Uluwatu Temple is located in village of Pecatu Village, Kuta District, Badung Regency, Bali, 30 kilometers south of Denpasar. Uluwatu Temple, also referred to as the Pura Luwur Temple, is one of six Sad Kahyangan Temples on the island of Bali, the main spiritual pillar.
History of Uluwatu Temple
The temple was built by the pedanda (Hindu monk) from the Daha Kingdom (Kediri), East Java, Dang Hyang Nirartha. In 1546, during Dalem Waturenggong’s reign Dang Hyang Nirartha came to Bali. The monk built the temple of Uluwatu on Pecatu Hill. The monk went back to Uluwatu Temple after completing a spiritual journey around Bali and passed by. He moksa (went away and his body vanished), left the Marcapada (worldly life) and entered Swargaloka (heaven).
The Balinese Hindus believe that Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva’s three divine powers are one here. This belief leads to Uluwatu Temple being the place of worship of Siva Rudra, the Balinese Hindu deity of all aspects of the universe’s life. The Uluwatu Temple also protects Bali from the evil spirits of the sea.
The Unique of Uluwatu Temple
The Uluwatu Temple is located on a 70 meter high cliff overlooking the Indonesian Ocean. Due to its unique location, visitors must take a long staircase to reach the temple. In contrast to other Balinese temples facing west or south, this temple leads east.
Hundreds of monks roam the path outside the temple. While the monk looks tame, visitors find it annoying that they often take food from the hand of a visitor and grab visitors’ belongings. At the end of the path there are two doors, the north door and the south door through which visitors enter the complex.
The entrance doors are made in the form of stone Bentar gates. There are two statues of elephant-headed men standing across from each gate. The front of the gate has a fine relief sculpture decorating leaves and floral patterns. Behind the door are stone steps leading to the inner courtyard. Along the steps, trees are cultivated to give shade.
There is a small forest on the front and hundreds of monkeys live here. They are thought to guard the temple against bad influences. The serpentine path to the temple is strengthened on the cliff side by concrete walls. There are several fenced points along the way to stop, which takes approximately an hour to reach from one end to another.
The view from the edge of the cliff is very amazing. You can devote various moments with your favorite camera. By looking at the sweeping waves that hit rocks, the sunset and other natural scenery.
The inner court is a stone floor paved open space. Near the north gate is a wooden building. There is a Paduraksa Gate to the west, across from the entrance path, which opens the path to the next inner court. This stone gate is completed with a roof, unlike the ones found outside. The door is an arch with a stone arrangement.
There’s a giant head sculpture above the frame. The top of the gate looks more like a crown and is beautifully decorated with sculpture of relief. A surface full of relief sculpture fills the gaps between the gate and the walls. To the south, there is a small rectangular court stretching across the sea.
At the end of the court there is a wooden building that seems to be a place for people to sit and see the ocean. Several restorations have been made to Uluwatu Temple.
Cautionary signs warn visitors of monkeys of capturing attractive items such as cameras and sunglasses. However, if approached with peanuts or bananas, it can be quieter, giving them the possibility to recover stolen items.
There has been no significant erosion on the shoreline below the towering cliff of the temple. Believers regard it as an expression of the divine power which protects the temple of Uluwatu. There are public facilities, but not in the temple area. Unlike some other Bali tourist destinations, there are limited amounts of vendors in the Pura Uluwatu area.
Visitors should wear a sarong, a sash and suitable clothes for visits to the temple. They’ve provided it here. Just before sunset, the best time to visit is.
A Kecak dance is performed daily at 18:00 to 19:00 on the adjacent cliff-top stage. A nominal fee is charged to visitors. What makes watching a Kecak dance the favorite venue is the sunset background of the performance with a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean.