Located less than an hour outside Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves complex consists of three main caves plus a series of smaller ones, most of them containing statues and 100-year-old shrines dedicated to Hindu gods.
The main cave, known as Cathedral Cave, is at the top of a massive colorful staircase–make it all the way up the 272 steps, and you’ll find a space decorated with statues, altars, and lights. At the bottom of the stairs, a 43-meter-tall gold statue of Lord Murugan welcomes visitors.
Visitors are allowed to explore the caves on their own or can join a guided tour to learn more about the caves. During the Hindu festival of Thaipusam in January, thousands of people flock to the cave for the celebrations.
Thanks : PlanetWare
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