One of the reasons Bali is called ‘The Island of Gods’ is the thousands of temples built around the island, not to mention the small temples on almost each of the local houses. It is also considered one of the best spiritual sanctuaries in Asia for health and retreats. Below are just 6 of the most beautiful and well-known temples worth visiting when in Bali.

1. Pura Tanah Lot

Photo: The World Travel Guy

The temple of Tanah Lot can be seen in the Beraban countryside’s coastal side of Bali. Tanah Lot in Balinese means a small island floating in the sea. This temple is one of seven sea temples that lie around the coasts of Bali. It is probably the most well-known temple among tourists due to its unique island-like structure and the magnificent view of the sunset. At the base of the island, rare sea snakes of unusual colors are believed to guard the temple and are said to be protected by a giant snake. The temple is also known as Sagara Temple, in worship of the ocean deity Bhatara Sagara.

2. Pura Luhur (Uluwatu Temple)

Photo: Bali Res Centre

Pura Luhur is another sea temple in Bali. You can locate this unique temple in Pecatu village off Kuta or the Tuban area. The temple is considered to be one of the nine directional temples that protect Bali from harmful spirits. Its official name is Pura Luhur Uluwatu, and one of the best sights is in the inner sanctum of the temple where you can see breathtaking cliffs and surf breaks. The temple’s sunset view is worth the trip alone, and by sunset, a Kecak dance is performed by the locals. 

3. Pura Tirta Empul

Photo: Conde Nast Traveler

Tirta Empul Temple is right in the middle of Bali Island, Indonesia and it was a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple has a world-famous sacred spring made by Indra that is said to have spiritual and healing properties. The Hindu Bali people make their pilgrimage to this temple for purification. A large rectangular stone pool was built, filled with koi and it is fed by the waters of the sacred spring from 12 fountains. Visitors may make an offering, then bathe in the pool and pray. They may also bring home souvenirs of this sacred water in bottles. 

4. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Photo: Romeo A.

The Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is a Hindu Temple located in Bali, Indonesia, which is also known as Pura Bratan. It is situated at the lakeside of Lake Bratan near Bedugul. It is a water temple positioned on a plateau and has a cool atmosphere with hills in the background. It was built in 1663 and was used for offering ceremonies to the Balinese river goddess Dewi Danu, for the significance of this lake as the main source of central Bali’s irrigation. The 11 stories of pelinggih meru in dedication to Shiva and Parvathi, as well as the Buddha statue, are found inside this temple.

5. The Besakih Temple

Photo: Andrey Bond

The Besakih Temple is the biggest, most important and holiest Hindu Temple in Bali, which locals call Pura Besakih. On top of this Mother Temple, you will find a beautiful panoramic view of nature that extends to the ocean. It is located in the Besakih countryside on the slopes of Mount Agung, found in eastern Bali. It is a vast complex of 23 unique but related temple buildings, with Pura Penatran Agung as the most important, and it has a total of six levels terraced up the slope. It is ideal for people who wish to meditate for this place gives a very peaceful atmosphere.

6. Pura Dalem Agung

Photo: Wikipedia

Also known as the Padangtegal Great Temple of Death, the Pura Dalem Agung is a Hindu temple in the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, Ubud, Bali. It dates back to the 14th century and is dedicated to Durga, the goddess of death, who also takes the form of Rangda, the witch monster. It is regarded as a frightening temple because of its daunting carvings, but nevertheless, it is another splendidly ornate temple in Bali.

Some Tips

Temples in Bali are particularly special and holy to the Balinese people and therefore, as a tourist, it is especially important to show respect to the local customs and dress accordingly. Travelers are encouraged not to wear clothes that are too revealing and legs must be covered. These sanctuaries are what make the place sacred. Compliment your stay in your Bali luxury villa by making sure to stop by at least one or two temples in your area. Read through more travel guides and inspiration to discover the tapestry of culture that awaits you.

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More travel tips to Bali here.