The renowned Uluwatu Temple is counted amongst Bali’s directional temples, or ‘kayangan jagat’ which are said to guard Bali from inauspicious spirits. In the case of Uluwatu, the deity involved is Bhatara Rudra, god of cosmic force and the elements. One of the most picturesque of Bali’s temples, Uluwatu Temple is situated high atop a cliff on the rim of a plateau, 250 feet high above the glistening waters of the Indian Ocean.
The temple which is devoted to the sea spirits is considered to be an architectural marvel, constructed from black coral stone, aesthetically resplendent and offering panoramic views. The site is frequented by residents and tourists keen to enjoy the tropical sunset, but it also still has spiritual renown; it is regarded as one of Bali’s high temples, a pilgrimage destination for countless devotees during significant holidays.
Uluwatu Temple faces the well known surf break situated on the southwest of the Bukit region. The shrine was founded in the 10th century by a Hindu priest from Java, Empu Kuturan, who built the tiered ‘meru’. The site was also the final earthly residence of Dhang Hyang Dwijendra, the famed pilgrim priest who is credited with establishing the Hindu-Dharma faith as it exists today. According to religious documents Dwijendra achieved union with the godhead, known as ‘moksa’, emitting a blaze of shining light whilst engaged in meditation at this location. The Hindu sage is also regarded as being the architect of the lovely temple, which is revered by devotees as his sacred tomb. A statue, believed to be of Dwijendra is to be seen behind the temple’s principal pagoda.
Uluwatu Beach is acclaimed for its surf and nearby moonlight rage parties; the festivities extend to the shrine as well, but decorum is maintained by the royal house which is the proud guardian of the temple. On festival days, occurring every seven months, hundreds of nobility from this regal family, village priests and devotees celebrate the renowned temple festival.
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