Located approximately one hour south of Kuta, Uluwatu Temple is a famous Bali landmark known for its spectacular position atop a steep cliff 70m above sea level. The Balinese word ‘Ulu’ literally translates to ‘top’ while ‘watu’ is Balinese for ‘stone’ or ‘rock’. The stunning temple enjoys panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, features traditional gateways, ancient sculptures and is an iconic example of Balinese architecture. Uluwatu temple is one of six main temples believed to be the spiritual pillars of Bali and is home to several archaeological remains which are thought to date back as far as the 10th century.
Uluwatu Temple has two entrances, one in the north and one in the south. At the front of the temple, a small forest is home to hundreds of monkeys which are said to guard against bad influences. A long pathway hugs the cliffside of Uluwatu Temple and offers spectacular views that are popular for watching the sunset. It takes approximately one hour to get from one end of the path to the other, with a number of points along the way where visitors can stop, take in the incredible scenery and snap some great photos.
It’s here at Uluwatu Temple that Balinese Hindus believe the divine powers Brahma, Vishnu and Siva unite, making the temple a place of worship for the Bali Hindu deity Siva Rudra, god of all aspects of life and all elements in the universe. The temple is also dedicated to protecting Bali from the evil spirits of the sea.
Legends say that a Majapahit monk named Mpu Kunturan established Uluwatu Temple 1,000 years ago. Dhang Hyang Dwijendra, a holy priest from eastern Java then chose the temple as the final worshipping place for his spiritual journey, where he achieved the highest point of spiritual oneness with the gods. In one of the courtyards behind the main shrine of Uluwatu Temple is a Brahmin state which faces the Indian Ocean and is said to represent Dhang Hyang Dwijendra.
As a peaceful place of worship and respect, Uluwatu temple is open 24 hours a day however it is only open to visitors from 9am to 6pm. We recommend visiting Uluwatu Temple just before sunset, so you'll also be able to catch a traditional Kecak dance performance.