Tipped to be one of the ‘must-visit’ highlights for all nature lovers touring Bali this holiday season the Ubud Monkey Forest is no ordinary wildlife sanctuary in Indonesia’s vacation capital. Attracting well over 15,000 visitors each month this breathtaking quarter of Bali is also a sacred space according to local legend and is known as the Sacred Monkey Forest to locals of the area. Sprawled across an impressive 27 acres the venue is also a cultural point of interest as it also contains historic relics, landmarks, age old temples and various indigenous plant species within its leafy confines.
Maintained by the Padangtegal villagers who are collectively known as the Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation the fame monkey forest is a national treasure in the island. The Crab Eating Macaque Monkey population which is the primary species inhabiting the forest is considered sacred according to Balinese Hinduism with religious significance allotted to the creatures and the environment they inhabit.
With the aid of the villagers visitors can explore the lush tropical foliage of the area which is home to four varieties of monkeys. An impressive 340 monkeys are believed to call the Ubud Monkey Forest home. Among the population there are 122 adolescent monkeys with 77 full grown females and almost 54 young monkeys or baby monkeys. The remainder of the 340 consists of male adults and sub adult males.
The forest’s flora population is equally impressive with more than 115 plant species growing within its confines. Certain tree species in the forest carry spiritual significance to the Balinese Hindu community and the trees are used to enact certain religious rituals from time to time. The wood from the trees are only used to construct religious edifices such as temples. Other historic attractions one comes across while exploring the Monkey Forest includes the holy Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal Temple. A shrine dubbed the Holy Spring Temple is also on-site as are other structures employed for cremations.
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Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.