After our trip to Tanha Lot temple. The next trip we had lined up for the next day was the Uluwatu Temple in Bali. We had heard a lot about the place and its scenic beauty and the cultural significance. The next day we decided to hit it up!
This Temple is a balinese hindu sea temple located in Uluwatu. The original date of the temple is subject to speculation. However the current super massive complex was built in the 11th century. Dang Hyang Nirartha the man’s responsible for the Tanha lot temple also had a huge role to play here. He is supposed to have achieved Nirvana or enlightenment here. The temple is built to honour a deity called Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa. However to simplify this for those not familiar with culture, the place basically celebrates Rudra one of the manifestations of Shiva. The great god of No-Thing.
How to get there
Uluwatu temple is around 25 Kms from Seminyak In Kuta and takes about 40 mins to reach by a two-wheeler. If you are coming from Ubud then its around 50 Kms and takes about 90 mins to get there by a scooty. As usual we will recommend a two-wheeler over a four-wheeler. Tourist spots in Bali esp Kuta area can be very congested during peak hours.
- The Uluwatu Temple Bali entrance fee is IDR 30,000 ( USD $2) per person for adults and IDR 15,000 (USD $1) for children.
- One can enjoy the evening by buying Uluwatu Temple Kecak dance. Tickets cost around IDR 100,000 ( USD $6) and can be purchased between 4:30 PM to 5 PM. The show starts at 6 PM.
Kecak Dance: For those unfamiliar with Kecak it’s a traditional Balanese Dance. Very exotic and has elements of mysticism built into its basis. It’s also called Balanese Monkey Dance. It’s a must see if you are in Bali.
The dress code for Uluwatu Temple requires you to cover your legs without giving an outline. Which means Sarong, Long Skirts, Wrap Arounds, Long Dresses, Saree etc are acceptable. Shorts, Denims or Yoga Pants are NOT ok. However, if you don’t have clothes like that NO need to fret. They will give you a Sarong upon entry which you can use to cover the legs. It’s also considered respectful to cover your shoulders; however, this is not mandatory.
The temple is built over a large area. There is a bit of a climb up the mountain. Most Temples associated with people achieving nirvana tends to be up on the mountains. One can only imagine how it must have been in the yesteryear’s when one would have had to climb the mountain. Thankfully now they have stairs which one can use. In the inner sanctum of the temple, visitors are not allowed. Also photography is not permitted. However rest of the surrounding areas are open to take pictures and videos.
The statue of Nirartha. When Nirartha reached enlightenment, the temple of Uluwatu acquired the additional epithet “Luhur”. This word means “to rise up” or “to ascend”, essentially seeks to capture the phenomenon of Nirvana in layman terms.
The scenic beauty is breathtaking. Built on the edge of a cliff that over looks into the sea. This place looks like it popped out of a Lord of Rings Movie. We just could not get enough of the view. They have a long walking track around the whole complex. At least half of it passes though the cliff edge with the view of the sea. The other half passes through a dense green belt with a lot of exotic vegetation. Great place to stroll and spend time. There are benches made at regular intervals, one can sit and soak in the view for as long as one likes!
Things to Do when in Ulutwatu
- The temple is also considered of the top sunset points in Bali. You can witness a delightful sunset, with direct views overlooking the beautiful waves of the Indian Ocean.
- Kecak dance performances are held daily at an amphitheater in the complex.
- Balinese architecture, traditionally-designed gateways, and ancient sculptures all add to Uluwatu Temple’s appeal.
- For those with a taste for water sports. Uluwatu beach is one of the internationally renowned places for Surfing. Essentially there is something for everyone here.
Caution: Monkey Business
This place is famous for its moneys. And this case they will ensure you feel their presence even if you choose to ignore them. The monkeys have absolutely no fear of humans and have no qualms about scaring the shit out of us! Monkeys snatching your Sun Glasses, Mobile phones, Handbags are very common. In fact, so common that at any given point during your visit, you can find at least be one tourist trying to get his/her stuff back from a monkey. In fact, I too suffered. A huge monkey slapped my face, took my sunglasses away and in the whole fracas I lost my new Silver nose Ring too! Sob! Sob! ☹.
Sajan had to spend over an hour trying to negotiate with the monkeys to get our stuff back. Finally, after offering many fruits and biscuits we managed to get them back. It’s a pity I did not take any pics of that encounter. It’s just that I was so panicked and scared it did not strike me! Damn! ☹
The place has all touristy amenities such as a First-aid centre, Washrooms and a Canteen. This ensures that you can take a break in between should you feel the need to. Over all the place requires about 3-4 hours for a through experience and exploration.
Hope you enjoy the place as much as we did. If you seek any additional information about the place, do feel free to reach out to us.