Bali Temples

Bali Attractions

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. 


Most Popular Temples in Bali

Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple

Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple is one of Bali’s most beautiful, featuring verdant gardens, ponds and ancient shrines surrounded by crystal clear pools fed by natural springs. Read More...

 
Batukaru Temple 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 in Bali’s central highlands. Read More...

Lempuyang Temple in Bali Lempuyang Temple

Lempuyang Temple is one of Bali’s oldest, located up on the peak of a namesake mountain in East Bali, reachable by a steep staircase through cool mountain forests. Read More...

 
Vihara Dharmayana Temple Vihara Dharmayana Temple

Vihara Dharmayana is an old Chinese Buddhist temple that provides a glimpse to Kuta’s past and serves as a peaceful oasis amid Kuta’s traffic frenzy.  Read More...

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 most important temples, is simply among Bali’s not-to-be-missed icons. 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 on the top of a steep cliff approximately 70 metres above sea level. 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 Mount Agung, and consists of at least 86 temples. 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 region. Read More...

Goa Lawah Temple

Goa Lawah is one of Bali’s most important temples. It features a complex built in a cave opening inhabited by hordes of bats and its name translates into English as simply ‘Bat Cave’.  Read More...

 
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is a picturesque landmark and significant temple on the western side of the Beratan Lake in Bedugul, central Bali. The area is a favorite holiday retreat. Read More...

 

Related Tours

Cliff Temple & Fire Dance

Uluwatu temple is one of the most spectacular Hindu temples along the Bali coastline. An ocean sunset, cliff-top fire dance and stunning views of Bali’s legendary surf breaks are the three pluses of this trip. Read More...

 
The Tanah Lot Experience

Tanah Lot is among the most important, and most photographed, sea temples in Bali. The temple is perched on a rock in the middle of the sea at high tide, with banded sea snakes dwelling at the rock base. Read More...

Other Temples in Bali

Garuda Wisnu Kencana Garuda Wisnu Kencana

Garuda Wisnu Kencana, or GWK for short, is 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’. Read More...

 
Taman Ayun Temple

Taman Ayun Temple is a landmark in the village of Mengwi, Badung regency, 17km northwest of Denpasar, boasting magnificent traditional architecture throughout its courtyards. Read More...

Sakenan Temple

Sakenan Temple or 'Pura Sakenan' 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. Read More...

 
Tirta Empul Temple Tirta Empul Temple

Tirta Empul is a temple complex and holy spring, located in the district of Tampaksiring, Gianyar. It is a legendary backdrop to a traditional tale and a national cultural heritage site. Read More...

Gunung Kawi

Gunung Kawi (meaning ‘carving in the mount’) is a 10th century Hindu temple complex located in the Gianyar regency. To explore the entire site, descend the 300-step stone stairway leading to a beautiful valley where you will find ten seven-metre-high memorials carved into the rock face.

Four can be found on the west side and five on the east side of the river, while to the south across the valley lies another. According to legend, these ruined temples are the memorial shrines of the king's concubines and his family. These days, Gunung Kawi sanctuary is still used for ritual ceremonies and locals gather periodically to offer the usual gifts and to pay homage to God, the ancient king, and his family.

Location: Tampaksiring north east of Ubud

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

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

Pura Petitenget

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

Pura Samuan Tiga

Samuan Tiga Temple is strategically located set back a little from the main road between Ubud and Tampaksiring, and used to be one of the most popular tourist destinations. This sacred temple was the royal temple of the Udayana Warmadewa dynasty (a Balinese King who ruled in the 10th century). Samuan Tiga means three (tiga) meetings (samuan) and the temple is assumed to be the venue for the great meeting between Gods, deities and saints.

Pura Samuan Tiga offers unique architecture and a stunning view, flanked by two rivers, the Pande and Tegending, on the east side and the remains of an ancient pool on the west side, with sacred Banyan, Pule and Curiga trees growing around the site. The temple has seven courtyards separated by walls and split gates, but connected by stairs leading up to the innermost courtyard, believed to be the meeting hall of three holy spirits.

This stunning architecture and history provides the annual stage for the oldest Balinese Hindu ritual. Siat Sampian (sampian wars) takes place during the 10th full moon (in Balinese called Purnama Kadasa, it falls every April) and normally lasts from 06:00 to approximately 13:00. The 'war' is performed by over 200 males and dozens of females, who attack each other using young-coconut leaf arrangements called sampian. Make sure you don’t miss this unique amazing ritual while you’re here for holiday in April.

Location: Between Ubud and Tampaksiring

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

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