Lempuyang Temple Complex
If you’ve ever seen the famous Instagram photo of people at the Gates of Heaven and wondered about the location, Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang is where they posed. Often just called “Lempuyang Temple” (Pura Lempuyang), this famous structure is actually one of a series of temples peppering the highlands of Mount Lempuyang. Tourists come here to capture a photo standing between the towering dragon staircases, which frame the misty peak of Mount Agung.
If you have time, it’s worthwhile visiting the other temples while you’re here. Pura Luhur Lempuyang is one of Bali’s most sacred temples, and one of the hardest to access. Ready for some exercise? The temple lies at the top of a calf-sculpting hike up 1,700 steps through the steamy jungle to almost 1,200 meters above sea level. Keep an eye out for the grey long-tailed macaques scampering around the forest along the way.
The hike to Pura Luhur Lempuyang usually takes around 1.5 to two hours, depending on your fitness level, but once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with the mystical beauty of an ancient relic – and spectacular views. Not up for the hike? You might be able to pay a local to whisk you to the end of the asphalt road on a motorbike to shorten the trek.
Insider tip: Try to visit on a clear day for the best views, and bring a sarong, otherwise you might have to rent one at the temple.
Thanks : planetware.com
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
The 17th-century Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is one of Bali’s most picturesque temple complexes. It sits on a small island along the western shore of Lake Bratan, in the cool highlands of central Bali. Set against the imposing backdrop of Gunung Bratan, the thatched temples reflect on the lake, and when the water levels rise, they seem to float on its surface.
Lake Bratan is one of Bali’s main sources of irrigation and drinking water, and the temple complex is dedicated to Dewi Danu, goddess of the sea and lakes.
An unusual feature is the Buddhist stupa on the left of the entrance to the first courtyard, with figures of Buddha meditating in the lotus position in niches on the square base. The stupa reflects the adoption of Buddhist beliefs by Balinese Hindus.
The best time to visit this sacred Hindu temple complex is early in the day, before the tourist buses arrive. The temple is especially picturesque in the soft morning light, when cool mist sometimes cloaks the lake and the mountains beyond. You can also hire a canoe and paddle out on the lake to explore the meru (thatched shrines) at close range.
Not far from the temple complex, the Bali Botanic Garden (Kebun Raya Bali) is also worth a visit, with its beautiful bamboo forests, begonias, orchid collection, and medicinal plants.
Address: Jalan Bedugul – Singaraja, Candikuning, Baturiti, Kabupaten Tabanan
Thanks : planetware.com
Ubud Monkey Forest
Visiting the Monkey Forest, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, is one of the top things to do in Ubud, Bali. It’s also one of the best places to visit in Bali if you’re an animal lover or photographer. You can walk here in about 10 minutes from the town center in Ubud.
Besides the entertaining troops of grey long-tailed macaques that make their home here, a large part of the appeal is the evocative jungle setting where the monkeys roam free. Paved pathways lead through thick forests of giant banyan and nutmeg trees, where moss-covered statues and ancient temples loom through the dense foliage, imparting an almost mystical feel.
The forest is intended to represent the harmonious coexistence between humans and animals. It also conserves rare plants and is used as a location for researching macaque behavior, particularly their social interaction.
On the southwest side of the forest is one of the three temples found here: the 14th-century Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal. Here, hundreds of monkeys swing through the trees and clamber over the walls.
In the northwest of the forest, an ancient bathing temple, Pura Beji, nestles next to a cool stream and makes a beautiful backdrop for watching the monkeys’ antics.
While visiting the forest, make sure to secure your belongings, and avoid direct eye contact with the animals (and smiling), as this can be interpreted as a sign of aggression. It’s also a good idea not to bring any food into the area.
Address: Jalan Monkey Forest, Padangtegal, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali
Official site: http://monkeyforestubud.com/
Thanks : PlanetWare