Photo: The stunning view from Pura Pabean.

Pura Pulaki, Pura Pabean and Pura Melanting

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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.

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About 1.5 kilometres east of Pemuteran, Pura Pulaki sits at the foothills, facing the sea. Particularly important in the Balinese belief system, you will see people from around the island praying here throughout the day and passing vehicles will toot their horn. It's set up for “drive-through prayers”, with a small roadside shrine and busy priests flicking holy water as devotees stop for a quick blessing.

Monkeys are the guardians at Pura Pulaki. You have been warned. Photo taken in or around Pura Pulaki, Pura Pabean and Pura Melanting, Pemuteran, Indonesia 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 ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)

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

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