Photo By: Elin Chow
Ulun Danu Bratan Temple is a famous water temple located on the western lakeside of Lake Bratan (or Lake Beratan) in Bedugul, Central Bali, 2 hours drive away from Denpasar. The temple is an iconic landmark and an absolute must-see in Bali.
Entry to the temple is not free and visitors are required to pay an entrance fee in order to enter the area. The price of admission is 20,000 IDR for domestic tourists and 50,000 IDR for foreigners, which was actually a little bit steep for Balinese standard. Ulun Danu Bratan Temple opens at 7 am and closes at 5 pm daily.
Located 1200 m above sea level, Ulun Danu is surrounded by lush mountains and greenery. Entering the gate leading to the main area of the temple, we passed through a lovely manicured garden. To the right, you will see a magnificent Banyan Tree, and to the left, a seemingly-out-of-place two-tiered Buddhist stupa with cloth swaddled Buddhist figures.
Due to its high altitude, the atmosphere surrounding the temple is cool, with temperatures between 18 to 22 degree Celsius, offering a great respite from the hot and humid weather. The air was crisp and fresh and its grounds and facilities were very clean and beautifully maintained. So peaceful and tranquil.
We walked past a beautifully tended little flower garden leading to the temple ground. Despite its popularity, it is surprisingly not overcrowded at the time when we visited. Well, perhaps we were there too early then. So I would advise anyone to arrive early if you wish to avoid the crowds.
A short walk further into the temple grounds will get you to the beautiful Lake Bratan. Situated in a crater of an inactive volcano, Mount Catur, it is the second largest lake in Bali. The lake is shallow with a maximum depth of 22 metres. Visitors may hire traditional jukung outriggers or pedal boats to tour the lake. This is great for photographers who wish to capture the beautiful lake from different angles.
For those who prefer a quicker ride, there are motorized boats available for hire too. Besides that, the other side of Lake Bratan also offers an abundance of water activities like Parasailing and jet-skis. Visitors can even hire fishing gear and bait to pass time away at the scenic lakeside.
Considered as one of the most holy lake in Bali, Lake Bratan is home to one of the most famous water temple on the island. The temple sits on the edge of the scenic Lake Bratan amidst the majestic lush mountains shrouded by misty clouds and skies.
Ulun Danu Bratan Temple is built in the 17th century by King of Mengwi, to worship the main Hindu trinity, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, as well as the lake goddess, Dewi Danu. Lake Bratan is known as the Lake of Holy Mountain because the surrounding area is blessed with high fertility, The lake is also the main source of irrigation for many farms and rice paddies in Central Bali.
Ulun Danu is composed of four different temples - the Lingga Petak Temple, the Penataran Pucak Mangu Temple, the Terate Bang Temple and the Dalem Purwa Temple. Among the four, the three main temples are tiered shrines - 11-tiered, 7-tiered and three-tiered, dedicated to the worship of god Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva.
Ulun Danu Bratan Temple is built on a low lying side of the lake, which will appear to float on the water when the water level rises, thus it is also known as "The Floating Temple".
Set against the backdrop of misty peaked mountains, the temple is a favorite sightseeing site for both locals and foreigners. The water is very calm and the landscape is absolutely stunning. It is truly a beautiful sight.
Ulun Danu Bratan Temple is perhaps the most photographed temple on the island after Tanah Lot and Uluwatu. The temple is also one of the nine Kahyangan Jagat (directional temples) in Bali, which protects the island from evil spirits.
Just like any other temples in Bali, Ulun Danu Bratan Temple is off limits to non-hindu worshippers. However, visitors can still see most of the temple through the gate and over the walls.