Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Uluwatu Temple - Bali

The Pura Luhur (literally ‘high temples’ or ‘ascension temples’) Uluwatu is famous not only for its unique position, also boasts one of the oldest temples in Bali. This Uluwatu temple is a Bali's most spectacular temple located high on a cliff top at the edge of a plateau 70 metres  above the waves of the Indian Ocean. Dedicated to the spirits of the sea, the famous Uluwatu temple is an architectural wonder in black coral rock, beautifully designed with spectacular views. There are more steep headlands on either side and sunsets over Uluwatu are a sight to behold.
Pura Luhur is a Balinese Sea Temple at Uluwatu on Bali. It is located in Pecatu village, Kuta South District of Badung Regency of Bali. Uluwatu Temple (Pura Uluwatu) is one of Bali's nine key directional temples and it guards Bali from evil spirits from the southwest, God of the elements and of cosmic force majeures, Bhatara Rudra. Empu Kuturan, a Javanese Hindu priest who built the tiered meru, founded the temple in the 10th century and a shrine here as well as at other key locations longs the Balinese coast.

In the 15th Century the great pilgrim priest Dang Hyang Dwijendra, who established the present form of Hindu-Dharma religion, chose Pura Uluwatu as his last earthly abode. According to local records, Dwijendra achieved ‘moksha’ while meditating at Uluwatu. The temple is regarded, by Brahman's island wide, as his holy tomb. Legend also tells us that Dwijendra was the architect of the beautiful temple, as well as many other major temples on Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa. In the 17th century, another sage from East Java, Dang Hyang Nirartha is credited for constructing the padmasana shrines and is claimed to have attained Moksha here.
The entrance fee is Rp 6,000 and you need to be properly dressed to enter. Sarongs and sashes can be rented at the entrance. Guides, once famously mercenary, hassle visitors less than they used to, although they will offer to "protect" you from the monkeys, for a tip of course. Note that while you are free to walk around the temple grounds, the central courtyards can only be entered during special rituals.
The temple is inhabited by large number of monkeys, who are extremely adept at snatching visitors' belonging, including bags, cameras and eyeglasses. Keep a very close grip on all your belongings and stow away your eyeglasses if at all possible. If you do have something taken, the monkeys can usually be induced to exchange it for some fruit.
Uluwatu temple is located on the cliff top close to the famous surf break on the southwest of the Bukit peninsula. So Uluwatu beach is also known for its surf. Being a popular surfing spot for the very experienced, Uluwatu offers a wonderful vantage point to view a spectacular sunset. Small restaurants perched on the cliff offer a comfortable spot to survey the vast Indian Ocean beyond and below the 100-meter-high cliffs with panorama on three sides. There is also a very scenic cave underneath with rock formations leading onto a beach close to the temple.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pura_Luhur,
Images: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Pura_Luhur


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