Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, however, many of her visitors do not know in depth about the uniqueness of Balinese culture. It is this Balinese belief system that makes the island different from other destinations.
Life in Bali is related to a tripartite concept that includes the spiritual relationship between human and God and the environment.
Balinese temples – of which there are thousands across the island – vary from simple household temples for lesser gods to elaborate affairs for the important gods. Every temple worships a particular deity, such as the rice goddess Dewi Sri, or the deity of markets, Maya Sih.
The most popular attractions in Bali are Hindu temples, including:
This is considered to be the most important temple in Bali and is referred to as the “Mother Temple”. It is named after the region that the first Balinese came from in the 8th century – Basuki in East Java. Found on the slopes of Mount Agung, 1,000m (3,300 feet) above sea level, it consists of 198 separate structures spread over six terraces.
PURA TANAH LOT
The sea temple of Tanah Lot is about 45 minutes north of Seminyak on the West Coast. It is believed that Niranthra – the King’s priestly teacher and a poet – built the temple in 1537. The holy leader of the area became jealous when people followed Niranthra instead of him, so he ordered Niranthra to leave. Using his powers, Niranthra moved the temple and the rock it was built on into the sea and transformed his scarf into poisonous sea snakes which are still found protecting the temple today.
PURA LUHUR ULUWATU
This temple occupies one of the most picturesque spots in Bali, perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean on the tip of the Bukit in the south. There are many sacred monkeys living at the temple; take care with leaving anything unattended as they can quickly grab mobile phones and handbags! You may see the sea turtles below or the many frigate birds who nest in the cliffs.
It is not surprising that Bali is called the island of the thousand temples. They are everywhere you look.