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Bali is also known as "the island of the thousand temples". This is an understatement. There are probably over a million temples on the island. In fact, Bali has more temples than houses. Bali also has a large number of palaces of stunning beauty, a legacy of the eight ancient kingdoms that once ruled the island.
Temples - the meeting point of humans
Besakih : Location: Besakih
Pura Besakih, "the mother temple", is the greatest of all Balinese sanctuaries. The temple complex consists of 22 separate structures and is perched high on the slopes of Mount Agung. The temples were built between the 14th and 17th centuries, although in recent years new structures have been added. Prominently featured are the three seats in the lotus throne, in which shrines are dedicated to Brahma, Siwa and Wisnu.
Pura Luhur Batu Karu : Location: 10 km west of Bedugul
This is one of the six axial temples sacred to all Hindu Balinese and one of
the most ancient sacred sites on the island. The inner courtyard is small and
neat, with three merus (shrines) in honor of the deified kings of Tabanan. The
lake below, to the east of the main temple, has a shrine in the center in honor
of the goddess of Lake Tamblingan and the god of Mount Batu Karu.
Pura Kehen :
Pura Kehen is Bali's second largest
temple. The temple has three courtyards, connected by steps, and decorated with
carvings and statues. A large banyan tree shades the lowest and second courtyard.
Taman Ayun :
In the center of this little town,
a clearly signposted side street leads to the brink of the Pakerisan gorge at
Gunung Kawi, where a daunting flight of steps leads down to the river itself.
This is Bali's 'valley of the kings', fow hewn in the cliffs on both sides of
the river appear massive commerorative monuments to 11th-century kings and queens.
Although, strictly speaking, Gunungkawi is not a temple, it is considered a
holy place. A visit to the valley is an unforgettable experience that you should
Pura Ulun Danu Batur :
This is an imposing complex of nine
temples, still undergoing renovation. It is dedicated to the goddess of the
lake. The temple is worth visiting, if only for its beautiful surroundings.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu :
The Pura Luru Uluwatu is located
on the tip of the Badung peninsula, with a breathtaking view of the sea. The
carvings which decorated the temple are very well preserved. It was built in
the 11th century.
Tirta Empul :
Ulun Danu Bratan :
Sangeh Monkey Sanctuary :
Said to have been built in the 17th
century, there is a statue here of Garuda. The temple is surrounded by tall
nutmeg trees. Many monkeys roam the surrounding forest (watch you purse and
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