Photo: Can get busy.

Pura Luhur Uluwatu

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Dramatically perched on the edge of the towering cliffs above thundering surf at the Bukit’s southwestern coast, the iconic Pura Luhur Uluwatu (Uluwatu Temple), can feel a little underwhelming, but the real magic appears towards the end of the day as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean and the monumental silhouette leaves jaws gaping.

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Uluwatu Temple is one of Bali’s holiest sites, reputedly founded around the 11th century as one of the sad kahyangan or “six sanctuaries”—pivotal points, said to provide spiritual balance to Bali—it plays the role of a vital guardian of the southwest. The temple is built from grey coral stone, tougher than the volcanic stone of most of Bali’s temples, meaning that the details here are generally well preserved.

What a location. Photo taken in or around Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Bukit, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

What a location. Photo: Sally Arnold

Only worshipers are permitted to enter the actual temple structure, but visitors can climb the stairs to the outer entrance gates flanked by statues of Ganesh wrapped in ceremonial cloth and circumnavigate the outer walls. From the southern side you can take a peek into the central courtyard where you will see the arched kori agung gateway presided over by a leering Kala head. Once you’ve wandered around the temple structure, walk along the fenced cliff ledge to neighbouring headlands to the south or north to capture a sunset ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 600 words.)

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Bukit? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Indonesia.

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