Just an hour’s drive away from Kuta ; Pura Luhur Uluwatu is a temple atop the edge of a rocky cliff on Bukit Peninsula, the southern most point of Bali. Founded by a Javanese Hindu priest in the 10th century, the temple is dedicated to the God of elements Bharata Rudra. Considered one of the nine directional temples on the island, the temple sits 70 metres above the roaring Indian Ocean.
What to expect…
To enter the temple grounds, a fee of approximately Rp10,000 (USD1.50) is paid at the ticket counter where a sash and/or sarong will be handed to you. To be tied around your waist, the sash is compulsory. However, the sarong is only handed to visitors who wear shorts or short skirts. It is important to the Balinese that the skin of your legs aren’t shown when you enter holy grounds.
The walk down to the edge of the limestone cliffs of Uluwatu takes about 5 minutes. Once there, the climb up to the architectural wonder built from black coral rock could take you about an hour on busy days.
The walkways are narrow and uneven, maintaining their rustic charm, hence manoeuvring through them when its used both for visitors walking towards the temple and away from it may require patience.
Unlike the main mother temple at Besakih, the central courtyards of Pura Luhur are not open to public except during ceremonial events. Otherwise, you are free to walk around the rest of the temple grounds and pathways leading to the most amazing views of the sea.
Also home to mischievous macaques with baffling antics, beware of their sensational appetite for sandals, hair-clips, sunglasses, bags and even your camera! Behind their curious eyes and sometimes cute demeanour, is a cunning thief!
To keep them at bay, you may have to hold a long stick which you can swing from time to time. Just pick a broken branch from the ground, there are many around.
What to see…
Turn amusement to amazement as 100 men perform the Ramayana Monkey Chant and Fire Dance against a breathtaking sunset. Spanning about 60 minutes with a ticket cost of Rp70,000 (USD8.50) each, catch this amazing routine everyday at 6pm at the Roman like amphitheatre that sits across from Pura Luhur.
The temple ground has some of the most ideal spots for photography. Capture the silhouette of the temple against the sunset or shoot the majestic Bukit Peninsula as raging waves below crash against the rocks.
However, getting a good picture can be tricky when you have to have a constant eye on those menacing Macaques that can appear out of nowhere in a blink of an eye!
Located at Jl. Raya Uluwatu Pecatu, it would take a journey of 45 minutes if set out from Nusa Dua and about 1 hour 15 minutes if you set out from Kuta or Tuban during heavy traffic.
**Exercise caution if you are visiting with small children, as the Macaques are a curious lot when it comes to human’s who seem as tall as they are.
Text & Photography by Rosemarie John © All Rights Reserved