Indonesia: Bali Tour Part 2

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In continuation with my Bali tour, I am ready to show you more temples and historic sites because Bali is rich in culture and history. If you haven’t read part 1 of my tour, please click here.

Bali is a beautiful tropical paradise but it feels like a different world to me (in a good way, of course). Even though it has similarities with the Philippines in terms of weather, lush greeneries and rice fields, its cultural and traditional distinction with Balinese Hinduism is what made it different. I have been to 8 countries and I am not the type of person who wants to go back to the same place over and over again, but it’s different with Bali. I wish to go back one day, probably with my boyfriend or husband in the future, because it is a very romantic place.

Are you ready for temple adventure? Here it is!

1. Bedugul: Ulun Danu Lake Beratan Temple

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is my favorite of all Hindu Temples in Bali because it is surrounded by beautiful scenery of mountainous landscape. It is located in the western lakeside of the Beratan Lake in the village of Candi Kuning Highland Region of Bedugul, Tabanan Regency and the biggest Shaivite water temple in Bali that honors the lake and river goddess, Dewi Danu. The temple complex is located on the shores of Lake Bratan which is known as the Lake of Holy Mountain, it is the main water source for irrigation in central Bali, hence as a thanksgiving to the goddess Dewi Danu they built this temple.

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple consists of five temple compounds and one Buddhist Stupa. The photo above is the Tengahing Segara Temple, a shrine with 11 roofs devoted to worship Vishnu and the lake Goddess Dewi Danu. The temple shrine with 3 roofs is called Lingga Petak Temple with the sacred well that contains holy water Tirta of Ulun Danu.

This is the Penataran Agung Temple, devoted to worship Tri Purusha Shivas, namely Shiva, Sadha Shiva, Parama Shiva.

This is the Dalem Purwa Temple, devoted to worship goddess Dewi Durga and god Dewa Ludra for prosperity.

This Buddhist Stupa is facing south and located outside the main temples of Ulun Danu Beratan.

Entrance Fee: 50,000 Rp / person

2. Tanah Lot: The Temple by the Ocean

Tanah Lot means “Land in the Sea”, a perfect description for this popular tourist destination with the beautiful rock formation. This temple is located in the Beraban Village of the Tabanan Regency and currently the most visited and photographed temple in Bali.

Tanah Lot temple was built to worship Bhatara Segara, the God of Sea by Dang Hyang Nirartha who is a man of mighty supernatural power in Balinese mythology. According to Balinese belief, Dang Hyang Nirartha had enlightenment that this is a holy place to build a shrine for the Hindu god.

In front of me is the Pura Batu Bolong, another extraordinary sea temple which means “hollowed stone”, depicted from its obvious characteristic. It is said to be the twin of Tanah Lot because of their similarities.

Just before getting inside the Tanah Lot Temple, you will find many art shops offering local handicrafts and signature local product.

Entrance Fee: 60,000 Rp / person

3. Goa Gajah or The Elephant Cave Temple

The name of the cave sounds deceiving, because there is actually no elephant inside or near the cave, and the façade is far from being an elephant figure, but sources say that the ‘Gajah’ or elephant in English came from the stone figure inside the cave depicting the Hindu Lord Ganesh, who is characterized by an elephant’s head. Since Goa Gajah dates back to the 11th century, no one really has the exact explanation as to why it is called Goa Gajah aside from it being a spiritual place for meditation.

The cave is shallow, that as you enter through the dark, narrow passage, the cave abruptly ends in an intersection. It usually has trails of white smoke from the incense burning.

The complex contains both Hindu and Buddhist imagery. The cave is surrounded by an assortment of large old stone carvings, two square bathing pools with waterspouts held by six female figures, lush gardens, Hindu shrine, Buddhist Stupa and stone steps leading to other beautiful sceneries.

I enjoyed this part of the complex because I felt so close to nature. The water lily pond, big stones covered in algae and giant trees gave me the feeling of complete serenity.

Entrance Fee: 15,000 Rp / person

4. Tirta Empul or The Holy Spring Water Temple

Tirta Empul which means ‘holy water spring’ is a temple dedicated to Vishnu, the Hindu God of water. Located in Manukaya Village in Central Bali, Tirta Emplu is the busiest temple in Bali with locals and foreigners flooding the place to marvel its beauty and bathe in its refreshing water for one of a kind experience.

The complex, built circa 960 AD has three key divisions, namely Jaba Pura (front yard), Jaba Tengah (central yard) and Jeroan (inner yard). Inside the central courtyard is the rectangular purification bath where a total of 13 elaborately sculpted spouts have lined the edges from west to east. With hands pressed together bowing under each spouts allowing the water to flow, Balinese Hindu go through the ritual of purification.

As you exit the temple you pass through a large pool filled with koi fishes. Some tourists and locals feed the fishes while relaxing on the side. Indeed, there is peace just looking at the fishes and listening to the sound of the breeze.

Entrance Fee: 15,000 Rp / person

5. Tegenungan Water Fall

Tegenungan Waterfall is the only waterfall we visited in Bali because it is the closest one from Ubud. It was raining in Bali the day before we went there so it was no surprise that the water was kind of dirty. I may be smiling wide but I am not pleased with this view at all. The falls look ordinary to me, there is nothing special about it.

Entrance Fee: 15,000 Rp / person
Parking Fee: 5,000 Rp / car

That’s it for my Bali tour! I am going to blog about our short layover in Singapore next time so stay tuned.