Traditional religion is very alive in Bali, and the more than 20,000 temples found across the Island of the Gods are the sites of regular rituals, spanning life from birth to death. Balinese temples are unique in architecture and structure and are built according to strict rules. Village organizations make sure that their temples, which are a major part of Balinese life, are beautiful and well maintained, and their attractiveness and deep spiritual power make them popular among visitors.
Temples in Bali Temples in Bali are the homes of deities. Normally there are at least 3 public temples within each village in Bali, Pura Puseh (Temple of Origin) built to honor the God of Creation (Brahma), Pura Desa Bale Agung built to honor the God of Life (Wisnu) and Pura Dalem built to honor the God of the death and reincarnation (Siwa Durga).
As a tourist we are allowed to enter some areas of temple only by wearing decent clothes (sarong) and behave accordingly. But for some sacred temples tourists are not allowed to enter the main area (Inner Sanctum), because it is only use for the religious activities only.
Luckily, most temples can be visited, although rules should be kept in mind. Modest dress is expected for men and women, and many temples require visitors to cover themselves with a sarong, which is provided at the entrance for a small donation to the temple or the village, offering a way to give back to local people.
Some areas in most temples are restricted and for “worshippers only”. Please read and respect the signs. You might be charged a small entrance fee which is more of a donation that is collected by the local community (Banjar) and used for renovations and ceremonies.
Visitors are also expected to behave modestly, and women who are experiencing their “time of the month” are asked not to enter. Travelers who respect these rules will be rewarded with breathtaking sights, particularly at Bali’s biggest and most important temples.
Balinese temples are majestic and really beautiful such as the temple of Tanah Lot, which is perched on a rock in the ocean. This “directional temple” is particularly iconic, and is most beautiful at sunrise or sunset and less crowded at other times. Or pick Uluwatu temple of Pura Luhur in the very south; although the architecture is not as implressive like some of the other big stars, it adorns a towering cliff side and is home to a colony of monkeys who are happy to accept your food or steal your sunglasses. Here, a traditional kecak dance performance can be seen at sunset. If you are especially fond of monkeys, come to Ubud’s monkey forest, a protected site which features ancient moss-covered temples and monuments, and is dedicated to the monkey god, Hanoman.
Bali’s temples are indeed holy to the Balinese and more often than not, you will witness a ceremony when visiting the temple. Most holy and most important temple is Besakih, a towering mountain-top structure of many smaller temples and staircases. It is known as the “mother temple” and is treated with great veneration. This has been a site for pilgrimages for over 1,000 years, even surviving the nearby volcanic eruptions of Gunung Agung.
Another very important temple for Balinese people is Pura Danu Bratan, a picturesque site built at the shore of lake Bratan (Beratan) in the mountain highlands near Bedugul. It is not as big as it looks like on pictures, but a very scenic place and very important to the Balinese.
Source : Bali.com
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