Holy Bali

by - 19:23

Promising, this is my very last article about Bali, since i think i finally made it to cover all my different experienes. I still can't believe how much i did and see during only 14 days. It was in a way stressful, but it's more than a handfull of memories i will keep after that journey.
So this one is all about the main aspect in Balinese Culture: Religion and Offerings!
I have been visiting a lot of different temples around Ubud and further surroundings. Most of them are built for different gods and my landlady did go to each temple on different days and times, since you pray and offer for every other god in a seperate place.
When entering a temple there are only two rules: not being on your period (although no one checks, haha) and wearing a sarong, which is a big squared piece of fabric that you wrap around your lower body. You are not supposed to show your legs, and similiar as in our church your shoulders should be covered. Often there is no one controlling it, but i think one should treat other religions with respect and honour their rules.
Moving to the temples outside of Ubud is quite simple, you can rent a driver or join different tours that are advertised all around Ubud. I had a driver, that showed me a few temples that i will just
mention below.

Ubud Temples
Mostly known is Ubud for its orange temples, since i just think all of them are orange. The most famous one is Pura Taman Saraswati, which is located behind a very big water pool. So hard to get a picture of this one without tourists, even if you go in the early morning there will be others with the same idea. Otherwise  a really nice bright orange temple is Pura Padang Kerta (Picture). All temples have different opening hours for public people, so you have to check, sometimes they are not accessable at all during specific holy periods. (you can also visit Pura Puseh in Ubud and the temple in the monkey forest)
In the Ubud Palace, which is also a big temple, you can watch the very famous legong Dance every night. One can purchase tickets already during the day or directly before the Show, which is more expensive. The Price was 100.000IDR/7€ , when i went. It is a very specific Music and Dance Show, to be honest i did not like it that much. It should have been aorund 90min long, but i left after an hour. But otherwise one has to see and get your own opinion about it. 

Pura Besakih
This is the most important temple and mother of all temples on Bali. It is located very far up in the mountains and approximately 45min drive from Ubud. I would not recommend you to try and find it with a scooter, since its so many roads and turns until there. The temple is huge and has a big black wall around it. On the day i came, it was not possible to access the heart of the temple, since there was a ceremony. Also if you would like to enter the inner wall, you have to go with a guide that wants you to pay him for showing you around. My driver was not allowed to follow me either, since it is the guides 'hood' and theirs only to show people around.

Gunung Kawi Sebatu
This temple is less famous, but it was actually my favourite during all the visits. My driver suggested to take me there, since i haven't read anything about this one before. It is consisting of a lot of different pools with holy fish inside and it is located in a valley surrounded by jungle and completly calm. Also it is not so touristy there, so one can really enjoy the peace and have a  long look around.
It is one of the water temples near Ubud, i have visited the other very famous one Tirta Empul as well, but it was really overcrowded. In both you can take a bath and get a blessing.

Goa Gajah
This temple is different from all the other ones, since it's main attraction is actually the cave built next to it. This temple area is also built in a valley, so from the top you have a fantastic view over it. Deeper down there is also a lake and some small waterfalls. This was actually the last temple i visited that day and i was really happy to find a small market near the parking lot of the temples. Here you can find anything from wooden carved elephants to porcelain, shells and different kind of clothes, for a much cheaper price, than on Ubud market.
Balinese Offerings
Generally there are endless numbers of temples and each specific on its own. I was really sad, that i could not visit the temple on Beratan, but it was a completely different direction and approx a 1h drive from Ubud and unfortunately my time was quite limited. So that is on my bucketlist for next Bali Trip.
What i thought was really cute is, that Balinese people make these small baskets, that you can find in front of every door, in every car and on every scooter. People believe in them and that they bring you luck, happiness and keep you save. They are litereally everywhere, so take care not to step on them. Also they are renewed daily with a process of prayer and most of the time nice smelling incense sticks are added as well.
You can actually learn much more about the offerings and make your own by attending one of numerous courses in Ubud.

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