Bali Temples

A Guide to the Most Important Temples in Bali

Many claim that there are actually more temples than homes in Bali. Strictly speaking, many temples are really shrines but the number of religious compounds in Bali is said to be over 10,000 and the number is spread throughout the far-flung corners of the island, from mountain and hilltops to low-lying coastal areas.

Normally peaceful and uninhabited, Bali’s temples transform into scenes of great activity and are ornately decorated during festivals and temple anniversaries with traditional dance performances, cockfighting and gambling. You’ll find that each of Bali’s temples is unique and that they either face towards the mountains, the sea or towards sunrise. 

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  • Tanah Lot Temple

    Tanah Lot

    Famed for its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrops, Tanah Lot, an ancient Hindu sea temple and one of Bali’s Read More»

  • Tirta Empul Temple

    Tirta Empul is an important temple complex and holy mountain spring, located in the village of Manukaya in central Bali. Read More»

  • Uluwatu Temple

    Uluwatu Temple

    Pura Uluwatu, one of six key temples believed to be Bali's spiritual pillars, is renowned for its magnificent location Read More»

  • Goa Gajah Bali

    Goa Gajah - Elephant Cave

    Gajah Gajah is an archaeological complex with historical significance, great for a brief stopover on tours to the Ubud Read More»

  • Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

    Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

    Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is a picturesque landmark and significant temple on the western side of the Beratan Lake in Read More»

  • Besakih Temple

    Besakih Temple

    Besakih Temple, Bali’s ‘Mother Temple’ for over 1,000 years, is perched 1,000 metres high on the southwestern slopes of Read More»

All Temples in Bali

Batuan Temple

Batuan Temple, referred to locally as ‘Pura Puseh lan Pura Desa Adat Batuan’, is a focal landmark in the namesake village of Batuan, well-known for its traditional Balinese arts and paintings. Within only a 10km transfer south from Ubud central, the site features a grand complex of shrines laid out within its 0.65Ha complex. Well preserved Read More...

  • Location: Jalan Raya Batuan, Batuan Village, Sukawati, Gianyar
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Batukaru Temple

Batukaru Temple, referred to by locals as Pura Luhur Batukaru, is one of Bali’s key temples, located at the foot of namesake Mount Batukaru. At an altitude of 2,270m above sea level on the second highest peak in Bali after Mount Agung, the temple is surrounded by cool natural forests, providing a pleasant sightseeing stopover for Read More...

  • Location: Jalan Pura Batukaru, Penebel Village, Tabanan
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Besakih Temple in Bali - Pura Besakih

Besakih Temple, known as Bali’s ‘Mother Temple’ for over 1,000 years, sits 1,000 metres high on the southwestern slopes of Mount Agung. Besakih is an artistic and unique complex that comprises at least 86 temples which include the main Pura Penataran Agung (the Great Temple of State) and 18 others.

Besakih is the biggest and holiest Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00, but it is actually open 24 hours as it is a place of worship
  • Location: in Besakih Village, Rendang Sub-district, Karangasem District
  • Remarks: Taking along local companions outside the official hours is highly recommended
  • How to get there: From Sanur, take the Kusamba Bypass to Klungkung. Head north through Klungkung and take the right-hand turn at Menanga to get to Besakih. The journey from Sanur shouldn’t take longer than two-and-a-half hours.
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Elephant Cave in Bali - Goa Gajah

Goa Gajah’s name is slightly misleading, lending the impression that it’s a gigantic dwelling full of elephants. Nevertheless, Goa Gajah ‘Elephant Cave’ is an archaeological site of significant historical value that makes it a special place to visit. Located on the cool western edge of Bedulu Village, six kilometres out of central Ubud, you do not Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Mon – Sun, 08:00 - 16.00
  • Location: Bedulu Village, Jalan Raya Goa Gajah, Blahbatuh, Gianyar
  • How to get there: Go east from Ubud approximately 3km towards Jalan Raya Goa Gajah
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Garuda Wisnu Kencana in Bali

Garuda Wisnu Kencana, or GWK for short, is the name of a cultural park on Bali’s hilly southern coast famous for the ongoing construction of a gigantic statue of Vishnu riding on the back of a ‘garuda’ (a supernatural eagle-like being). The completed part of the statue is of the upper part of Vishnu’s body, the Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 08:00 – 22:00
  • Location: Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park is located in Jalan Raya Uluwatu, Ungasan village, South Kuta sub-district, Badung district. It is about 15 to 20 minutes from Kuta, on the road from Jimbaran to Dreamland Beach, Uluwatu.
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Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple in Bali

Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple, locally referred to as Pura Tirta Dawa Gunung Kawi Sebatu, is a special find for visitors to Central Bali. It is one of the least visited temple complexes on the island Bali, yet is one of the most beautiful and tranquil. It features verdant gardens around ponds filled with carp and blooming Read More...

