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February 18, 2023

Sacred Wonders: Exploring Most Iconic Bali Temples

Bali temples are the reason that makes Bali also called “The island of a thousand temple”, regardless the fact that Bali has way more temples than just a thousand. Some of the most well-known temples in the world can be found on the Indonesian island of Bali, sometimes known as the “Island of the Gods.” Visitors can get a sense of Bali’s illustrious and unique culture by paying a visit to these temples, many of which date back hundreds of years.

Every temple, from the imposing Pura Besakih to the peaceful Tirta Empul, possesses its own special allure and level of spiritual import. In this post, we are going to take a more in-depth look at some of Bali’s most famous temples, and we are going to study the history and meaning behind these ancient structures, which inspire awe and wonder. The renowned temples of Bali are not to be missed by everyone, regardless of whether they are interested in history, spirituality, architecture, or simply admire the culture and architecture of Bali.

There are not many places in the world that can compare to the beauty and mysticism of Bali, often known as the Island of the Gods. Bali is a land of old temples and rich culture, and there are not many places in the world that can match this. There are around 20,000 temples on the island of Bali, which play an important role in the spiritual and cultural history of the region. Each temple has its own own architectural style, and it is immersed in the history and customs of its respective culture. In this piece, we’ll take a more in-depth look at some of the most well-known temples that Bali has to offer.

The Most Iconic Bali Temples

1. Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot - No. 1 Most Iconic Bali Temples
Tanah Lot – #1 Most Iconic Bali Temples

One of the most well-known temples in Bali is Tanah Lot, which may be found on a rocky outcrop in the water. The priest Nirartha, who is believed to have established the temple as a shrine to the sea gods, is thought to have built it sometime in the 16th century. It is believed that the temple served as a place of worship for the sea gods. It is only possible to visit the temple when the tide is low because it is completely encircled by water. Sunset is one of the most popular times of day to visit Tanah Lot, which draws a large number of tourists as well as residents. The complex of the temple contains a number of smaller shrines, and guests have the opportunity to take part in traditional Balinese blessing ceremonies while they are there.

2. Besakih Temple

The Besakih Temple is the largest and most significant of all the temples in Bali. It is often referred to as the Mother Temple. It is thought to have been constructed in the 8th century and can be found on the slopes of Mount Agung where it is located. The religious complex is made up of more than 80 individual temples, in addition to a number of courtyards and shrines. The Besakih Temple is an important place of pilgrimage for Hindus from Bali because it is regarded as the holiest of all the temples that can be found on the island. A guided tour of the temple complex is available for guests to experience. The journey will take them to the main temple as well as numerous of the lesser shrines.

3. Ulun Danu Beratan

Temple The Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is a magnificent temple complex that was built in the 17th century and can be found in the Bedugul highlands. It is located on the banks of Lake Beratan. The temple is devoted to the goddess who presides over the lake, and due to its breathtaking vistas of both the lake and the mountains in the surrounding area, it is a popular place for tourists to visit. The complex is made up of a number of different minor temples, such as a Buddhist stupa, a modest shrine that is devoted to Shiva, and a number of pavilions.

4. Tirta Empul

The complex religious site known as Tirta Empul can be found in the town of Tampaksiring. It is well-known for the sacred spring water that flows there, which is believed to have curative qualities. The initial construction of the temple took place in the 10th century, and it has been the subject of numerous alterations since that time. The sacred spring water, which is said to purify both the body and the soul, is available for visitors to bathe in, and they may also take part in a traditional cleansing ritual that is practiced in Bali.

5. Uluwatu Temple

The Uluwatu Temple dates back to the 10th century and may be found on the most southern point of Bali. The temple, which is built on a cliff and looks out over the Indian Ocean, is especially breathtaking as the sun begins to set. It is claimed to have been constructed by a Hindu wise man from Java, and it is a temple that is devoted to the spirits of the sea. The temple complex is made up of a number of smaller shrines, and in the evenings, guests are treated to a performance of traditional Kecak dancing.

Kecak Performance in Uluwatu Temple

Seeing the Kecak Dancing at Uluwatu Temple is widely considered to be one of the most memorable temple activities available in Bali. The sight of the dance, which is performed each night at sunset, is one of a kind, and it is absolutely mesmerizing.

A traditional Balinese performance known as the Kecak Dance, the Ramayana epic is retold through dance and chanting as part of this Balinese art form. The dancers, who are all male, wrap checkered cloth around their waists and sit in a circle while performing the dance. They chant the word “cak” in a rhythmic manner while waving their arms and hands.

The concert is held in an open-air amphitheater, with the breathtaking Uluwatu Temple and the glistening waters of the Indian Ocean serving as a background for the spectacle. A stunning scene is created when the sun goes down over the water because the colors in the sky shift at that time.

Due to the high volume of visitors who come to see the Kecak Dancing at Uluwatu Temple, it is recommended that you get there as early as possible to obtain a good place. At the entrance to the temple complex, one can purchase tickets to attend the dance that will be held there.

Witnessing the Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that brings together elements of Balinese culture, traditional dance, and a breathtaking natural setting. When touring the famous temples of Bali, you shouldn’t miss out on seeing this one-of-a-kind show.

In conclusion, the most renowned temples on the island of Bali are a monument to the abundant culture and legacy of the island. Not only are these temples sites of worship, but they are also significant landmarks that have evolved into representations of Bali’s national character. It is essential for anyone interested in learning about the culture and history of the island to pay a visit to these temples since it provides the opportunity to get a glimpse of the spiritual and religious side of Bali.

