Bali is an island and province of Indonesia, and it’s located between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia most of Bali’s population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. In Bali the temples are the most important institution, and Bali is commonly called “the island of a thousand temples”. Bali is a place of deep spirituality where every family, rich or poor, has their own temple.
The Balinese are gentle and humble people with a relaxed lifestyle and a devotion to tradition.
We had two whole days in Bali where we got to explore and experience the real Bali and we got to watch a couple of ceremonies. Local people bring offerings (consisting of fruits, rice cakes and flowers) for the Gods and place them at strategic points around the temple. The pilgrims then pray, are blessed with and drink holy water and then take the offerings home to share with their families.
It has been said that there is never a day in Bali without a ceremony of some kind, and if you include all the life cycle rites such as baby ceremonies, puberty rites, weddings, cremations, Temple festivals etc. then there may be a truth in what’s being said.
Bali’s highlands and coasts are home to many ancient temples. Several of them have become the island’s most iconic landmarks:
You may have seen this before, due to its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrops. Tanah Lot is located on the coast of West Bali, at the village of Beraban in the Tabanan regency, only a 45-minute drive from Kuta.
Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 16th-century Dang Hyang Nirartha. On his travels along the south coast he saw the beautiful rock-island’s setting and rested there and spent the night on the little island. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock, because he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.
Uluwatu Temple has a beautiful location perched on top of a steep cliff approx. 70m above sea level. It is located in Pecatu Village, Kuta sub-district, Badung regency, about 25km south of Kuta. This is one of the top places on the island to go to for sunset delights.
Several archaeological remains found here prove the temple to be of megalithic origin, dating back to around the 10th century. Legend says that Dhang Hyang Dwijendra was the architect of Uluwatu Temple.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
This Balinese Hindu Temple is located on the shores of Lake Beratan in the mountains near Bedugul at Candi Kuning countryside, Baturiti sub district and Tabanan regency. The temple complex is located on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul.
The temple was built in 1663, and is used for offerings ceremony to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu, due to the importance of Lake Beratan as a main source of irrigation in central Bali.
Tanah Ayun Temple
Taman Ayun Temple is a Royal Temple of Mengwi Empire and it is located in Mengwi Village, Badung regency and about 18 km north side of Denpasar town. It is set on the land, which is surrounded by the big fish pond and look like a drift on the water.
Pursuant to Papyrus Chronicle of the Mengwi, the temple which is now referred by Taman Ayun Temple that it had been newly sanctified in the year 1634 M. According to Astadewata, the special God is worshiped in Taman Ayun Temple is the God in manifestation as a Wisnu God which his palace located in top of Mangu mount.