As you wander the sun-kissed shores of Bali, one name consistently resonates with awe and reverence – Uluwatu Temple. This ancient and sacred sanctuary beckons travellers to explore its secrets and witness the magic of the island’s spiritual and natural beauty.
Located in Pecatu Village, Kuta South District, this temple can be found along Bali’s southern coast. The good news is that getting there is a breeze if you are based at properties like Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort which offers complimentary shuttles to the site. Those staying at other destinations such as Sanur (45 minutes), Seminyak (1 hour) or Ubud (2 hours) can easily plan a visit by taxi or book a private vehicle with a driver.
What to Expect
Prepare to be mesmerised as you step onto the hallowed grounds of Uluwatu Temple on a visit from one of the nearby Bali beach resorts. Perched around 70 metres on a dramatic cliff above the roaring waves, this architectural marvel dates to the 10th century and is a place of worship for Siva Rudra, a Balinese Hindu deity. The temple is famed for its surreal sunsets that bathe the entire scene in a golden glow. It’s a spiritual and visual treat rolled into one, making it a must-visit for any traveller.
Exploring the Complex
Wander through the temple complex, and you will discover a world of distinctive Balinese architectural style, structures intricately carved in stone, various statues, and fascinating sculptures. You will also encounter majestic split gates at both entrances adorned with carvings of flowers and leaves. Also, be prepared to share your journey with long-tailed macaques. These cheeky companions may be curious, but remember to be mindful of your belongings, and enjoy their antics from a respectful distance!
The “Kecak” Fire Dance
As the sun begins its descent, prepare for a spellbinding experience. An open-air amphitheatre near the temple is where you can witness the “kecak” fire dance, with rhythmic chanting that tells the epic story of Ramayana. This enthralling performance unfolds every day at around 6:00 p.m. and typically lasts an hour. The backdrop adds to the ‘magic’ with the sound of crashing waves and the sun setting in a blaze of colours. It’s a story told through dance and fire against a canvas painted by Mother Nature herself.