Emotional sunset at the Uluwatu: My pick of three temples and one UNESCO World Heritage Site that are must-sees in Bali
Pura Luhur Ulu Watu
One of the most emotional sunsets that I have ever witnessed was in Uluwatu, Bali.
Bali was magical. The island was like a sponge soaked with rich and unique culture; the landscape was diversified: volcanoes, forests, Terraced paddy fields, Beaches, and Cliffs… I spent a week in Bali for my birthday celebration and the experience was spiritual.
One day the driver took us to Uluwatu. The Uluwatu Temple stands on a cliff located at the southwestern tip of Bali. It was about a 45-minute drive away from Jimbaran beach and luckily there was no traffic that day. To me, it’s the best place to view the sunset as it has the perfect attitude, the perfect direction, the perfect temperature and the perfect backdrop for the entire experience. On top of that, be there a little bit earlier and get a good seat for the Kecak and Fire Dance performance before the sunset. Also, the cliff is inhibited by naughty monkeys (we were reminded that the monkeys do not like those in Ubud monkey forest 🙂 They steal your hats, food and more. I heard those monkeys were trained by the temple priest… huh…)
Pura Tanah Lot, Marga
There was a lot of Balinese Hindu temple on the island, and the must-see would probably be the Tanah Lot Temple. ‘Tanah Lot’ (in Balinese means ‘land in the sea’) is a unique rock formation on the shore of the island; and Tanah Lot Temple, along with the Uluwatu Temple, is one of the seven magnificent sea temples in Bali and probably the tourist’s favorite. Featured heavily in Bali mythologies, the photogenic temple looks mesmerizing at every angle. As I was sitting on a cliff overlooking the temple from afar, listening to the soothing waves crashing on the rocks every few seconds, I was as if got taken to another spiritual place.
Pura Tirtha Empul Temple
Tirta Empul is a Hindu Balinese water temple. The temple pond is filled with Sacred Spring Water, where the religious Hindus come to the temple for the showers to wash away evil spirits, perform ritual purification, and get the blessings of prosperity. Luckily, visitors are also allowed to experience the blessings from the Holy Spring Water and the temple staff would be happy to provide guidance about the tradition and rules.
Well, I didn’t actually get into the water. I touched the holy water and washed off the evil spirits, though, at a different place. Goa Gajah, or better be known as ‘Elephant Cave’, is not a temple but a sanctuary with significant historic value. The stone carvings at the entrance of the cave looked stunning from a distance.