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Updated by Juliana Roberts on Jan 23, 2017
Headline for Five Must Visit Ancient Temples in Bali – Experience the Magic of Prayer
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Five Must Visit Ancient Temples in Bali – Experience the Magic of Prayer

Religion takes centre stage in Bali; mystique and ancient myth surround each historical temple. Location too is stunning with off-shore temples pounded by surf to those hidden deep in verdant jungles.

1

The Bat Cave Temple – Goa Lawah

The Bat Cave Temple – Goa Lawah

Any travellers heading to the east of Bali must certainly stop off at this temple. Located in the Pasinggahan Village close to the black beach from the temple compound you can see across the coast to Nusa Penida. Goa Lawah has been constructed around a huge cave that as the name implies is home to a rather large number of bats. The entrance is adorned by two huge Banyan trees while within are a few shrines as old as the temple. A prominent feature is the dragon statue which is believed to be the guardian of the universe keeping a balance between good and bad. The Hindu temple is extremely popular and tends to get crowded; morning hours are best for visiting as you get to observe devotees deep in religious rituals.

2

Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Pura Luhur is located at the summit of a beautiful sea cliff. The temple is quite popular for its location and stunning sunsets witnessed from there. This is one of the nine key temples of Bali; which is believed to have been extended in the 11th century by a Javanese statesman while another is believed to have added additional shrines before reaching enlightenment there. On entering the temple you will come across statues of Lord Ganeshan; a Hindu deity with the head of an elephant. The most impressive though is the 70 metre high cliff top location and stunning views. At the base of the temple is a cave well worth exploring while Balinese dancers hold performances in the evenings. A little over half an hour by car from a Kuta hotel, this is a must visit site.

3

Pura Tanah Lot

Pura Tanah Lot

Another one of the nine directional temples of Bali this iconic offshore temple is a top tourist attraction. Tanah Lot was built by a Hindu Priest in the 16th century. He chose the offshore rocky outcrop based on spiritual revelations and today the temple is regarded as a guardian against the sea. It was this temple that spearheaded and shaped Bali's Hinduism over the years. Located 25 kms from the Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali, the drive to the temple along the coast is quite a scenic one and makes for an excellent day trip. What's more, you will find the area is well serviced with restaurants and plenty of souvenir shops.

4

Ulun Danu Batur

Ulun Danu Batur

The name translates to 'Head of the Lake' this is due to its location in a caldera at the foot of Mount Batur an active volcano. The temple and village of Batur were destroyed by the volcanic eruptions in 1926 but was rebuilt by the villagers bent on protecting the shrine to the goddess controlling holy springs and water. There are 9 temples within the complex, each offering a unique story and fascinating history.

5

Gunung Kawi Temple

Gunung Kawi Temple

This is not just a temple ground but is thought to be the burial ground of King Anak Wungsu, his many wives and the most favourite of his concubines. A rather large compound steeped in history and ancient cultures the place requires a leisurely stroll and plenty of time to explore.