More Bali Temples Worth Exploring

Even though the temples that were just discussed are some of the most well-known and historically significant on the island of Bali, there are still many other temples to discover on the island.

For instance, the Taman Ayun Temple in Mengwi is a stunning structure that dates back to the 17th century and is known for its peaceful atmosphere. The temple has numerous layers of courtyards and shrines, as well as a moat that surrounds it on all sides.

The Goa Gajah Temple, popularly known as the Elephant Cave Temple, is another another temple that is well worth a visit. This temple can be found in Ubud, and its most impressive feature is the entrance to a cave, which is adorned with elaborate carvings and a figure of Ganesha, the Hindu god of beginnings.

The Gunung Kawi Temple is an ancient temple complex that can be found near Tampaksiring. It is distinguished by the presence of ten rock-cut shrines that are carved into the cliff face. The attractive and serene atmosphere of the complex is enhanced by the fact that it is encircled by rice paddies and other thick vegetation.

Getting off the beaten path and learning about Bali’s rich culture and history can be accomplished by visiting some of the island’s less well-known temples. Simply ensure that you are appropriately attired, that you adhere to the etiquette of the temple, and that you are cognizant of the local customs and traditions.

Village Temples

It is important to note that in addition to the big temples and the temples described in the previous paragraph, each town in Bali is home to its own collection of temples. These community temples are an essential component of the way of life in Bali since they are the places where locals congregate to worship and make offerings.

On the island itself, it is said that there are around 20,000 temples, ranging in size from very vast to very small. Exploring the less well-known temples on the island is a terrific opportunity to get a better knowledge of Balinese culture and the spirituality that is practiced there because each temple has its own own history and meaning.

During your time in Bali, if you are fortunate enough to be able to visit a local village temple, you may be in for a truly unforgettable and authentic experience. However, keep in mind that lesser temples may have different customs and dress rules than the larger temples that are geared more toward tourists. Because of this, it is essential to show respect for the locals and adhere to their guidelines.

Home Shrines

In addition to the temples that are found in the villages and the larger, more well-known temples, it is essential to remember that each and every home in Bali possesses its very own shrine. The family that resides in the house will make daily offerings and pray in front of these private shrines.

When you rent a villa for your accommodations in Bali, there is a good chance that the villa will also come equipped with its very own shrine. You can even get the chance to watch the personnel of the villa make their daily offerings and say their prayers, which can be a truly unforgettable and unforgettable experience for you.

Keep in mind that these private shrines are equally as significant as the larger temples that serve the community or attract tourists, and that they deserve the same degree of reverence and respect as these other types of religious buildings. If you have the opportunity to join in or observe a prayer or offering, it is imperative that you follow the lead of the employees at the villa and show respect for the traditions and practices that are observed there.

Dos and Don’ts on Visiting Bali Temples

When going to temples in Bali, it is essential to show respect for the indigenous rituals and ceremonies that are practiced there. The following is a list of things that you should never do and should always do:


  • Dress respectfully. Put on clothes that will cover your shoulders as well as your knees. If you feel the need to cover up when visiting a temple, you can usually rent a sarong at the entry.
  • Observe the directions given to you by the personnel of the temple. They are able to lead you through the temple complex while also providing explanations of the many rites and traditions.
  • Before entering the shrine, you are required to take off your shoes. Please leave them outdoors or in the shoe racks that have been allocated for that purpose.
  • Have a courteous demeanor and hush your voice. Temples are sites that are dedicated to worship as well as silent reflection.
  • If you are able to, please make a donation to the temple. The majority of temples rely on contributions to fund the care of their buildings and to carry on their traditions.


  • Please do not touch the offerings or disturb the shrines in any way. They are revered as holy by the community.
  • Please do not climb on any of the statues or walls. They are typically quite old and fragile despite their age.
  • Inside the temple, you are not permitted to use flash photography. Those who are attempting to meditate or pray may find that it disrupts their concentration.
  • Do not go into any portions of the temple that are specifically intended for worshippers or that are marked as off-limits.
  • Do not take photos at the temple and use it as a background for them on social media. Keep in mind that this is a place of worship, and treat the sanctity of the temple with the proper reverence.
  • You can ensure that your visit to the iconic temples of Bali is respectful and meaningful by adhering to these few straightforward guidelines.

Tickets to Enter Bali Temples

The vast majority of Bali’s temples demand admission fees for guests, the proceeds of which are put into the upkeep and protection of the sacred sites. The price of entrance varies from temple to temple, but as a general rule, tickets for international visitors are significantly more expensive than tickets for domestic tourists.

For instance, in the well-known tourist site of Pura Besakih, the entrance fee for foreign tourists is IDR 75,000, which is equivalent to around USD 5, while the fee for domestic tourists is IDR 15,000. (approximately USD 1). At Tanah Lot, the entrance fee for foreign tourists is IDR 60,000 (about USD 4), while the fee for local tourists is IDR 30,000. (approximately USD 2).

There may be additional costs associated with the usage of cameras during temple ceremonies in certain instances. Before you enter, you should check with a member of the temple’s staff to see whether there are any additional fees.

Despite the expense, a trip to Bali’s most famous temples is an experience that is truly one of a kind and unforgettable. You are making a contribution to the maintenance of these historically significant and culturally significant landmarks when you pay the admission price. Be sure to bring cash with you to the temple, as they do not typically take credit cards as a form of payment there.

Category: Holiday Ideas

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