  • Location: Sebatu Village, Tegallalang, Gianyar (12.8km north of Ubud)
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Kehen Temple in Bangli

Kehen Temple is an ancient Hindu temple complex boasting unique architectural features. The temple courtyard is reachable from ground level up a flight of 38 stairs, with carved sandstone mythical animal and Balinese folklore figure statues around the staircases and the central vestibule. The temple’s walls are also ornate with Chinese porcelain plates, which are a Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
  • Location: Jalan Sriwijaya, Cempaga Village, Bangli Regency, East Bali
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Lempuyang Temple in Bali

Lempuyang Temple, locally referred to as Pura Lempuyang Luhur, is one of Bali’s oldest and most highly regarded temples, on par with Besakih (aka the ‘mother temple’ of Bali). It is also believed to predate the majority of Hindu temples on the island. Definitely a highlight on any travel itinerary for the fit and adventurous, the Read More...

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Ling Gwan Kiong

Ling Gwan Kiong is an old Chinese temple that forms part of the now defunct seaport complex in Singaraja, North Bali. The temple is within only short walk away from the seaside Pura Segara temple, another landmark in the area, and a 15-minute drive east from Lovina Beach. Locals refer to the temple by the name Read More...

  • Location: Jalan Erlangga No.65, Kampung Bugis, Buleleng
  • Tel: +62 (0)368 263 32
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Meduwe Karang Temple

Meduwe Karang Temple is a beautiful landmark in the district of Kubutambahan, North Bali, with some remarkable features to behold. The temple is a great layover along your tour itineraries further east, around 15km of Lovina Beach and within a half hour drive from the capital of Singaraja. Among the centuries old temple’s highlights are classical Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
  • Location: Jalan Raya Air Sanih, Kubutambahan, East Buleleng, North Bali
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Pura Beji Temple

The Pura Beji temple is a large and beautiful temple complex in the village of Sangsit in North Bali, dating back to the 15th century, during the spread of the Majapahit kingdom from Java. The temple is revered by village farmers and is unique in Bali, in that it also serves as a ‘pura puseh’ or Read More...

  • Location: Jalan Raya Sangsit, Sawan, Buleleng, North Bali
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Pura Blanjong

Pura Blanjong was built as a cenotaph of Sri Kesari Warmadewa and commemorates his journey to the east. Sri Kesari himself was a Syailendra descendant (a Buddhist-ruled dynasty which ruled Java) and the founder of an architectural wonder, Borobudur Temple. According to the Blanjong inscription dated 914 A.D. Sri Kesari was a Buddhist apostle who soon established a Mahayana convent at Blanjong village. Along with the inscription, 15 metres northwest, is a Ganesha statue (the elephant-headed son of Shiva). Pura Blanjong is characterised by its coral instead of brick wall and twin sitting calf statues inside, sadly from which both heads have been removed. Apart from being one of the most sacred temples, Pura Blanjong shows you things of architectural and archeological interest.

  • Location: Sanur Beach
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Pura Penataran Sasih

Pura Penataran Sasih is situated six kilometres northwest of Gianyar and two kilometres north of Pejeng. It is also known as ‘The Moon Temple’ and derived its name from an ancient bronze kettle drum (or nekara) called ‘Moon of Pejeng’ which is now kept in its inner chamber. It is the largest bronze kettle in Southeast Asia at about two metres in length and allegedly dates from 300 BC. The design is associated with the Dong Son culture of Southern China and Northern Vietnam of around 1500 BC. This highly valued and ornate gong is in the shape of an hourglass and is beautifully engraved: it is regarded as Indonesia’s most important Bronze-Age antique.

  • Location: East of Ubud in Gianyar Regency
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Pura Petitenget

Although Pura Petitenget (found at the T-junction on Jalan Petitenget) is not as big and as popular as Bali’s other major temples of Pura Besakih, Pura Uluwatu and Pura Ulun Danu, it is famous for its legend. This temple is believed by Hindus to be one of nine pillars known as 'Kayangan Jagat', temples of nine wind eyes built in the 11th Century by Empu Kuturan (a Javanese Sage) who came to Bali bringing religious law and the formation of traditional villages.

The nine eyes are also believed to protect the island from southward threats through their intricate positioning. Another story relates that Pura Petitenget is known as the Temple of the Secret Box – a name inherited when a holy man from Java arrived in Bali intending to teach the Balinese community about good manners. He brought a box and accidentally left it behind when he returned to Java. The Balinese people, in fearfulness of the holy man, dared neither to touch nor open it, and so decided to build a temple around it. It’s your choice to either believe it or not, but be sure to stop by this temple on special occasions and holy days: you’ll witness a spectacular ceremony here.

