A Holy Cleansing at Taman Beji Griya Waterfall

West of Ubud, in the hinterlands of Abiansemal, a twin waterfall has become the go-to destination to experience the unique Balinese cleansing ritual known as melukat. At Taman Beji Griya Waterfall, nature and Balinese spiritual practices come together. Bali is blessed with countless natural wonders: gorgeous waterfalls seemingly down every valley, or forests that scatter

Edward Speirs

Pura Besakih, A Dragon’s Sanctuary

Bali’s ‘Mother Temple’, as it is often called, Pura Besakih is found 900m high on the slopes of the great Mt. Agung in the Karangasem Regency. As the highest temple on the highest mountain of Bali, it marks the pinnacle of worship. The temple takes its name from the Besakih village in which it is

Goa Garba and the Trials of Kebo Iwa

Bali’s archaeological monuments are shrouded in mystery; ancient shrines and tombs carved into rock faces, and many reclaimed by nature over the centuries. One such site is Goa Garba, or Garba Cave, a meditation enclave on the banks of the Pakerisan River around Tampaksiring. The site’s history is tied to that of Kebo Iwa, a

Sangeh Monkey Forest and A Tale of Walking Trees

The centrepiece of the Sangeh Monkey Forest, the legend of Pura Bukit Sari tells a tale of walking trees. A serene and less-visited destination steeped in legend and history. Though popularly known as Sangeh Monkey Forest, its real name is Alas Pala, or nutmeg forest. Now, the trees differ from the nutmeg plants you might

Pura Luhur Rambut Siwi: Temple of Protection

Located in Jembrana, east of Yeh Emang village, Pura Luhur Rambut Siwi is the biggest temple in the regency and despite its humble semblance it is significant in Bali’s religious history. Occupying the quiet southwest coast of the island, the temple boasts a very classical style of Balinese architecture, and enjoys a serene ocean backdrop.

Pura Melanting: Of Merchants and Mysteries

An impressive stairway, lined by vibrant carvings of mythical dragons, marks the entrance to this important temple, found on the dusty mountainsides of Buleleng Regency, north Bali. As a kahyangan jagat, or universal temple, Pura Melanting is visited by all Balinese Hindus, especially those in search of success in business. The history of this temple

Pura Dalem Jagaraga, History Carved into the Walls

Mentioned briefly in our travel feature on North Bali, Pura Dalem Jagaraga deserves its own story, as this temple shares insight into Bali’s colonial history and indeed typifies the distinct characteristics of the northern temples. Pura Dalem Jagaraga is found in the Sawan district of Buleleng Regency. It stands quietly on a village road, opposite

Tirta Gangga – The Water of the Ganges

Tirta Gangga: The Water of the Ganges

On the borders of Amlapura, Tirta Gangga is one of the most distinct and recognisable places in Bali, a place where history meets leisure, and architecture meets nature. This estate, built in 1946, is the sister site to Taman Ujung, also built by the King of Karangasem. Stepping into the one-hectare water palace complex, the atmosphere

Taman Ujung

Taman Ujung Water Palace: The Garden at the End

Taman Ujung Sukasada is one of these historical sites. Often referred to as the ‘Water Palace’, it is in some ways a modern puri, or royal palace, built by the last ‘official’ King of Karangasem, I Gusti Bagus Jelantik. Serving under the title of Anak Agung Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem, the king reigned from 1908 to 1950,

Museum Gedong Arca: Clues from Prehistoric Bali

For the history buffs out there, Museum Gedong Arca in Blahbatuh, Gianyar, is a lesser-visited museum that houses ancient artefacts dating back to Bali’s palaeolithic era, including the largest collection of ancient sarcophagi. Most people’s perception of Balinese history is dominated by events of the last millennium. If we rewind the clock, we will see

Pura Samuan Tiga and the Evolution of Bali’s Temple Philosophy

The structure, philosophy and positioning of a Balinese temple is no accident. It is well thought out, imbued with symbolism and the result of history. Pura Samuan Tiga is part of that history: a temple where wise men gathered centuries ago to unite Bali’s religious sects and redefine temple planning across the island. Located in


Yeh Pulu Temple: Ancient Carvings of the Anonymous Ascetics 

A centuries-old relief adorns Yeh Pulu, a humble but historically significant temple hidden in rural obscurity. Deep in an isolated ravine of Gianyar, these ancient stone-cut carvings give us a peek into Bali from centuries ago.  Just east of Ubud is the historically rich village of Bedulu, in Blahbatuh District of Gianyar. Best known for

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