There are places in the world that are so unique and so interesting one cannot help but be compelled to go and see it. One such place is the Ulun Danu Temple Bedugul Bali, which we learn about in this blog.
Ulun Danu Temple Bedugul Bali or Ulun Danu Beratan Temple also known as Pura Ulun Danu Beratan is a major Shivaite water temple in Bali, Indonesia. It is located on the edge of Lake Beratan in Bedugul, central Bali and near the village of Candikunning.
Built in 1633 as ceremonial place for offerings to the Balinese water, river and lake goddess Dewi Danu, it is one of the most famous Balinese Hindu temples and is commonly referred to as Bali Temple on the Lake or Bali Temple on the Water. This is due to the flow of water in the Beratan Lake which when rising, gives the impression that the low-lying temple is indeed floating on the water.
It has remained a popular destination for travellers largely due to its picturesque décor which you are free to explore after paying a small entrance fee (around AUD 1). The floating temple complex is comprised of four groups of shrines and you will also notice four gates facing the four points of the compass. The site offers magnificent Balinese architectural features and tiered shrines, emphasised by colourful garden beds and manicured plants but you will also find that the temple is home to a megalithic artifact in the form of a sarcophagus and stone tablet. This has led to the assumption that the site was already a consecrated location before the Hindu temple was built.
This scenic backdrop also houses a number of accommodations allowing to stay on site and take you time exploring the surrounding areas. Those of us who are after more than just scenery can hire traditional jukung outriggers or even motorized boats to explore the lake, or even take on various water sports such as parasailing and jet-skying which are available on the other side of the lake. If you would rather pass time on the lake shore partaking to more tranquil activities, you can hire fishing gear and bait close to the temple complex as well. Tours are also available for you to explore the lake and learn about the temple in details.
But the lake’s proximity to several other points of interest in the Danu Beratan and Candikunning areas is also a reason explaining the popularity of this site, along with its strategical position linking the North and South of the Island.
Among the many other nearby places to discover, you can explore the Bali Botanic Garden in Candikunning where you will be able to peek at 154 hectares of tropical plants along with the Panca Yadnya Garden (Garden of Five Offerings) which preserves plants used in ancient Hindu ceremonies. The Garden also houses the Bali Treetop Adventure Park which lets you explore the forest from above ground thanks to a system of ropes, nets, winches and more.
Another notable location is the Candikunning Market which offers a touristy but charming shopping experience as you walk among rows of local fruits, vegetables, spices, potted plants and souvenirs This is also a good place to have a feed and taste the local products.
The Munduk Waterfall (Tanah Braak) and two other lakes (Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan) are also located about 12 kilometres north-east of Lake Beratan. These are worth the travel as excellent guided hikes let you take in the scenery and gaze at tiny villages and temples along the shores of both lakes. Many other waterfalls are present in the area but can be quite inaccessible and reserved only for the most intrepid of us.
Overall, the region is quite rich with scenic places and other exciting vistas so there is a lot to see and many sights to take in. From ancient temples to cloud-cloaked forests along with picturesque lakes and warm people, you will love your incursion to this part of the world and your pictures of the floating temple will leave friends and family wanting to go explore themselves
The best time to visit is during March to August. Another thing to remember is that you can beat the crowds by getting in earlier in the morning. Sunrise is a particularly beautiful time to appreciate the sometimes misty sceneries, but bear in mind that it can be a little on the cooler side at that time of the day and in the region in general. Be sure to bring some warm clothes just in case.