Bali is known for its significant culture having a huge impact of Hinduism. There several shrines and temples in Bali dedicated to various deities. Pura Ulun Danu Batur is one such magnificent temple.
Bali's culture revolves around art and agriculture and water is a very important source for irrigation. ‘Ulun Danu' which literally means ‘head of the lake' is a temple dedicated to the Goddess of lakes, Dewi Danu. Worshipping the natural resources like water and land on a very regular basis is an age-old tradition for Balinese Hindus.
In ancient time, this temple was situated right at the foot of a very active volcano, Mount Batur. But in 1926 a huge volcanic eruption destroyed the most important shrine of this temple, an eleven-tiered Meru which was dedicated to the goddess of water and holy spring. Therefore, the residents decided to rebuild the temple at the highest point of caldera.
The temple further has nine smaller temple
s in its compound which is dedicated to different deities. Out of the nine temples, the main temple is called Pura Penataran Agung Batur. This temple has five courtyards and eleven tiered Meru with three smaller Meru dedicated to Mount Batur, Mount Abung and Batara Dalem Waturenggong who was a famous king of Bali.
This temple's importance can be noticed once you visit it and observe the devotees here. Bali is a primarily agricultural society with a unique irrigation system called Subak, where the water flows to paddy farms from the top of the mountain. Hence worshipping the goddess that controls the flow of the river flowing from the top of the volcano to the rice farms becomes an essential tradition for the community.
The temple also has a lavish garden outside. There are around 300 shrines dedicated to different gods and goddesses like water, spring, art and craft, agriculture, etc. A unique shrine is decorated with red Chinese ornaments dedicated to a legendary Chinese queen.
There’s no entry fee, but you need to bring Sarong which is tied around the waist to enter the temple. As the temple is located in Kintamani district, you can book a taxi or take a bus ride from Ubud to Kintamani. Mount Batur and Lake Batur are very close to the temple location which makes the visit to this place more wholesome. It is best if you visit this place with a local guide so that you can know about the history and importance of the temple more properly. If you want to witness the rich and vivid Balinese Hindu culture than a visit to this ancient temple can be very insightful.
You can choose the dry months from May to August to visit this place. There are many options for accommodation in Kintamani district.