Sitting about an hour’s motorbike drive from Ubud, the Pura Ulun Danu Beratun Temple, also known as Bali Lake Temple is one of the must see temples in Bali. The drive up through the countryside is gorgeous and a stark contrast from the the polluted and traffic laden streets of Kuta and Denpasar. To reach this temple you will climb through the mountains on windy roads surrounded by lush greenery, which is exactly what I’d pictured Bali to be like!
Once you near the lake you’ll instantly notice the temperature drop; making this trip an incredible relief from the relentless heat that sometimes ensues Bali. However the temperature reprieve also makes this entire lake region an ideal weekend getaway for locals, so be aware that the temple tends to be much busier on the weekends. If you want to get the best photos with the fewest people I’d recommend you head to the Bali Lake Temple on a week day.
Sitting on the western side of the Beratun Lake this iconic hindu temple is a photographers dream; the smooth reflective surfaces of the lake give incredible reflections of the clouds rolling down over the surrounding mountains and the lush green gardens surrounding the temple. The temple was built in the 17th century for worship of the main Hindu trinity: Vishnu, Bhrama and Shiva as well as the goddess of the lake Dewi Danu, hence the name of the temple!
As of May 2017 the entrance fee is 50,000 IDR, along with a 2,000 IDR fee for motorbike parking. As with all temples in Bali you’ll need to be dressed appropriately and there are some pretty interesting signs warning women not to enter when menstruating, however I’m guessing that for those of you who are not Hindu or religious, that you can make your own judgement calls on this policy.
The Balinese style of the temple is recognizable as soon as you walk through the gates, you’ll see the three main temples each one dedicated to the trinity of Hindu gods. The largest has 11 tiers, for Vishnu, the second has 7 tiers for Brahma and the smallest with 3 tiers is Shiva’s.
Temple opening hours are from 08:00 to 18:00, and in my opinion you should try to get there early between 8 and 10 am to beat the crowds. I was told by a local that it is possible to get special permission to photograph the temple at sunrise which would be absolutely epic, unfortunately I never found out exactly how to do this, so if anyone has found out please let me know!
The Bali Lake Temple is a definite must see if you are in Bali and up for an awesome drive through the lush mountains to get there!