Located on the top of a cliff on the southwest of the Bukit peninsula overlooking the Indian Ocean, Pura Luhur Uluwatu (or Uluwatu Temple) is one of Bali’s most visited tourist spots. With its notorious monkeys, amazing sunset views, and the world-famous Kecak Fire Dance, Uluwatu Temple should be on top of your list of places to visit in Bali.
1. Dissecting the meaning behind its name, “Pura” means temple, “Luhur” means something of divine origin, “Ulu” means head, and “Watu” stands for rock.
2. While its history remains unclear, some people believe that the temple was built during the reign of Marakata (9th to 10th Century), the son of Mahendradatta, the former queen of Bali.
3. Other people claim that it was built by Dang Hyang Nirartha, a religious figure from the Daha Kingdom in East Java. Having built the temple in the Pecau hill and completing his spiritual journey around Bali, the monk staged his return to Pura Luhur Uluwatu where he died–and his body vanished.
4. The temple’s anniversary is celebrated on Anggara Kasih day and usually lasts for three days with thousands of Hindu worshippers participating in the festivities.
5. It sits on a 70-meter high cliff with great sunset views overlooking the Indian Ocean.
6. The monkeys that aimlessly walk around the temple is said to protect it from bad spirits. Although they seem tame at first, tourists are always advised to keep an eye out for their belongings. The monkeys of Uluwatu, similar with other protected monkey forests in Bali, tend to snatch personal belongings which they learn to trade for fruits or other treats.
7. The Kecak Fire Dance is performed at sunset in Uluwatu, which serves as a perfect backdrop for this iconic dance performance.
8. Similar with most temples in Bali, the entrance of the temple (also known as candi bentar) is made of stone and is flanked by two statues of elephant-headed men.
9. Parts of Uluwatu are still being developed, and, unlike other temples in Bali, such as Tanah Lot, there are little to no vendors within its vicinity.
The Manila Project
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram