Places of Interest in UluwatuTemple, Bali

Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of Bali's kayangan jagat (directional
temples) and guards Bali from evil spirits from the SW, in which dwell
major deities, in Uluwatu's case; Bhatara Rudra, God of the elements and
of cosmic force majeures. Bali's most spectacular temples located high
on a cliff top at the edge of a plateau 250 feet above the waves of the
Indian Ocean. Uluwatu lies at the southern tip of Bali in Badung
Regency. Dedicated to the spirits of the sea, the famous Pura Luhur
Uluwatu temple is an architectural wonder in black coral rock,
beautifully designed with spectacular views. This is a popular place to
enjoy the sunset. Famous not only for its unique position, Uluwatu also
boasts one of the oldest temples in Bali, Pura Uluwatu. Most of Bali's
regencies have Pura Luhur (literally high temples or ascension temples)
which become the focus for massive pilgrimages during three or five day
odalan anniversaries. The photogenic Tanah Lot and the Bat Cave temple,
Goa Lawah, is also Pura Luhur. Not all Pura Luhur are on the coast,
however but all have inspiring locations, overlooking large bodies of
water.


Pura Uluwatu is located on the cliff top close to the famous
surf break on the SW of the Bukit peninsula. Empu Kuturan, a Javanese
Hindu priest who built the tiered meru, founded the temple in the 10th
century and a shrine here as well as at other key locations longs the
Balinese coast. In the 15th Century the great pilgrim priest Dhang Hyang
Dwijendra, who established the present form of Hindu-Dharma religion,
chose Pura Uluwatu as his last earthly abode: history records that
Dwijendra achieved moksa (oneness with the godhead, in a flash of
blazing light) while meditating at Uluwatu. The temple is regarded, by
Brahman's island wide, as his holy 'tomb'. Legend also tells us that
Dwijendra was the architect of the beautiful temple, as well as many
other major temples on Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa. In the 17th century
Niratha also from Java came to Bali and built temples, adding to
Uluwatu.


Behind the main pagoda of Pura Uluwatu's small inner sanctum, a
limestone statue of a Brahman priest surveys the Indian Ocean-it is said
the statue represents the founding priest Dwijendra. Another shrine
within the complex represents the boat on which Dwijendra traveled from,
then, Hindu Java. According to legend he arrived at Pura Peti Tenget,
north of Kuta.


Uluwatu Beach is known for its surf and, in nearby hostelries,
its full moon rage parties. It rages at the temple too but in an orderly
way, thanks to the royal house of Puri Agung Jero Kuta, Denpasar, who
are the temple's hereditary pangemong (custodians). Hundreds of nobles
from this family, and many 'devotees' (pengayah) and village pemangku
priests from nearby hamlets, ensure that every seven months (on Anggar
Kasih Medangsya by the Wuku Calendar, to be exact) the festival is run
efficiently, and most elegantly. The palace is proud of its ancestral
role: it manages the awesome logistics with fitting dignity.


Being a popular surfing spot for the very experienced, Uluwatu
offers a wonderful vantage point to view a spectacular sunset. Warungs
or small restaurants perched on the cliff offer a comfortable spot to
survey the vast Indian Ocean beyond and below the 100-meter-high cliffs
with panorama on three sides. Monkeys inhabit the temple and cliff face
hoping for a banana or some peanuts from the visitors.

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