Pura Luhur Uluwatu in Bali is a magnificent Balinese pura segara (sea temple). It stands on towering sea cliffs (70 meters tall) with the Indian Ocean crashing below and provides amazing views for miles and miles. The temple is dedicated to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in his manifestation of Rudra – a deity associated with wind and storm who is praised as the “mightiest of the mighty”. Located on the southern portion of Bali this temple is a must see.
Uluwatu Temple At A Glance:
- Location: Pecatu Village, Kuta South District
- Hours: 9am-6pm for visitors, open for worshiping 24 hours
- Arriving: Private car, taxi, scooter (nominal fee to park 1,000 IDR for a scooter)
- Price: 30,000 IDR entrance per person
- Dress: Cover knees and shoulders. Best: Sarong, sash, and shirt.
- Monkeys: Plan ahead so you don’t lose something you care about
- Crowd: This popular temple can become quite crowded, especially when tour buses arrive.
- Indoor/Outdoor: The vast majority is outdoor. Make sure you bring sunscreen and sunglasses! You may even want a hat.
Uluwatu Temple Clothing Etiquette:
Like other temples in Bali, visitors should be modestly and appropriately dressed. These are sacred spaces and being respectful is important. There are some differences between what is required and what is culturally respectful but the best thing for men and women to wear is a sarong or skirt that covers the knees, a sash to tie around the waist, and a shirt that covers your shoulders.
Don’t have a sarong or sash? Not to worry, Uluwatu provides sarongs and sashes with your entrance ticket (not every temple does this). Some people will wear tank tops or spaghetti straps and be let in, but it is preferred that you cover your shoulders. Similarly, some people will wear pants as they cover the knee but it is best to wear a sarong to be a bit more dressed up.
Uluwatu is inhabited by monkeys big and small and entering the temple means you are entering their home. Some visitors say they had a horrendous time visiting the temple and that the monkeys are awful. We, however, had a lovely time. Plan ahead a bit and you will too!
Some Precautions When Around Monkeys:
1). Leave all jewelry behind – the monkeys like to grab things, especially shiny ones.
2). Don’t bring any food with you – they will smell it and try pulling it out of your bag.
3). Empty the water bottle holders on your backpack – we watched a monkey run off with a hand sanitizer that was in a side pocket and try to open and eat it.
4). Don’t pet the monkeys – they may touch or climb on you but it is best to not pet them.
5). If they steal something from you let it go – if you attempt to get it back (without giving them some food or sugar in exchange) they will bare their teeth and swat at you. While we were there a man got close and a monkey stole his glasses. When the man tried to get them back the monkey got territorial and roared at the man as he snapped them in half.
6). This should go without saying but don’t set your small child next to a monkey for a photo, they are wild animals. We watched a two-year-old get set next to a monkey, curiously reach out, and the monkey swatted the child in the face.
Now that we have all of the monkey safety 101 out of the way, let me just say that there is no reason to be afraid of these animals. If you leave them alone, then they will leave you alone and you will have a marvelous time exploring all of this temple’s beauty. The temple is small enough to explore in an hour, but you can easily lose track of time exploring, watching the monkeys, and staring out past the gigantic cliffs into the crisp blue waters below.
We recommend going close to sunset to enjoy this perfect place to watch the sun slip away into the horizon. If you’re interested in watching some traditional Balinese dance there are Kecak Dance performance nightly (typically start at 6pm). It is best to arrive 30 minutes prior and sit on the left side as it provides the best view of the descending sun just past the sea cliffs. It should only cost you 100k IDR, so if someone tries to sell you a ticket for more just keep walking and find a legitimate ticket counter (of which there are several).
Serenity, sea breezes, and marvelous views await you at Pura Luhur Uluwatu!
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