Our balinese trip is coming to an end – my summer saga hehe – with the visit of the temples – of which you will find a great number all over the island of Bali.
Some will say that “when you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all”. However, each “Pura” has its own specificity : here are a select few that we visited during our stay.
Know that various religions cohabit on Bali, but the majority of the inhabitants are hindu. Which means there are a number of beliefs and traditions that can be foreign to us. The most recurring rules to respect when entering temples will be indicated at the entrance :
–Decent wear (as in every place of worship)
-Cover your legs with a sarong (sold at the entrance, on markets or in our case, provided by our chauffeur)
-For women, do not visit the temple if you are pregnant, have just given birth or are menstruating – it is considered religiously unpure. (of course no one will be checking, but rules are rules I guess!)
–Don’t settle above a priest who is conducting a ceremony (so no climbing on the wall to get that amazing Instagram picture)
The “Canang Sari” offerings
According to the hindu religion, these daily offerings are meant for the Gods of the Mountains, as a token of gratitude.
You will find them not only in the temples, but also in front of shops, houses on the sidewalks (mind your step!).
Each family will devote a moment of their day to making these little flowered boxes out of palm leaves.
During our stay, we took part in a workshop in our hotel, and learned to make them.
This DIY was very interesting – we learned about the codification that goes into the making of these offerings, in respect with the balinese religious tradition.
Which Canang Sari is the prettiest?
Each flower color has a meaning : once the flowers are set up with care, you add little biscuits, a bit of incense etc. I did pretty good, don’t you think?
Pura Goa Gajah
(Elephant cave temple)
This temple hosts the elephant cave. It’s possible to go inside and see the hindu god statuettes, amongst which one of Ganesh, the elephant-headed protecting god.
Once you exit the cave, you can choose to continue on a path with stairs that will bring you deeper in the jungle.
Pura Gunung Kawi
After walking down a road lined with souvenir shops, you’ll find yourself in front of this Indiana Jones worthy temple.
Keep on walking, the road is absolutely amazing : lush greenery, rice fields, a river : is this the way to heaven?
Pura Tirta Empul
(Holy spring water temple)
Located in Tampaksiring, this temple has pools filled with holy water where you can bathe to purify, and make offerings to divinities. .
I didn’t go for a dip, but know that if you feel like it, you can purify your soul by stepping in.
… and the others !
If you are feeling spiritual (or adventurous), here are other temples that might be worth a visit :
Besakih temple : the largest temple in Bali (with the number of tourists visiting, it is apparently recommended to beware of tourist traps in the area)
Goa Lawah temple (the bats temple) : not sure I would have been quite at ease, but if the spirit of Batman is with you, why not.
Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple : a floating temple dedicated to the water godess.
Here we are, our Bali trip ends here! I hope you enjoyed our time together there, even if we didn’t go crazy on the visits and stayed with the more classical options.
It was a wonderful change of scenery, and it did me quite a lot of good. I would highly recommend this destination to whoever is looking for some peace and quiet, it’s an atmosphere you will find there (although maybe not as much in south Bali).
Have a great weekend, we’ll talk soon! (English translation by Marine)
PS: To (re)discover my whole trip in Bali, click here !