Pura Pulaki, Pura Pabean and Pura Melanting

Pura Pulaki, Pura Pabean and Pura Melanting

Holy temples in dramatic settings

More on Pemuteran

Pura Pulaki, Pura Pabean and Pura Melanting are a trio of temples wedged between the craggy mountains and black sands of the north coast beaches near Pemuteran. Important as they are to Hindu Balinese, each with a distinct spiritual function, it’s the dramatic natural settings that pique the interest of the outsider.

Travelfish says:
Monkeys are the guardians at Pura Pulaki. You have been warned. Photo by: Sally Arnold.
Monkeys are the guardians at Pura Pulaki. You have been warned. Photo: Sally Arnold

According to local folklore, when the temple was founded by the 16th-century priest Nirartha, he was led by a troupe of macaque monkeys. Out of respect for him, they settled in the temple as guardians. Today the temple is overrun with the cheeky primates, so much so that most of the shrines sit within monkey-proof cages, and temple guards (of the human variety) carry slingshots. If you are parked near the temple, wind up windows, as they have been known to jump inside cars in search of food.

To visit the temple you will need a sarong and sash, and tourists are required to pay 10,000 rupiah entry fee at the small roadside tourist information booth. The black volcanic stone temple has some nice views to sea, but most of the decorations are of cement, painted in modern gaudy colours, and along with the monkey-proof metal cages everywhere it’s not especially visually appealing. Outside the temple along the sea wall, a row of food stalls sell bakso (meatball soup) and ice desserts, a scenic stop for a quick delicious snack, popular with truck drivers on their way to the ferry terminal at Gilimanuk.

Looking out to see from Pura Pabean. Photo by: Sally Arnold.
Looking out to see from Pura Pabean. Photo: Sally Arnold

Two hundred metres east of Pura Pulaki, Pura Pabean overlooks the picturesque coast towards Pemuteran and it's worth climbing the few steps to the entrance of the temple for the view alone. At Pura Pabean local fishermen pray for a safe journey and the temple’s history is entwined with the Chinese traders who stopped at the port here. The temple shrines are an unusual blend of Balinese and Chinese styles. Again, beware of the pesky monkeys, and leave your hats and glasses behind. A sarong and sash is required, and entry fee is ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 400 words.)

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Reviewed by

Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.

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Our top 3 other sights and activities in and around Pemuteran

Pemuteran Beach
Pemuteran Beach

Slow-paced beach with snorkelling