Luhur Batukaru Temple

Tabanan |

Opening Hours

Luhur Batukaru Temple

Probably one of the most visually stunning garden temples in Bali, Pura Luhur Batukaru is a sacred and holy site, and surprisingly, one where you don't have to pay an entrance fee but only a donation.

When you first arrive what strikes you is the serene atmosphere, the silence, the beauty of the grassed courtyards and flowering shrubs, and the mountain forests on the slopes of Gunung Batukaru seemingly wrapping around the temple complex on all sides.

There are several theories about the temple but it is thought Pura Luhur Batukaru became a holy site in the 11th century. Consecrated and adopted by the Rajas of Tabanan they made it into their own state temple and dedicated shrines here to their ancestral gods.

In the Jeroan or inner sanctuary of the temple a ceremony was in progress and so my movements within this area were restricted to some degree. However, taking photographs discreetly, I was able to capture the beauty of the most important shrine - a seven-tiered pagoda dedicated to the god Mahadewa, the god of Gunung Batukaru.

There is a tiny island shrine in the centre and it is only the priests of Pura Luhur Batukaru that are allowed access there.
There are numerous moss covered pathways fanning out into a web deep into the forest and here I found plenty of solitary shrines.

Pura Luhur Batukaru plays an important role in the lives of the Balinese Hindus. Local Subak groups come to this place to draw holy water for use in agricultural ceremonies. During the Galungan festivities, devotees flock to Pura Luhur Batukaru to pay their respects and lay offerings.

Pura Luhur Batukaru is just one of those places that is mesmerising and draws you back, again and again.