Luhur Batukaru Temple, Tabanan, Bali

 

Indonesia’s Bali Island is full of beautiful temples like the Luhar Batukaru Temple. This temple, strategically located on the southern slope of Bali’s second-highest volcano, protects Bali from evil spirits.

The area surrounding this temple and three other sites in Bali were only recently added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.  On June 24th, at the World Heritage Committee’s  meeting, held this year in St. Petersburg, Russia, these sites became a part of the expanding World Heritage Site list.

Now Bali has four World Heritage Sites!  What sort of place gets to be a Heritage Site?  In order to give you an idea, we headed straight away to Bali to show you these recent additions of officially recognized treasures in our world.

They are:

・  The Batukaru  Mountainous Forests in Jatiluwih of the Tabanan Regency
・  The Taman Ayun Temple Badung Regency (Mengwi)
・  Pakerisan Valley in Gianyar Regency
・  The Ulun Danu Batur Temple of the Bangli Regency

These places are made even more charming for the rice terraces surrounding them.  One of the main reasons these places were recognized as Heritage Sites was for Bali’s system of irrigation, known as subak.   This community based water control management system is what made the beautifully contoured terraced rice paddies possible.  Over 1000 years of  this system has been carried out in harmony with Bali’s gods, people and nature, something that has now been recognized as outstanding the world over!

・ The Batukaru Mountainous Forests in Jatiluwih of the Tabanan Regency

The Luhur Batukaru Temple

 

You can find the Luhur Batukaru Temple an hours drive from Ubud, the old capital of the Tabanan Era.  It was built as the national temple of that time.  It is located in the middle of the Batukaru mountainous forests.  We found it nearly devoid of visitors which made it feel like we’d come across a secret hideaway in the forest.  The 6 towers reaching into the sky left a strong impression.

The Terraced Rice Paddies of Jatiluwih

 

The Terraces of Jatiluwih village were amazing!  Apparently Jatiluwih means splendid in Indonesian, and the views in Jatiluwih  are true to that meaning.  Time seemed to stand still while gazing over this view, a good place to relax with a cup of coffee from a restaurant with a view.

・  The Taman Ayun Temple, Badung Regency (Mengwi)

Taman Ayun Temple

 

One of the most famous tourist spots of Bali.  The Taman Ayun Temple grounds are immaculately maintained.  It is surrounded by a moat which gives it the effect of a palace floating on water.  Taman Ayun is one of the more elegant temples in Bali and is praised for its beauty.

 ・  Pakerisan Valley in Gianyar Regency

Tirtha Empul Temple

 

The water of the Pakerisan River springs from this temple and is believed to be holy water. Hindu People come from all over Bali  for regular purification rituals.  It is also a very big tourist spot.

The area is seeped in legend and folklore, and there is a  ruin of a 11th century monarch’s grave above the Temple on a mountain.  Many people climb the rocky slopes to the grave site although it is quite a climb.  It shouldn’t be attempted in poor health.

・  The Ulun Danu Batur Temple of the Bangli Regency

The Ulun Danu Batur Temple

 

Batur Mountain

 

The Ulun Danu Batur Temple lies at the foot of Mount Batur.  Spring water from Mt. Batur is the source of fresh water for Bali Island.  The Temple stands over lake Batur as if guarding it from evil spirits.  The gorgeous view of Batar Mountain, lake, and the surrounding mountains is breathtaking, presenting an  image of wide open space, a different Bali to the usual small island image.

If you have the chance go to Bali sometime, you may want to go around to these Heritage Sites.  The most efficient way to go would be to break them down in pairs.  Visiting the Terrace Rice Paddies and the Taman Ayun Temple on one trip , and the Pakurisan Valley and the Ulun Danu Batur Temple on another trip.  This would be the best way to see it leisurely without excess running about.  Bali with its treasures of Heritage Sites, definitely a place to put on your holiday travel list!
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