Ulun Danu Temple is located in central Bali on the west side of Bratan Lake. It is the second most important temple on the island after Pura Besakih. The image of Ulun-Danu can be seen on the 50,000 rupee bill. Travelers who have been fortunate enough to be near the temple are unanimous in saying that the views leave a strong impression. The water comes very close to the shrine, making it seem as if Pura Ulun Danu is floating on the lake surface. The scenery is enhanced by the mountains, which form a picturesque backdrop to the temple and are shaded by the sun’s rays at sunrise and sunset.
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Video: Oolong-Danu Bratan
Ulun-Danu Temple has sacred significance to the indigenous inhabitants of Bali. It was founded in 1663. The temple is consecrated in honor of Devi Danu, the Hindu goddess who commands the element of water. Ulun Danu translates as “head of the lake”.
The Balinese have always developed a cult of water. There are few freshwater reservoirs on the island, so Lake Bratan has always been of special value. Irrigation canals that irrigate rice terraces come from it. Locals used to bring generous gifts to the goddess and ask for a rich harvest in return.
As a side note, there are four temples in Bali that are called Ulun Danu! In addition to the most famous one on Lake Bratan, there are temples of the same name on Lake Buyan, Lake Batur and Lake Tamblingan. Sometimes an explanatory word is added to the name of the shrine to distinguish them: Ulun-Danu-Bratan, Ulun-Danu-Buyan, Ulun-Danu-Batur and Ulun-Danu-Tamblingan.
Ulun-Danu-Bratan temple is one of the top attractions on the island, approaching such places as Uluwatu and Tanah Lot in popularity. Despite the fact that Ulun-Danu is located away from the crowded resorts and coastline, many travelers and locals come here. On days when there are colorful ceremonies, the number of visitors increases even more. Newlyweds come here to ask for the blessings of the gods.
There is also a botanical garden and a rope park in the same area of the island, so a trip to Wulong Danu and the surrounding area is sure to appeal to families with children.
Pura Ulun-Danu is one of the 9 main sacred temples designed to protect the island from evil spirits and to bestow happiness and prosperity on the Balinese. The shrines are located in different parts of Bali, each in charge of its own element, but together they form a single complex. If you plan to visit all the shrines, stick to the following list: Pura Besakih, Goa Lavah, Lempuyang, Batukaru, Uluwatu, Masketi, Pasar Agung, Ulun Danu Bratan and Ulun Danu Batur.
History of Ulun-Danu-Bratan Temple
The temple complex was built in the middle of the 17th century, by order of King Mengwi. The shore of Lake Bratan was chosen as a place for the shrine honoring the goddess of water for a reason. According to legend, the lake is able to heal and rejuvenate. To get a miraculous result, it is sufficient to bathe in the reservoir at sunrise. If we rely only on facts, Bratan is no less striking – it is the largest lake of crater origin in the world. Its length and width are about 2 km and depth is 35 meters. The lake lies in the crater of an extinct volcano, at an altitude of 1202 m above sea level. Because of the pressure differences over the surface of the water periodically lays a fog, which gives the towering here Ulun Dan special mystery.
The buildings were built by talented blacksmiths who used to make ritual weapons. According to legend, when the lordess of water Devi Danu saw the temple, she liked it very much, and the goddess wanted to hide it from prying eyes in the lake, so she partially flooded the shrine. At high tides, the water level rises and actually partially overlaps Oolong-Danu, creating the effect of a “temple on water”. It is also called “floating”.
In 1917 there was a violent eruption of the volcano Batur. Then the lava came close to the temple complex, but stopped right at his feet. The temple survived even after a series of earthquakes of the 20th century. To no longer hope for a miracle, the area around Oolong-Danu was strengthened and landscaped.
Ulun-Danu Temple is fully consistent with the canons of Hindu architecture. For Bali are typical sanctuaries with many tiers, each of which is dedicated to a particular deity and has a sacred meaning. The temple complex consists of 5 buildings with from 3 to 11 tiers. The roofs are covered with black palm resin.
Sanctuary of the god of creation Vishna Three-tier sanctuary of Shiva
There are 3 main sanctuaries. They appear before the guests of Oolong-Danu immediately upon entering through the central gate. The pyramid-shaped buildings are dedicated to the triune deity: Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma.
