Located in the heart of Bali, Ulun Danu Temple is a significant and impressive Balinese landmark with a rich cultural history. Situated on the picturesque Western shores of Lake Beratan in Bedungal, the region is a favourite holiday retreat for tourists as well as Balinese locals. 'Ulun Danu' translates to 'the source temple of Lake Beratan,' and is Bali's most iconic temple sanctuary. Sharing similar architectural features to the scenic seaside temples of Tanah Lot and Uluwatu, the calm and reflective surface of the lake surrounding the temple gives the unique appearance that it is floating.
Built in the 17th century, Ulun Danu Temple is dedicated to worshipping Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, the main Hindu trinity. The temple is also in worship of Dewi Danu, the Balinese lake goddess. Surrounded by gorgeous mountain scenery and peaceful lakes the temple is one of Bali's most frequently visited and photographed tourist attractions. It has long been assumed that the temple complex was already a consecrated site prior to the temple being built, as there is a megalithic stone tablet and sarcophagus contained within the complex.
Ulun Danu Temple's history traces back to the rise of the Mengwi kingdom and the temple complex features four groups of shrines. Entering the gates visitors will instantly notice the traditional Balinese architecture. To the east is Lingga Petak shrine, a prominent shrine featuring four gates facing each of the four compass points. In the west, Puncak Mangu is a symbol of fertile soil and pays homage to another Balinese temple on the hill. The shrines are dedicated to Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva with each occupying 11 tiers, 7 tiers and 3 tiers respectively.
Ulun Danu Temple is open daily from 8am to 6pm and costs just 50,000 rupiah (AU$5.00) ) to enter. For visitors who wish to explore more of the scenery, there are traditional jukung outriggers for hire that allow visitors to take the tour at a leisurely pace while providing plenty of time for snapping those all-important holiday photo memories.