Called the Island of the Gods, Bali is one top tourist destination in the world that evokes thoughts of a paradise. Besides its tropical treats, the island nation is renowned for its unique culture all over the world with a rich collection of temples, palaces, theaters and museums. Let’s take a look at some of the best cultural attractions of Bali:
One of the six key temples that are believed to be Bali’s spiritual pillars, Uluwatu Temple is a Balinese Hindu sea temple that draws the attention with its stunning location. It is perched on top of a steeped cliff approximately 70 metres above sea level, and thus, graces the western
coast of the island. One can spend a beautiful day here delighting in a beautiful sunset, stunning views of the waves of the Indian Ocean and daily Kecak dance performances held at an amphitheatre close to the temple apart from exploring Balinese architecture, ancient sculptures and traditional-designed gateways.
Tanah Lot Temple
Epitomising Bali as the romantic island, Tanah Lot is a rock formation with a temple called Tanah Lot Temple which is cherished for its natural beauty. It is an iconic sea temple with a stunning backdrop of the vast blue and history dating back to the 16th century. Located some 300 metres offshore, it is one great place to learn about Balinese mythology. Visitors will have to walk through a number of Balinese market-format souvenir shops to reach the temple. There are some restaurants as well on the mainland cliff tops.
Ubud Royal Palace
One of the gorgeous royal palaces in Ubud, a royal town, Ubud Royal Palace serves as a cultural repository of arts, dance and literature. The well-preserved Balinese architecture of the palace and a stunning garden setting are a treat for sore eyes. The palace has beautiful walkways where visitors can have a perfect leisure time and click pictures. Every evening, the performances with gamelan and percussive orchestras are hosted here. This place is quite popular among Balinese arts’ lovers as one of the main sites to view traditional dance performances.
Also known as Goa Gajah, Elephant Cave is a significant Hindu archaeological site that also serves as a Buddhist temple, carved in stories and sacred figures. This place got its name as Elephant Cave due to its close proximity to the Elephant River. There is a large bathing pool that is believed to cleanse the soul and ward off evil spirits. The menacing entrance to the cave appears like a demonic mouth that is claimed to represent the Hindu earth god Bhoma by some and to belong to the child-eating witch Rangda from Balinese mythology by others.
The largest, holiest and the most important temple of Hindu religion in Bali, Besakih Temple is located on the slopes of the highest mountain of Bali, the Mount Agung. Built on six levels, the temple is an extensive complex of 23 separate but related temples including the largest and the most important, Pura Penataran Agung. There are more than 70 religious ceremonies held every year that are attended by Hindu devotees from all over the world.