- The sanctuary of the god of creation Vishna is the most important in the temple complex. It is considered to be the symbol of Ulun-Danu. The temple of Vishna has 11 tiers dedicated to worship and prayers.
- The second temple is dedicated to Brahma, the creator of the universe. It consists of 7 tiers.
- The third sanctuary is a three-tiered sanctuary. Shiva, the embodiment of cosmic consciousness, the motionless male and dynamic female principles, is worshipped in it.
The other buildings are also located on the shore of Lake Bratan, they are surrounded by mountains and gardens.
There is a small playground and a cozy park area on the grounds of Pura Ulun-Danu.
Other temple buildings in Oolong-Danu
Oolong-Danu Bratan Temple is open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, no weekends. A ticket will cost 30,000 Indonesian rupiah for adults and 15,000 rupiah for children.
Ulun Danu is one of the most beautiful temples of Bali.
Tourists are allowed to enter all halls of the temple except the main one – services are held there. When visiting the shrine, it is important to show respect and wear closed clothing covering the head, shoulders and legs. Be sure to wear warm clothes, as Wulun Danu is located in the mountains and can be chilly.
It is advisable to visit this site in the afternoon to catch the sunset. The temple looks especially impressive in the rays of the setting sun, and the water rises, and the effect of the shrine growing out of the lake is enhanced. At this time the most beautiful pictures are obtained. In the surrounding area travelers expect restaurants, cafes, and hotel and hostel for overnight stays.
It is considered a special good fortune to get to Pura Ulun-Danu during the festivals, accompanied by lavish ceremonies, colorful rituals and sumptuous offerings. There are two main events here: Piodalan – temple day and Piodalan Agung – Devi Danu day. These events have no fixed calendar date. Piodalan is celebrated every 210 days and Piodalan Agung every 420 days.
After seeing Ulun Danu, don’t miss the opportunity to take a boat ride on Lake Bratan. On the other side of the body of water you can spend active time – swimming, water-skiing, parasailing, going fishing. The water temperature in the lake is invigorating – about +22 °C. It is also worth exploring the neighboring lakes – Bujan and Tamblingan – and the picturesque surroundings, such as the rice terraces of Jatiluvi, spread by Mount Batukaru, and the Munduk waterfall, which is 1 km from the village of the same name.
How to get there
Address of Ulun Danu Bratan Temple: Jalan Raya Candi Kuning, Desa Candikuning, Kecamatan Baturiti, Tabanan, Bali.
The temple is located in the western part of Bali, in the village of Candi Kuning. There is a direct road from metropolitan Denpasar, so you can get there in a rental car or scooter. You will need to cover 52 kilometers. It takes about an hour and a half. Head north to the Denpasar-Gilimanuk highway, and turn off at Jl. I Gusti Ngurah Rai. You can be guided by the road signs pointing to Bedugul. Then go through the town of Mengwi – and hit the highway Jl. Raya Denpasar. After 25 km, the road starts to curve, which means that Lake Bratan is close. The temple is located on the left and is indicated by a sign. The main gate is visible from afar.
To get to Ulun Danu from Kuta, Legian and Seminyak you need to drive similarly, only choose not through the center of Denpasar, but through Jl. Raya Kerobokan.
You can also take public transportation to the shrine. At 10:00 am, a shuttle bus leaves for Bedugul. The ticket costs Rs. 75,000. The travel time is two hours. To get on the bus, you must first get to the terminal in Kuta, Jalan Legian No.39, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung. From the center of Denpasar, it takes no more than 30 minutes to get there. A similar trip can be made from the resorts of the Bukit Peninsula – Jimbaran, Nusa Dua.
You can go to Lake Bratan as a part of excursion groups from all districts of Bali.
Oolong Danu Temple
Ulun Danu Bratan Temple (Pura Ulun Danu) is one of the main water temples of Bali. It is located on small islands of the sacred lake Bratan (Beratan) and its shores in the mountains near Bedugul, at an altitude of 1200-1500 meters relative to sea level. The lake is revered among the locals, and fresh water for irrigation comes from it. It is believed that bathing in Lake Bratan gives longevity.
