lakes, and rivers along with the Hindu trinity, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva. The smooth reflective surface of Lake Beratan surrounds most of the temple’s base, creating a unique floating illusion. Set against the imposing backdrop of Gunung Bratan, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is fondly called heaven in a lake and one of the most photographed temples in Bali’s central highlands. The temple complex consists of four sacred buildings named Linga Pura, Pura Puncak Mangu, PuraTeratai Bang, and Pura Dalem Purwa. The PuraTeratai Bang is the main temple and the architecture is truly awe-inspiring. There is also a Buddhist Stupa in the complex which reflects the adoption of Buddhist beliefs by Balinese Hindus. The sheer beauty of this magnificent structure can be best seen in the pleasant morning light amidst the calm waters of the lake and backdrop of misty mountains. One can also hire a canoe and paddle out on the lake to explore the shrines at close range.
Taman Ayun Temple
The 17th-century Taman Ayun temple is another beautiful temple in Bali built in the 1600s by the King of Mengwi and is the main landmark of the Mengwi village in the Badung regency. The descendants of the Mengwi royal family still sponsor the temple, which also serves as the clan kawitan temple (dedicated to the worship of the deified ancestors, the previous rulers of the Mengwi royal family). Wrapped with greenery and serenity, the temple is one example of the uniqueness and beauty of traditional Balinese architecture with a combination of Chinese architectural influences. Its magnificent architecture and expansive landscape with lotus and fish ponds make visitors fall in love with the place.
Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.