Uluwatu Temple is a Hindu temple set on the cliff bank in south part of Bali Peninsula. It is one of Sad Kahyangan Temple in Bali (six big groups of Bali Temples), located in Pecatu Village, Sub district of South Kuta, and Badung Regency or about 25 Km southerly part of Denpasar town. It is situated on the coral reef sordid to sea about 80 meters above the sea level. It is featured by a small dry forest, which is mostly called by Alas Kekeran (interdict forest) that is belong to the temple and dwelt by a lot of monkeys and other animal.
The temple is inhabited by large number of monkeys, who are extremely adept at snatching visitors’ belonging, including bags, cameras and eyeglasses. Keep a very close grip on all your belongings and stow away your eyeglasses if at all possible. If you do have something taken, the monkeys can usually be induced to exchange it for some fruit. Needless to say, rewarding the monkeys like this only encourages them to steal more.
There is also a very scenic Uluwatu cave with rock formations leading into a beach close to the temple. This is a popular spot for surfers. Uluwatu is a very well known destination among surfing enthusiasts. Most of the surf spots are only suitable for advanced or expert surfers though – the waves are big here.
Please don’t forget to see Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple. A Kecak performance is very simple but spectacular traditional dance with the group of people playing this dance with fire game. It is very exciting and unique dance due to the sound of gamelan is not using the normal gamelan but use their mouth. The dancers make the compact choir with the exquisite dance movement that is one of this dance features. The Kecak dances consist of about fifty men wearing only a loincloth, the upper part of their bodies left bare. They form rows of circles, in teh middle of which is a coconut oil lamp. The Kecak dance is performed for dance-dramas and the story presented is taking from the Ramayana epic.
Officially known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu (yes, that’s the real name: “Luhur” means “something of divine origin” while “Uluwatu” can be broken into “ulu” which means “land’s end” and “watu” means “rock” in the old language). Nonetheless, merely mentioning Uluwatu will get you here in no time.
Uluwatu Temple is one of Bali’s nine key directional temples. Though a small temple was existed beforehand, A Javanese sage named Mpu Kuturan in the 11th Century, expanded the structure significantly. Another sage from East Java, Dang Hyang Nirartha is credited for constructing the Padmasana shrines and is claimed to have attained Moksha here.
Even more remarkable than the temple itself is its location, perched on a steep cliff 80 meters above the roaring Indian ocean waves. There are more steep headlands on either side and sunsets over Uluwatu are a sight to behold.
Be careful of the monkeys when you walk near the fenced wall, especially your glasses/ sunglasses (easy for them to take), handbag, camera. It is best to take off all of them and loop your small digital camera in your wrist and hold on to it tightly. Hold on tightly to your small children if you are taking the unfenced pathways, as there are spots where you could easily fall over the cliffs. There will be a fair bit of walking through a steep staircase so wear proper shoes.
Taking the path to the right if it’s afternoon, as you will have the sun at your back instead of in your face as you traverse the Cliffside with spectacular views across the Indian Ocean along the unfenced pathway. I would not recommend walking this with small children unless you hold onto them tightly or carry them. There were spots where we could easily have fallen over the cliff into the rocks and sea.
Be please do not enter the temple grounds themselves unless you are Balinese. It is sacred property and we hope anyone can keep it that way.