The harmonious Indonesian temple Pura Ulun Danu Bratan with its classic tiered pagodas was built during the Mengwi dynasty in 1633. It is dedicated to offerings and ceremonies dedicated to the lake and river goddess Devi Danu, patroness of the water element that ensures prosperity. There is also a place to worship the trinity of Hindu gods. It is said that the temple was built by blacksmiths who created magical weapons – daggers krisa. They were allowed to settle near the temple, but later the blacksmiths were expelled from Java.
In total, the temple of Ulun Danu includes four groups of sanctuaries with four gates on all sides of the world. It is this temple complex that is depicted on the local currency bill of 50,000 Indonesian rupiahs. The central 11-level meru is dedicated to Vishnu, the 7-level sanctuary is dedicated to Brahma, the god of creation, and in the 3-level meru the god Shiva is prayed to. The roofs of the pagodas are made with sugar palm leaves and resin. The lake temple in Bali also has a statue of Buddha. Pura Ulun Danu temple is active, the locals hold here various rituals and ceremonies to gain the favor of the goddess of water and get a good harvest.
You have to pay to enter the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple complex. The cost to visit the religious and historical site depends on the age and citizenship of the guests.
Prices for foreigners:
- Adults – 75,000 Indonesian rupiah (IDR).
- Children – 50,000 IDR.
Prices for locals:
- Adults – 30,000 IDR.
- Children – 20,000 IDR.
Foreigners are not allowed access to the main part of the Ulun Danu Temple on the lake, where major ceremonies are performed. Tourists are only allowed to view the structures from the outside. Visiting time: 08:00 – 18:00.
Ulun Danu Pura (Bali) on Google Maps
The temple area is well maintained, along the walking path can be found a lot of animal sculptures and wildlife habitat, there is a playground for children, restaurants overlooking the lake, shopping aisles with souvenirs, pay toilet. They also offer to take pictures with wild animals (pythons, bats, iguanas, etc.) and paint your portrait.
Temple on Lake Bratan in Bali is impressive in any weather, in the reviews of tourists admit that the local scenery is especially picturesque at sunset or in a light fog, in addition, the water level in the lake is important – so that the temple seemed to be “floating”. There is a legend that the goddess Devi Danu raised the water level of the lake on purpose, as she was very fond of the erected temple of Pura Ulun Danu and wanted to take a part of it under water. Usually in the autumn months, the water becomes shallow and one can walk to the structure on the ground. Many people really like the park surrounding the temple, it covers quite a large area that is pleasant to walk around.
There are always many pilgrims and sightseers admiring the temple of Oolong Danu, and newlyweds also like to come here. You can only count on a more secluded visit in the early morning. The peculiarity of the local climate is cool and fresh, in summer it can be humid, the weather can change quickly, so it is worth bringing raincoats. Tourists in the reviews warn that it is not so hot here because of the proximity of the mountains.
You can buy a boat ride to see Ulun Danu Bratan Temple from different angles and sail around the lake. A variety of water activities are also available: water skiing and biking, parasailing, canoeing, etc. Tourists will be lucky if they get to the temple complex during different events: cultural festivals or religious ceremonies. Check the official website of Puru Ulun Danu Temple for a list of events.
Usually a full day is allotted for the trip due to the fact that it takes a long time to travel. After seeing Ulun Danu Temple on Lake Bratan, you can drive around the area, see not only the lake itself, but also take pictures of the rice terraces, Munduk waterfall, drive further to the neighboring lakes.
How to get to Oolong Danu Temple
Ulun Danu Bratan temple complex is located 53 km north of Denpasar or about 60 km from Kuta. The main way to get there is to book a tour, as there is no public transport along the route. When choosing a tour you have options: to join an organized group and go by bus or choose an individual tour to Pura Ulun Danu.
Many travelers rent bikes to get around Bali, sometimes cars. The trip from Kuta by car takes about 2 hours, getting from Denpasar is a little faster. The road to the temple on Lake Bratan is very scenic, so your own transport is an excellent choice to make stops at the most beautiful places for photos. Before the lake, you need to turn left to get to the entrance of the temple. There is a paid parking lot near the entrance to the Pura Ulun Danu temple complex.
The main water temple in Bali can be reached by cab: Grab, Blue Bird, and Go-Jek motorcycle cab services are available on the island. If you order a cab from a private carrier, the price should be negotiated in advance. You can also make an agreement with the driver on the way back, specifying the duration of parking and waiting near the temple.