Photo: One of Bali's most photographed temples.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

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Featured on Indonesia’s 50,000 rupiah note, and among the most photographed temples in Bali, Pura Ulun Danau Bratan is a postcard-perfect classical Hindu-Buddhist temple complex. Set partly on a small island in the crater lake, Danau Bratan, according to archaeologists the site has possibly had spiritual significance since megalithic times.

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The present temple was founded in the 17th century by the Raja of Mengwi, along with UNESCO-listed Pura Taman Ayun and is dedicated to the goddess of the lake and fertility, Dewi Danau. Important to the Balinese to ensure ample supply of water and rich harvests, Pura Ulun Danau Bratan is also one of the nine directional temples (kahyangan jagat) protecting Bali from evil spirits from the northwest.

Another day, another ceremony in Bali. Photo taken in or around Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bedugul, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Another day, another ceremony in Bali. Photo: Sally Arnold

Pilgrims flock here from all over Bali as the temple is particularly important for post-cremation ceremonies (melasti). As such, there’s a good chance of seeing a bunch of locals in fancy threads here, adding to the visual splendour of the architecture and surrounding landscape.

Entering the manicured gardens of the complex, to your right you'll see a magnificent banyan tree, and to your left, seemingly out-of-place in this predominantly Hindu complex, a Buddhist stupa. Robed Buddha statues encircle the shrine, and these are often used as a backdrop for wedding photos. Look behind, and up on the hill a large mosque looms, reminding us of this multicultural nation’s ability to (mostly) live peacefully with religious diversity.

Simply stunning. Photo taken in or around Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bedugul, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Simply stunning. Photo: Sally Arnold

The inner sanctums of the four Hindu temples that form the major part of the complex are not accessible to non-worshippers, however the merus (tiered shrines) and ceremonies can be viewed from the temple gates. A sign requests visitors to “dress neatly and properly” — in Bali this means that a sarong and sash are required. This is ignored by the majority of visitors, but please don't let that ... Travelfish members only (Around 600 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Jalan Raya Candikuning, Bedugul
Admission: Adults/children: 30,000/15,000 rupiah

Location map for Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

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