Bali’s Most Popular Temples
One of Bali’s most intriguing features is its beautiful ancient temples, the hallmark of the island’s mesmerizing culture and tradition. Set against breathtaking backdrops, the temples make for great photographs. Here are some of Bali’s most popular and beautiful temples that you must not miss:
1. Tanah Lot
Arguably Bali’s most popular temple; pictures of Tanah Lot are used as tourism icons all over the internet and on postcards and souvenirs. A major sea temple, Tanah Lot comes with an intriguing legend of its own. Be sure to visit at sunset, when you’ll get to see the temple against a majestic backdrop of gold, pinks and blues.
Pura Besakih is often referred to as the “Mother Temple” by the Balinese. It is a thousand years old with spectacular architecture dating back to the 10th century. A visit to Pura Besakih will take you halfway up Mount Agung, Bali’s holiest mountain, in the cool and fresh mountain air. A complex of 23 different temples and shrines, Besakih’s highest point is a temple called Pura Gelap. Please remember to follow your guide as there are areas there which are restricted for devotees only.
Bali’s most Instagrammable temple, with the iconic “Gates to Heaven”, is as old as Besakih and as revered. At 1,175m above sea level, Lempuyang is great for the adventurous and the physically fit. The temple’s highest peak is an arduous 1700 steps away but once you’re up there, you’ll be rewarded with immortal views unlike any other. For those who can’t handle such a vigorous work-out, you can always stay at the foot of the mountain and take pictures with the impressive dragon staircases. Check out another instagrammable spot around Gianyar.
4. Taman Saraswati
Set in the heart of Ubud, Pura Taman Saraswati is a uniquely charming and picturesque water temple that honours the Hindu Goddess of Art and Knowledge. It has a beautiful facade flanked by ponds and filled with lotuses and water lilies, making it a favourite destination for aspiring photographers and Instagrammers when they looking for instagrammable spot around Gianyar. There is an open stage for nightly traditional performances that take place from 7.30pm onwards.
While most temples in Bali are open to visitors, remember that they are holy sites which are off-limits to menstruating or bleeding women. Please dress and behave respectfully. Planning a holiday to Bali soon? Why not stay at the Mara River Safari Lodge, a unique holiday experience with Safari-inspired ambience and accommodation.