Temples in Bali - Most Popular Temple Guide | Bali Buddies

Temples in Bali


When a place is called “The island of the Gods” it’s no surprise that you can find a temple at almost every corner. Canang Sari (the palm leaf trays, filled with candies, flowers and sometimes even cigarettes) can be found everywhere; in houses, in offices, in shops, on the streets, and are usually part of a larger offering. The main offerings and prayers take place in the thousands of temples scattered around the island.

Bali’s main temples are known as the 9 Directional Temples, the most important ones as they protect Bali from evil spirits, and they are often located at the most auspicious places all over the island, such as mountains and ocean cliff edges. Aside from these nine temples, there are about 20,000 other temples to visit and save you some time, we’ve summarized the most popular temples here. Enjoy browsing through your options and we’re looking forward to hearing from you once you decided which magical places you’d like to visit during your upcoming vacation in Bali.


In almost every temple description we ask you to follow temple etiquette. The rules are simple and easy to follow. It’s merely a matter of respect. To enter to any temple, you must cover your shoulders, your legs, and ladies must not be menstruating.

In most temples, you’re expected to wear a sarong and a sash, which you can often rent at the entrance. Alternatively, you can buy your own and bring it along on your temple discovery.

As for the menstruation part, this dates from old culture, back to when menstruation could not be hidden with pads and tampons. Menstruation was perceived as dirty in the old times. Besides, it was also believed that women who’re having their period carried along angry and powerful energy which didn’t match with the pure energy of the temples and gods. Obviously, nobody is going to check whether you’re menstruating or not, so it’s up to you whether you’re entering the premises or not.

If you have more questions about temple etiquette or if you want to book a temple trip, just complete the form below and we’ll get in touch with you.

9 Directional Temples of Bali

Though most tourists consider Bali as beach-destination, a cultural day out to one (or more) of Bali’s many temples should be on everyone’s itinerary. The island counts thousands of temples, and nine temples are considered directional temples, locally known..

1 – Batukaru Temple

One of Bali’s nine directional temples, Batukaru Temple, is set on the slopes of Mount Batukaru on the western part of the island, and is most likely one of the most spiritual temples you can easily visit. Before leaving your hotel, make sure to familiarize yourself with..

2 – Besakih Temple

Pura Besakih, the mother of all Hindu temples in Bali, majestically rises on the western slopes of Mount Agung. This temple is considered Bali’s most important temple complex, housing not less than 86 temples, including the largest and most impressive..

3 – Goa Lawah Temple

Goa Lawah is one of the nine directional temples of Bali and is home to thousands of bats, hence its name, which literally translates into Bat Cave. The temple is located along the main road leading to Karangasem and Candidasa. This sacred temple is very popular..

4 – Lempuyang Temple

Pura LuhurLempuyang, also known as the “Stairways to Heaven”, is located halfway between Amlapura and Amed, on Bali’s east side. Seven temples in total are built along a stairway to the peak of the mountain. The climb up the 1700 steps will take about an hour and a half..

5 – Masceti Temple

A love story gone wrong… Masceti temple is one of Bali’s nine directional temples and is supposed to guard the island from evil sea spirits. The temple is located on the sacred beach of Masceti on the island’s east coast. It’s a lesser known temple and barely visited by tourists..

6 – Pasar Agung Temple

Located on the southern slopes of Bali’s highest mountain, Mount Agung, the PasarAgung Temple is the starting point of treks to the summit of this 3,033 meters high volcano.
Pura PasarAgung is one of Bali’s nine directional temples and..

7 – Ulun Danu Batur Temple

Don’t confuse Bali’s second most important temple, Pura Ulun Danu Batur, with the more popular Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. Although the names are similar and both are dedicated to Goddess of lakes, Danu, the temples are located an hour and a half drive away..

8 – Ulun Danu Bratan Temple

This is one perfectly suited for Instagram. Situated on the west side of Lake Bratan, the UlunDanauBratan temple is probably one of the most iconic and picturesque temples of the island. Most of this directional temples’ base is surrounded by the calm and almost perfectly still..

9 – Uluwatu Temple

Perched on top of a steep cliff, approximately 70 meters above sea level, Uluwatu Temple, also known as PuruLuhurUluwatu, is renowned for its magnificent location. It truly is one of the top places on the island to go for sunset, with direct views overlooking the Indian..

Bukit Sari Temple

Deep within the woods of the Sangeh Monkey Forest you’ll find Pura Bukit Sari, the largest of four temples located in this green slice of heaven, ruled by grey long-tail macaques. The thirteen hectares of forestland, near Sangeh village, are filled with nutmeg trees..

Goa Gajah Temple

Even though the name suggests otherwise (Goa Gajah means elephant cave), this holy archaeological site is not filled with elephant statues or carvings. The only references to elephants are the statues of Ganesh, a Hindu god with an elephant head, and..

Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple

They say Gunung Kawi SebatuTemple is one of the least visited temples in Bali, yet it’s considered to be one of the most peaceful, tranquil and prettiest sanctuaries you can think of. Located just 13 kilometres north of Ubud, this temple shouldn’t be confused with the..

Gunung Kawi Temple

One of the most unique temples in Bali is the Gunung Kawi temple, located in a lush green vally in Tampaksiri, a mere 30-minute drive from Ubud. Its location is ideal; just a few 100 meters East from the Jalan Raya Tampaksiri main route and only 2 kilometres south..

Meduwe Karang Temple

Located in the north of Bali, the Meduwe Karang Temple can be reached within half an hour drive from Singaraja. History has it that the temple was dedicated to Dewi Sri, the god of the rice. Literally translated Meduwe Karang means “owner of the land”. Locals..

Sakenan Temple

Serangan Island Situated on the island of Serangan, also known as turtle-island, you’ll find Sakenan Temple. It’s a public temple, meaning that Hindus from all over Bali can give and receive offers; particularly on Kuningan Day the temple is extremely busy..

Taman Ayun Temple

The Taman Ayun temple is the mother temple of the Mengwi district, approximately 18 kilometres north west of Denpasar, and was originally built so that the local people didn’t have to travel all the way to Besakih temple to pay homage to their gods. Taman..

Taman Saraswati Temple

Right in the heart of Ubud you’ll find Pura Taman Saraswati, a beautiful water temple featuring a large pond filled with blooming pink lotus flowers. The name of the temple is derived from DewiSaraswati, the Goddess of wisdom and arts (the same one as in..

Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot’s shrine, perched on top of a rock in the ocean, is the most visited and photographed temple in Bali, especially at sunset, when crowds and traffic are at their peak. Tanah lot is one of the most important and venerated sea temples, and is closely associated..

Tirta Empul Temple

Tirta Empul is one of the most famous and most sacred temples in Bali at the same time. You’ll find this magnificent temple complex 14 kilometres north-east of Ubud, in close proximity to Gunung Kawi Temple. The complex consists of three main areas; the front..

Vihara Dharmayana Temple

ViharaDharmayana is one of the five Buddhist temples in Bali and the only one in Kuta.Though Kuta is known for its vibrant nightlife and traffic frenzy, at this temple you’ll find absolute serenity. Just as any other Chinese Buddhist temple, the main colours are red and..