Sacred Bali: 10 Must-See Temples

Bali, also known as the Island of the Gods, is famous for its stunning natural beauty, rich culture, and spiritual atmosphere. With over 20,000 temples on the island, Bali is a paradise for temple enthusiasts and spiritual seekers. Here are the top 10 must-visit temples in Bali for a spiritual experience.

Tanah Lot Temple, Bali

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1. PURA TANAH LOT

Tanah Lot Temple

Pura Tanah Lot is one of the top 5 temples to see in Bali. The temple’s unique location on a rocky outcrop in the sea provides stunning views of the Indian Ocean and sunset. It’s best to visit during low tide when you can walk to the temple and witness its beauty up close. Tanah Lot is a popular tourist attraction with several shrines and pavilions to explore, each with cultural significance. The area surrounding the temple has souvenir shops and restaurants. Don’t miss the chance to visit this iconic temple and experience Bali’s religious and cultural heritage.

2. PURA LEMPUYANG

Sitting atop the slopes of Mount Lempuyang, Pura Lempuyang, also called the Gate of Heaven, is an absolute must-see attraction for visitors to Bali. The temple boasts a stunning vantage point of Mount Agung, one of the most active volcanoes in the area. For those with a passion for photography, this site is perfect for capturing those coveted Instagram-worthy pictures that are sure to make your followers envious. The temple is highly regarded for its magnificent architecture and significant cultural and religious value. To witness the temple’s unique splendor, visitors must climb a staircase comprising more than 1,700 steps. The ascent to the temple may be challenging, but upon reaching the summit, you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the lush greenery that surrounds the temple. Additionally, the temple complex features numerous shrines and pavilions, each with its distinct cultural significance. Don’t forget to bring cash to make a donation and rent traditional Balinese attire for the ultimate photo opportunity.  

3. PURA BESAKIH

Pura Besakih, known as the Mother Temple, is a significant and vast temple complex in Bali. It covers the slopes of Mount Agung and comprises 23 temples. The temple complex is considered the most significant religious site for the Hindu Balinese people. The complex houses shrines, temples, and courtyards, and it features breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can explore the temple complex, and with proper attire, participate in religious ceremonies. The site is also home to numerous festivals, including the famous Galungan festival that occurs every 210 days. It is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Balinese culture and spirituality.  

4. PURA TIRTA EMPUL

Located in Tampaksiring village, Pura Tirta Empul is a well-known temple for its holy spring water that is believed to have healing properties. Visitors can immerse themselves in the crystal-clear water to purify their body and soul. This sacred site attracts locals and tourists seeking spiritual enlightenment and renewal. The temple’s natural beauty and serene atmosphere make it a perfect spot for meditation and reflection.

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5. PURA ULUN DANU BRATAN

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, a tranquil temple in Bedugul, is dedicated to the goddess of Lake Bratan. It provides a serene refuge for those seeking spiritual comfort. The beautiful temple complex is encompassed by breathtaking gardens and scenic vistas, making it a favored attraction for nature enthusiasts. Visitors can appreciate the picturesque views and engage in meditative practices at this serene location. Additionally, tourists can explore the surrounding natural landscapes, including the magnificent lake and lush forests. The temple complex also features exquisite architectural designs and elaborate decor, providing an immersive cultural experience.  

6. PURA GUNUNG KAWI

Pura Gunung Kawi, located in Tampaksiring, boasts a temple complex with 10 rock-cut shrines dedicated to King Anak Wungsu and his family. The complex is situated amidst lush rice fields and offers visitors a one-of-a-kind spiritual experience. The shrines are intricately designed and feature detailed carvings, attracting culture enthusiasts. The temple is also surrounded by a tranquil river and scenic greenery, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers. Visitors can explore the surrounding area and witness the traditional Balinese way of life. The temple is a sacred site and visitors should dress modestly and respectfully to honor the Balinese customs.  

7. PURA GOA LAWAH

Pura Goa Lawah, situated in Pesinggahan village, is renowned for its bat-filled cave. This temple is a haven for meditation and spiritual purification. The temple’s energy can be felt as visitors listen to the sounds of bats flying around the cave. It is one of the most sacred temples in Bali and is often visited by locals and tourists alike. The temple’s name, Goa Lawah, translates to “Bat Cave,” and it has a unique and mystical atmosphere that draws people to it. The temple complex is also surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, adding to the tranquil ambiance of the place.  

8. PURA LUHUR ULUWATU

Uluwatu Temple

Sitting atop a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, Pura Luhur Uluwatu is a must-visit temple in Bali. The temple’s magnificent sunset view and Kecak dance show are world-renowned. Visitors can also observe the playful monkeys that call the temple home. With its unique location and cultural significance, Pura Luhur Uluwatu offers a mesmerizing experience for travelers.  

9. PURA TAMAN AYUN

Located in Mengwi, Bali, Pura Taman Ayun is a beautiful temple complex. With its serene gardens and several shrines, it is perfect for a peaceful stroll and spiritual retreat. The temple’s intricate architecture and ancient history offer an immersive cultural experience for visitors. Pura Taman Ayun’s lush surroundings also make it a popular destination for nature lovers, with a picturesque lake and nearby rice fields to explore. With its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, the temple offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  

10. PURA SARASWATI

The serene Pura Saraswati temple in Ubud, Bali is dedicated to the goddess of knowledge, arts, and literature. It features an iconic lotus pond, which adds to the temple’s mystical charm. The temple also offers a chance to experience traditional dance performances, showcasing Bali’s rich culture. Visitors can explore the intricately designed shrines and immerse themselves in the temple’s spiritual atmosphere. The temple is located in the heart of Ubud, making it easily accessible for tourists. It is a must-visit destination for those seeking a cultural and spiritual experience in Bali.  

 

Whether seeking spiritual solace or cultural enlightenment, these top 10 temples in Bali are a must-see for anyone visiting the island. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the magic of Bali’s temples for yourself!

Happy temple-ing,

Sue & Renesh

 

WHERE TO STAY IN BALI

Luxury Romantic Villa – AYONA VILLA: Located in Seminyak, Bali, Ayona Villa is a luxurious accommodation that features a private pool, lush gardens, and modern amenities for guest comfort, providing the perfect spot for a relaxing vacation. Find the latest prices for Ayona Villa here.

Luxury Romantic Villa – THE PURIST VILLAS RESORT & SPA: Immerse yourself in the ultimate luxury and tranquility at the Purist Villas Resort and Spa in Bali. It offers private villas with modern amenities, lush gardens, and a spa for guests to unwind. The resort also offers traditional Balinese activities such as rice field trekking and cooking classes. It is a perfect spot for a relaxing and authentic Balinese experience. Find the latest prices for The Purist Villas Resort & Spa here.

For other places to stay in Bali, click here for a list and the latest prices.

 

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