Ubud is home to some of the most beautiful temples of Bali. Going for a temple run is therefore a must-do when in Ubud. Most of the people of Bali follow Hinduism which is why there are so many temples scattered around the entire island of Bali. In Balinese temples are called Pura, which is a Sanskrit word that means “space surrounded by walls”.
Every temple of Bali is built so it seems like a labyrinth filled with sculptures symbolizing ancient tales of demons and creatures. Every part of the Balinese temples is worth seeing. During your visit to Ubud, you will have the opportunity to walk through the complex of some of the most beautiful temples of Bali. Below we have gathered a guide for our 3 favorite temples in Ubud.
Pura Taman Saraswati (Ubud Palace)
Entrance Fee: The entry is free. If you want to see a Kecak dance performance it costs 100.000 IDR
Opening hours: 8:00 to 18:00 (Kecak dance: Every Tuesday and Thursday at 19:30)
Pura Taman Saraswati, also known as Ubud Palace, is located in the heart of Ubud – right on the main street. The temple is built to honor Saraswati; the Hindu goddess of knowledge and art. When you enter the temple complex you will meet beautiful orange colors as well as fascinating sculptures. To reach the heart of the complex – where you will find the temple – you must walk a pathway which is surrounded by two ponds with beautiful water lilies.
Every Tuesday and Thursday evening you will have the opportunity to watch the popular Kecak dance performance.
Pura Tirta Empul
Entrance Fee: The entrance fee is 50.000 IDR per person (as foreigner).
Opening hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Pura Tirta Empul is one of Bali’s most famous water temples. The temple complex is built around a natural spring that originates from the 10th century. The highlight of the holy spring water temple is the freshwater pools with about 30 fountains. Both locals and tourists visit the temple to bathe in the two purified pools. Inside these pools, people clean themselves with the holy and healing water at every fountain. This process starts from the left and ends on the right side. It’s believed that if you bathe in the spring water you will be blessed with good fortune and health.
Pura Gunung Kawi
Entrance Fee: The entrance fee is 50.000 IDR per person (as foreigner)
Opening hours: 8:00 to 16:00
Pura Gunung Kawi is an archeological site very close to Pura Tirta Empul. Before the Balinese people knew how to construct houses they carved temples and houses out of rocks. The complex of Pura Gunung Kawi is one of these unique temples which were carved out of rocks. It has impressive high shrines and is hidden in the valley of the Parkerisan River. To get to the temple you must walk the 200 steps down a scenic route through lush green rice terraces.
Good to know
As with every other thing, some things are good to know. Therefore, we have gathered the things that are good to know before you go on a temple run in Ubud.
- Some of the temples have an entrance fee. You must pay in cash so keep in mind to bring change because they don’t accept card payments at the temples of Ubud.
- Be careful with the offerings placed on roads and pathways both outside and inside the temple complex. These are considered holy and therefore you shouldn’t step on them.
- Be careful where you go exploring. As a tourist, you are allowed inside the temple complex but not inside the actual worship area. So be aware of where you go wandering.
- Women on their period are prohibited from entering any temple or sacred site of Bali, as the period is believed to be impure.
- Lastly, you must be dressed properly. This means that you must cover up your shoulders and knees before entering a temple complex. Most of the temples provide sarongs which you can borrow for free or at a minimal cost. And afterward, you will have to return the sarong when you leave the temple.