Located in central Bali, Ulun Danu Temple is both a significant temple complex and picturesque landmark on the western shores of Lake Beratan. Situated in Bedugul, the region is a favourite holiday retreat for the Balinese and also attracts many overseas visitors as well. Ulun Danu Temple, which translates to ‘the source temple of Lake Beratan’, it is Bali’s most iconic sanctuary. Sharing similar qualities to the scenic, seaside temples of Tanah Lot and Uluwatu, the calm reflective surface of the lake which surrounds the temple gives it 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 lake goddess. The scenery and cooler atmosphere of the uplands has made this temple and lake a frequently photographed attraction as well as a favourite recreation and sightseeing spot. 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 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 10,000 rupiah (AU$1.00) to enter. For visitors who wish to explore more of the scenery, there are traditional jukung outriggers for hire that tour the lake at a leisurely pace as well as motorised boats.