Its is said there are over 20,000 pura (means Temple in Balinese) in Bali alone. So no visit to Bali is complete without doing a trip to Hindu temples of Bali! I had only two days in Bali, so I could visit only popular temples. My two weeks vacation in Indonesia was coming to an end with these two days in Bali. I had already spent some amazing time in Crystal clear water of Gili Island, Trekked another active volcano (Mount Rinjani) and Lombok so I was looking for some slow paced plan. Since I am not not too religious, my only intention was to shoot sunsets on sea sides temples.
While I was traveling from Gili Island to Bali, I checked for online last minute deals on hotel. Luckily I found a nice deal on Pandok Mirah. While there is nothing fancy to write about this guest house, it is a no non sense option. Budget friendly, right near Kuta market, clean linen, big rooms, clean restroom, aircon, all in 15 K IDR per day. Isn’t it a deal? Bali has no dearth of budget stay options and food is also economical.
I rented a motor bike from Kuta and headed to first temple.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu
Located at a distance of 22km from main Kuita market Uluwantu temple is lies on the southern most point of Bali. Temple itself is created on a cliff facing Indian Ocean.
The Sad Kahyangan Jagad or the “six sanctuaries of the world” are the six holiest places of worship on Bali. Uluwantu Temple is one of these six sanctuaries. No doubt this temple has very high regards among Bali Hindus.
Temple has an entry fees of 20 K IDR pax. Infact all temples in Bali, big or small charge entry fees. Visitors are required to wear a sarong (provided at entrance) before entering the temple.
A perfect sunset scene for photographers
Beautiful hues as sun takes a dip
What an amazing sunset. Another day in a travel photographers life
Uluwantu Temple is also a site of nightly Kecak Dance. This dance is actually a Ramayana scene enacted by half naked men and other characters such as Ram, Sita, and Hanuman etc These half naked men keep chanting chak chak chak. This symphony is said to induce a state of trance in those men. There are no external music played. A pamphlet is provided to every viewer which details the drama plot in English. Being Indian, I knew what was being enacted. Many people seem to be dejected as they were not able to understand what was happening.
Kecak Dance has a entry ticket of 10 K IDR pax.
Half naked men chant “Chak Chak Chak” to induce trance
Actor portraying SIta
Characters from the drama, Ram and SIta
Scene when Hanuman burns up Lanka
Taman Ayun Temple
Taman Ayun literally translated means beautiful garden. This temple is situated in the village of Mengwi, 18 km west of Denpasar. This is a small temple and not much tourist flock in here. I could have given it a pass but since I had to spend the day before reaching Tanah Lot for sunset, i decided to give it a shot. Entrance fee to the Taman Ayun Temple is a modest Rp. 3,000-4,000. I spent 30 minutes here as it was quite hot and humid.
The first courtyard after entrance is open and grassy expanse and the inner courtyard has a many multi-tiered shrines known as Meru. Lotus-blossoms fill the pools.
Amid first courtyard and lush green garden, marvelous piece of Balinese architecture
Towers known as Meru are surrounded by Lotus ponds
After resting for a while under tree shade and giving my head some relief from scorching sun, I headed to the most photogenic temple of Bali!
Pura Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot is probably the most shot temple of Bali. It is highly popular among tourists and commercialized as expected.Tanah Lot means “Land in the Sea” and is said to be built in 166th century. It is located about 20 kms from main Kuta market and took me around one hour by motor bike to reach. I have been using google maps for navigation so finding ways too difficult. For once Google aunty directed me to pass through a university campus and I gathered a lot of stares. Fortunately, I wasn’t lost and decided to stick with the suggested route. I reached around 4PM just in time giving me enough margin to visit the market and shoot sunset. Shared taxis and private cabs are the best way to reach here.
An entry ticket of 30 K IDR pax is charged for this temple. A large market of souvenirs and food stalls leads tourists to beach where temple is built on a huge rock formation. As temple faces Indian Ocean, sea is very rough and you can see huge waves crashing on the shore. Entry to temple is only possible at time of low tide. So you plan to go inside temple, know the time of low tide.
A 3 minute exposure to smoothen Sea waves and Clouds. Getting a sharp image is critical here as sea waves where crashing over my tripod legs.
Another Sunset view of Tanah Lot
Really a photographer paradise. I would have loved to spend a few sunset/sunrise clicking is amazing temple. Perhaps some other time 🙂
I had a evening flight back to Singapore next day so I spent the day exploring Kuta Market and beach.