  • Location: Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak
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Pura Samuan Tiga

The Pura Samuan Tiga Temple is a 10th century temple in the village of Bedulu in Gianyar, around 800 meters east from the Goa Gajah Temple complex, or 20 minutes’ drive from central Ubud. The temple dates back to the Warmadewa dynasty, which also built the Tirta Empul Temple complex. The old temple is a great place to see ancient Balinese temple architecture from up close, with its ornate sandstone carvings and majestic temple gates. The temple’s stunning architecture serves as an annual stage for one of the oldest Balinese Hindu rituals, known as Siat Sampian, which takes place every 10th full moon (known as Purnama Kadasa), or roughly every April. The ceremony is usually held from 06:00 through 13:00, when a friendly 'battle' breaks loose with hundreds of temple pilgrims attacking each other by throwing young-coconut leaf arrangements called ‘sampian’ in a lively frenzy.

  • Location: Jalan Raya Bedulu, Gianyar
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Pura Taman Saraswati Temple

The Pura Taman Saraswati is a beautiful water temple in central Ubud, accessible from the Jalan Kajeng side street off the main road of Jalan Raya Ubud, just behind Café Lotus. The temple is a great stopover along your leisure walks through Ubud town, offering sightseeing and photo opportunities with its classical Balinese temple architecture and Read More...

  • Location: Jalan Raya Ubud, Ubud
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Sakenan Temple in Bali - Pura Sakenan

Sakenan Temple or ‘Pura Sakenan’ as referred to by locals, is an important temple in the southern region of Bali, perched on the north-western shore of Serangan Island, a small island located 10km south of Denpasar.

Once strong for its unique feature of pilgrimages during the 210-day piodalan temple anniversary celebrations with processions leading to the Read More...

  • Location: south Denpasar, into the road opposite LotteMart on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai from Sanur
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Taman Ayun Temple in Bali

Taman Ayun Temple is a landmark in the village of Mengwi, Badung regency, located 17km northwest of Denpasar. This temple complex boasts magnificent traditional architectural features throughout its courtyards and enclosures as well as expansive garden landscapes comprised of lotus and fish ponds.

The temple was built circa 1634 by the then ruler of the Mengwi Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 09:00-16:00
  • Location: Village of Mengwi, Badung regency, approximately 17km northwest from Denpasar.
  • How to get there: Follow the main road north from Denpasar along the common Jalan Kapal thoroughfare towards Bedugul. Upon reaching Mengwi, the landmark can’t be missed.
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Temples in Kuta Beach

Kuta does not have a popular main temple to visit, but sprinkled along the main road you can find regular temples worth a peek at during your holiday here. Positioned on Jalan Pantai Kuta you’ll find Pura Batu Bolong; on Kuta Sidewalk is Pura Penataran; and on Kuta Beach a few metres east from the main gate is Pura Kalangan Majelangu. Every morning and late afternoon right after sunset, the Balinese who live in the neighbourhood come here to pray and present offerings.

The temple is busy only on special occasions during holy days and ceremonies such as Melasti: three or four days prior to Nyepi (the day of silence that falls on Bali’s Lunar New Year), the Balinese gather to send prayers and offerings to Sanghyang Widhi/Vishnu-Devas-Bataras on the beach to respect them as the owners of the land and sea.

  • Location: Kuta Beach

Tirta Empul Temple in Bali

Tirta Empul is an important temple complex and holy mountain spring, located in the village of Manukaya in central Bali. The site serves as a legendary setting of a traditional tale about good versus evil. It is also a national cultural heritage site.

The complex, built circa 960 AD, is also a silent witness to the Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
  • Location: Manukaya village, district of Tampaksiring, Gianyar, central Bali.
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Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Bali

The Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is both a famous picturesque landmark and a significant temple complex located on the western side of the Beratan Lake in Bedugul, central Bali. The whole Bedugul area is actually a favorite cool upland weekend and holiday retreat for locals and island visitors alike from the southern and urban areas, as Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 08:00–18:00
  • Location: Ulun Danu Beratan is located on the western lakeside of the Beratan Lake in the village of Candi Kuning highland region of Bedugul, Tabanan Regency.
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Uluwatu Temple - Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Uluwatu Temple, or Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of six key temples believed to be Bali's spiritual pillars, is renowned for its magnificent location, perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 70 metres above sea level. This temple also shares the splendid sunset backdrops as that of Tanah Lot Temple, another important sea temple located in Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:00. As a place of worship however, it is open 24 hours daily.
  • Location: Pura Uluwatu is located in Pecatu Village, Kuta sub-district, Badung regency, about 25km south of Kuta and it usually takes around one hour to get to and from there.
  • How to get there: Take the bypass main road to Nusa Dua and to Jimbaran and then follow the ascending road up to Uluwatu.
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Vihara Dharmayana Kuta

Vihara Dharmayana Kuta temple stands majestically as one of the very few cultural landmarks Hidden amid Kuta’s traffic frenzy and surfing paradise glamour. This age-old Chinese Buddhist temple was one of the various Buddhist sites in Bali visited by Tibet’s 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, on his international tour in 1982 so it certainly has pedigree.

Located Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 09:00 – 20:00
  • Location: Jalan Blambangan, Kuta
  • Tel: +62 (0)361 762 362
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