Here is a list of some of the best must visit Hindu temples in Bali
- Pura lempuyang – Regarded as one of the most sacred places in Bali, Pura Lempuyang is among the island’s most stunning temples. This holy site is not only revered by the Balinese Hindus, but it also offers an awe-inspiring vista above the clouds, situated more than 1500 steps high. Dubbed as the “Gateway to Heaven,” the view from Pura Lempuyang is absolutely heavenly, especially on a clear day, where the majestic peak of Mount Agung is perfectly framed by the temple gates. To make the most of your temple visit, plan a day trip to explore the six other temples nearby, as well as the stunning waterfalls and rice terraces.
- Pura Ulun Danu Beratan – The Ulun Danu Beratan temple situated in the Bedugul hills is a popular spot for taking pictures due to its enchanting location amidst Lake Beratan. The temple gives the impression of floating when the mist from the mountain penetrates through it in the early morning or late afternoon hours, making it a truly magical sight to behold. It is dedicated to the God of water and is frequently used by Balinese locals to perform traditional ceremonies and offer prayers for an adequate supply of water on the island. As the temple is located high up in Bali’s central highlands, the weather can be cold, particularly in the afternoon when the hazy mountain mist rolls in, so it’s advisable to bring extra clothing.
- Pura Tanah Lot – Purah Tanah Lot is a famous temple in Bali that attracts numerous visitors due to its offshore location, providing stunning sunset views over the ocean each evening. Positioned on a natural rock formation, it is considered Bali’s most sacred sea temple and features an ancient shrine dating back to the 1400s. While some areas of the temple are reserved for pilgrims to pray, there are still many well-manicured grounds and paths to explore, along with numerous vantage points both near and far. However, it is important to note that Purah Tanah Lot is a popular destination, especially during sunset, and can get quite crowded. It is suggested to visit during the holy day of Kuningan, when religious rituals and pilgrimages take place throughout the day, or four days after Kuningan, which marks the temple’s anniversary and draws thousands of Balinese people who come to pray and make offerings. The experience is truly breathtaking.
- Pura Tirta Empul – Pura Tirta Empul, also referred to as Bali’s water temple, is a significant cultural landmark known for its sacred spring water that flows into bathing pools used for purifying rituals. This temple is steeped in ancient folklore and legends, and is considered to have mystical powers. Moreover, Pura Tirta Empul is famous for its serene ponds and verdant gardens, making it one of the most stunning temples in Bali.
- Pura Luhur Uluwatu – Pura Luhur Uluwatu is arguably Bali’s most stunning temple, set against a backdrop of the ocean and perched high on clifftops above crashing waves. This sacred temple was built in the 10th century to honor the spirits of the sea and features ancient architecture, intricate sacred sculptures, and an abundance of monkeys. Also known as the Monkey Temple, the winding pathways along the cliff’s edge are home to these mischievous macaques, who make for a great photo opportunity despite their tendency to steal. Although it has become a popular tourist destination, Pura Luhur Uluwatu is still a must-visit. Don’t miss the Kecak dance of 100 chanting men held every evening at sunset, and be sure to keep an eye on your belongings around the monkeys.
- Pura Besakih – If you’re looking for a less crowded temple experience, Pura Besakih is a recommended destination. It is widely known as the ‘Mother Temple’ of Bali and is located in the village of Besakih. The complex consists of 23 temples, each adorned with towering spires. Due to its enormity, it is possible to spend an entire day exploring the various sections of the temple. Pura Besakih is perched on the southwestern slopes of Bali’s active volcano, Mount Agung, at an altitude of 1,000 meters, providing visitors with stunning views.
- Pura Taman Ayun – Pura Taman Ayun is considered one of Bali’s most beautiful temples, and its design reflects its royal origins. This temple was constructed in the 17th century and consists of four primary sections, each of which is more spectacular than the last. A lovely bridge leads to the temple, which is surrounded by a moat and features well-manicured gardens, a courtyard, and peaceful lotus ponds and canals. Compared to Bali’s more well-known temples, this is a quieter and more serene option.
- Pura Goa Lawah – Pura Goa Lawah, which means “bat cave” in English, is a temple that is quite imposing in appearance due to its dark walls, and is also the home of thousands of friendly fruit bats. Despite its relatively small size, this temple is an important part of Balinese culture and is believed to provide protection from evil spirits. Visitors to this temple are likely to witness a traditional and colorful ritual, as there is almost always a ceremony taking place here on a daily basis.