Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Trip To Bali, Indonesia: Uluwatu Temple / Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Photo By: Elin Chow

Located at the southern point of Bukit Peninsula, Pura Luhur Uluwatu (also known as Uluwatu Temple) is a famous ancient sea temple built on the tip of a cliff, 90 metres above the Indian Ocean. The temple is an important landmark and an absolute must see in Bali.

Entrance Fees

Just like Tanah Lot, visitors are required to pay an entrance fee in order to enter the area. I could not remember the price because they were included in our tour package. Uluwuta opens daily from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm for visitors. For worship purposes, it is open for 24 hours daily.

Souvenirs shops can be found at the entrance to the temple. But unlike Tanah Lot, Uluwatu is less commercialized, touristy and crowded due to its remote location. You will seldom find anyone offering to take your photograph for a price or trying to sell you something.

We paid the entrance fee and were given sarongs to wear. After putting on the sarongs, we walked down a stepped pathway towards the Indian Ocean. Plenty of trees are grown along the path to provide shade during sunny days.

In Balinese language "Ulu" means "top" or "tip" and "Watu" means "rock". So, Pura Luhur Uluwatu refers to the temple built on the tip of a rock.

Uluwatu Temple is one of the oldest temple in Bali. The thousand year old temple is perched atop of a steep cliff overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean. Just like Tanah Lot, it is built to protect the island from the evil sea spirits and is one of the seven sea temple that form a chain along the coast of Bali.

The temple is considered to be one of the nine Kahyangan Jagat (directional temples) in Bali, which is meant to protect evil spirits from the island. All these temples are built in auspicious locations that are believed to bring good luck to the island.

Among the nine, six are classified as Sad Kahyangan or Six Sanctuaries of the World. Uluwatu temple is regarded as one of the Six Sanctuaries of the World. The Six Sanctuaries of the World are the most holiest place of worship in Bali and are situated in six key points on the island. The placement of the temples is believe to provide spiritual balance to the island.

Various inscriptions have indicated that the temple was founded by Mpu Kunturan, a Majapahit monk who have also established several other important temples in Bali such as Pura Sakenan in Denpasar. The Balinese Hindu devotees believe that Dhang Hyang Nirartha, a wandering priest from East Java, have chosen Uluwatu as his last earthly abode.

Legend, however, says that Nirartha was actually the one who founded the Uluwatu Temple. It is believed that Nirartha has attained Moska (disappeared without leaving his body) while mediating at Uluwatu.

In 1999, a lightning strike and set some part of the temple on fire. The temple has since been restored. However, the continuous pounding of ocean waves have eroded the cliff base, putting the temple of collapsing.

Just like Tanah Lot, Uluwatu is another excellent and popular spot for watching sunset over the Indian Ocean. The best time to visit is around 5.00 pm when the sun is just about to set. However, I would suggest anyone to visit early before noon if you want to avoid the massive crowds.

Although a famous tourist attraction, Ulutwatu is still a holy place for worship and respect should be shown at all times. Please dress appropriately when you are visiting the temple. A sarong and sash must be worn in order to enter the temple grounds. At the entrance, there are sarongs and sashes which you can rent for free if you did not bring your own.

We stood on the edge of the cliff with magnificent view of the Indian Ocean, offering plenty of opportunities for breathtaking photography.

We were overwhelmed by the beautiful scenery that surrounded us. The view of the impossibly blue sky and ocean takes our breath away.

This is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and relax under the warmth of the sun as you listen to the calming ocean waves. 

Uluwatu is surrounded by a small forest where hordes of grey long-tailed wild monkeys dwell. There are hundreds of monkeys roaming along the path outside Uluwatu Temple. These monkeys are very cute, but do not be deceive by their cute appearance.They are certainly not as friendly or tame as they look, especially when they are hungry.

These monkeys are adept at snatching and stealing belongings from visitors, particularly shiny items like jewellery, sunglasses and spectacles. They can be a huge nuisance!

Make sure you keep a close grip on all your belongings and keep your sunglasses in your bag. Having said that, we were a victim too. We were walking down the pathway to the temple. engrossed in taking pictures of the monkeys. One of the monkey ran up behind us, snatch my husband's Ray-Ban sunglasses and ran off down the cliff. Before we realized it, the monkey snapped the sunglasses into half and threw it down into the ocean.

The monkey population in the area is growing, but nothing has been done to control its number. This is because these monkeys are considered sacred in the Balinese Hindu culture and thus, have to be protected.

The clear blue sky, rugged cliffs, impossibly blue waters makes a perfect backdrop for photo taking.

Uluwatu offer a panoramic stunning view over the Indian Ocean and the surrounding area. Far below, you will find the waves crashing violently against the enormous cliffs, sending sea spray high in the air. It was a very spectacular sight!

Despite the growth of mass tourism, the area remains wonderfully unspoiled and tranquil. The scenery was exceptionally stunning, especially on a bright and sunny day.

Uluwatu is a great place to unwind and relax. Take a deep breath of fresh Indian ocean air and listen to the crashing waves. You can spend your day doing absolutely nothing and simply enjoy the beautiful surrounding while the strong wind blows your hair wildly in every direction.

Please note that swimming is not recommended due to strong waves and currents,The high waves actually makes Uluwatu beach an excellent place for surfing. But unfortunately, surfing Uluwatu is not for beginners. Only pros and experienced surfers should attempt at Uluwatu.

Uluwatu is known as one of the top surfing spot in Bali. The waves are fast and powerful so expert or advanced surfing skills are necessary. Although Uluwatu provides consistently great waves throughout the day, the best season to surf will be during the dry season which runs from April to October.

The temple is just like many other traditional temples you will see in Bali. It was beautifully built with black coral rocks, but not impressive. It is the view of Uluwatu cliff that attract the million of visitors per year.

Most of the temple ground are open to the public and visitors are free to walk around and admire the beauty of the ancient architecture. Similar to Tanah Lot Temple, non-Hindu devotees are not allowed to enter the inner sanctum of the temple. The temple remains locked most of the time unless there is a special ritual or event. However, visitors can still see most of the temple through the gateway and over the walls.

Beside the temple, there is a stage where a Kecak dance performance is held at 6.00 pm every evening. The temple complex can get very crowded and I would suggest anyone to arrive early to get a good viewing spot. Ticket costs IDR 100,000 and can be purchased in advance at the entrance.

Uluwatu is just perfect for anyone who enjoy breathtaking scenery, glorious sunshine and stunning ocean views. The expansive ocean view is absolutely stunning, you will want to have your camera ready. With its stunning coastline, amazing rock formation and shimmering blue ocean, Uluwatu is truly a spectacular sight to behold.

If you are interested to know more about our trip, you may want to check out our 6D5N Bali Trip Itinerary + Overview for the list of attractions that we had visited during our 6 days in Bali. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for the latest updates on my 6 days adventures in Bali! You might also want to check My Wanderlust page for some of my other travel adventures.

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