Balinese Ulun Danu Beratan Temple: How to Visit a Sacred Water Temple
The Ulun Danu Beratan Temple (also known as Pura Ulun Danu Beratan) is both a picturesque landmark and an important sacred site located on the western side of Lake Bratan in central Bali, Bedugul. The lake surrounding the floating temple is considered sacred on the island, since the fertility of the surrounding areas and the development of agriculture depend on it.
A sacred reservoir with clear water is located in the central part of the island at an altitude of 1239 meters, framed by emerald forests and mountain ranges shrouded in clouds. There is a legend that if you plunge into the clear waters of Lake Bratan, it can give you good health and longevity.
An ancient legend says that the temple was built by local armorers, who made daggers for kings and their troops. They were later driven out by invaders from the island of Java.
The most beautiful temple complex of Bali includes several structures scattered along the lakeshore and on the nearby small islands. The appearance of the water temple cannot but fascinate – the classic multi-tiered pagodas covered with black straw from the leaves of the sugar palm, are reflected in the clear waters of Lake Bratan and wonderfully harmonize with the clouded silhouettes of mountains and trees. The pagodas of temple structures have 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11 roof tiers, their number indicates that they belong to certain gods.
The main sanctuary of the complex, located on a small island, has 11 tiers and is dedicated to Shiva and his wife Parvati. It can be reached via a small wooden bridge. The main part of the temple buildings is located on the shore of the lake, surrounded by a picturesque garden.
Ulun Danu Temple is located far from the places familiar to tourists, in the mountains, at an altitude of more than one thousand two hundred meters above sea level. However, everyone who comes to the island can see the building on the 50,000 Indonesian rupiah note.
Having enjoyed the harmony and beauty of the Bedugul temple to your fullest, you can go in for active rest, for which all conditions have been created here.
On the territory of the temple complex, there is a rental office for pedal boats and canoes, it is possible to go parasailing or water skiing. Near the temple, there is a restaurant serving Indonesian and European cuisine, and a small market with souvenirs and local products. Fauna lovers have the opportunity to feed the iguanas and take a couple of good pictures with them. Pura Ulun Danu Beratan is open daily from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm.
Those wishing to explore the surroundings can also hire a traditional boat or motorboat to ride on the lake or simply drive to the other side, where completely different types of recreation await them. It should be borne in mind that, despite the beauty of the landscape and amazing nature, you can hardly swim in the water here for a long time: the lake is located in the mountains at an altitude of about 1200 m, and the average temperature is about 22 °C.
The temple buoyancy illusion is most clearly manifested with the rise of the water level in the lake, and the pictures at this time are excellent.
In addition, once you are near the lakes, you can explore the area a little more, and you would certainly not regret it. These are, for example, the beautiful rice terraces of Jatiluwih in the shadow of Mount Batukaru or the Munduk waterfall about a kilometer from the village of the same name – a little-visited, although perhaps one of the most impressive on the island. You can see both if you drive further along the highway, passing two more neighboring lakes.
How to Get to the Temple
To visit the temple, you need to set aside at least half a day for this. After all, it is located 50 kilometers from Denpasar, and the road alone in both directions may take about three hours.
By Public Transport
Buses depart daily from the resort area to Bedugul. To catch such a bus, you must first get to the terminal in Kuta. It takes no more than half an hour to get to it from the center of Denpasar. It takes about 2 hours to get to the temple by bus.
The road takes about 1.5 hours. Drive North to the Denpasar-Gilimanuk highway. There you need to turn to Jl. I Gusti Ngurah Rai. You can be guided by the road signs indicating the direction to Bedugul. Then you drive through the city of Mengwi and you find yourself on the Jl Raya Denpasar highway.
Drive straight and do not turn off anywhere. When the road starts to get winding, then you are already close to the lake. When the lake is in front of you at a road fork, turn left to get to the temple. Follow the main road and in 10 minutes you will see a large sign of the temple complex.
From Kuta, Seminyak, and Legian
The route looks the same. The only difference is that you can not go through the center of Denpasar, but choose the path through Jl. Raya Kerobokan. From these resorts, it takes about 1-2 hours to get to the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple.
From the Bukit Peninsula
You can go along the toll road, and then through the whole of Denpasar. But you can avoid unnecessary costs and get to Kuta by Jl. ByPass Ngurah Rai. From there go to Jl. Raya Kerobokan. The road may take about 2-2.5 hours.
A trip to the Ulun Danu Temple would be of interest to anyone interested in Bali culture. Moreover, this is one of the few temples on the water in the world and one of the most sacred places on the island. If you happen to be in Bali, be sure to set aside one day to visit this place. Bright emotions are guaranteed to you!
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