Pura Ulun Danu Temple at Lake Bratan, Bali

Lake Bratan’s temple, called Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and also known as the Floating Temple, is one of the most mesmerizing temples in Bali. It is also one Bali’s most underrated temple compared to Tanah Lot and Pura Luhur Uluwatu temples. Built over 350 years ago, this temple houses waterside gardens and meru shrines that are so well-known in Bali.

The gorgeous volcanic lake of Danau Bratan near Bedugul is also the favourite of many local tourists but not as well known with foreigners, therefore relatively still unknown, it is a true gem to discover. What makes it truly special is that since it caters for the local tourists, weekdays here would be the best time to enjoy the lake and the park at peace.

History and facts

This Hindu temple was built in the 17th century in honor of the lake goddess Dewi Danu, marking the significance of Lake Bratan as the main source of water in Bali. The history of the temple dates back to the Mengwi kingdom of that time. The 11 stories meru shrine here is dedicated for Shiva and his consort Parvathi. Ulun Danu itself literally translates to “head of the lake”. After several eruptions from Mount Batur, the temple has been shifted and rebuilt along with the village.

Pura Ulun Danu is the core of all the water temples in Bali. It is one of the main structure in the irrigation systems that draws the water from Lake Batur into Subak. This unique system is one of the many UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in Indonesia. It also serves as a symbol of social and religious unity in Bali.

Pura Ulun Danu Temple at Lake Bratan, Bali, Indonesia

Pura Ulun Danu Temple at Lake Bratan, Bali. Photo by whyyan

Where is it

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is located at Lake Bratan in Bedugul Highlands of Bali. The lake is also worth a visit to take in the breathtaking views.

Why visit

One of our top temples to visit in Bali but still relatively unknown to foreign tourists, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan has its own charmed with its interesting thatched roof layered with reminiscence of pagoda structure and located just at the edge of the temple, allowing chance of reflections of its grandeur.

Festival at Pura Ulun Danu Temple at Lake Bratan, Bali, Indonesia

Festival at Pura Ulun Danu Temple at Lake Bratan, Bali. Photo by alex hanoko

When is the best time to go

If you are lucky and here during one of the many festivals held here at the temple, you will be in for a real treat. If not, you will still have a good time marveling at the beauty of this Hindu temple that is unlike the others.

How to get there

There are public transports that take you here to Lake Bratan from Denpasar or Lovina. There are also shuttle buses that run between the southern beaches and Lovina. It takes 45 minutes to get to the Pura Ulun Danu temple from Lovina. From Ubud, it will take a 1.5 hours drive and from Kuta, a long 2 hours drive.

Fees

The entrance fees is 50,000 IDR (as of 2016)

Opening Times

Daily 9 am to 8 pm

Where to stay nearby

There are some hotels and resorts dotted along the beautiful Lake Bratan ranging from indulgent retreats to budget hotels. One of the popular and luxurious resort here is the Puri Candikuning and the nice budget options are Strawberry Hill Hotel and CLV Hotel and Villa *.

-> Find the best hotel deals near Pura Ulun Danu Temple at Booking.com *

Things to do

Taman Rekreasi Bedugul (Bedugul Recreation park) – one of the best places for water sports such as canoes, banana boating, parasailing and jet-skiing, minus the high waves and high prices compared to the southern beaches.

Souvenir shops – the many shops lined up here are a must to visit. It sells different brands of tacky stuff when shopping in Kuta or Seminyak and at fixed prices designed for the local Indonesians, hence no hefty tourist prices here.

Secret tiny temple – visit this one from the outside at the west-end of Pura Ulun Danu temple. Beware of the pesky monkeys!

Hike the walking path – there is a path that starts opposite the fruits stalls skirting the lake and heads along the ridge to the top of Mount Mangu. This is a six-hour beautiful return hike. Strawberry Hill Resort nearby the park can arrange guides for hikes to nearby waterfalls and vanilla plantations, and around Buyan and Tamblingan lakes.

Take a 15-minute speedboat ride on the lake, passing upmarket villas, strawberry farms and of course the temple itself.

Have lunch at Bedugul restaurant overlooking the lake and under the towering volcanoes. This restaurant is located at the southern end of Lake Bratan. Don’t forget to try fresh gurami (grouper fish) and udang (prawns) with various sauces.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bedugul, Bali, Indonesia

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bedugul, Bali. Photo by alex hanoko

Nearby tourist attractions

Try out the popular dolphin watching at Lovina.

Candikuning – sizeable Muslim community with farmers’ market.

Bali Botanic Garden – one of the only four in Indonesia and the largest, it houses the local flora and the famous Green Rose.

Wanagiri lookouts over the twin lakes of Buyan and Tamblingan.

Jatiluwih rice terraces.

Related articles:
Uluwatu Temple, Bali
Pura Tanah Lot Temple, Bali
Top 10 Temples to Visit in Bali
Bedugul, Bali: Mountains, Lakes and Treks

Bedugul, Bali: Mountains, Lakes and Treks

The Danau Bratan region, also just known as Bedugul, refers to the large area in the central highlands of Bali and is famed for imposing mountains, picturesque lakes, beautiful trekking routes and impressive temples. Bedugul region encompasses many villages including Bedugul itself, Pacung, Candikuning, Wanagiri, Pancasari, and others. The area lies at an altitude of 700 m or higher and is usually visited by the tourists seeking a respite from the hot, humid conditions of the coastal regions of Bali.

Most of the tourist activities in Bedugul region center around the three beautiful lakes: Danau Bratan, Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan. Danau Bratan, surrounded by rolling lush green hills, provides a wide array of water sports activities to tourists. Local Balinese farmers worship the lake goddess at an ancient temple that sits near the lake. The smaller Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan lakes are located northwest of Bedugul village and are easily accessible by means of good, motorable roads.

Village, lake and mountain of Bedugul, Bali, Indonesia

Village, lake and mountain of Bedugul, Bali

Where is it

Bedugul is located in the central highlands of Bali, about 50 km north of Denpasar and 25 km south of Singaraja.

Why go

To take in the natural beauty of the region while getting indulged in lots of adventurous activities at the same time. If you want a break from hot, humid conditions of coastal Bali, Bedugul is a perfect destination to head for.

When is the best time to go

Nights at Bedugul are cooler compared to the coastal areas of Bali. The dry months of May to August are considered the best months to visit Bedugul. The rainy months of October to March are generally avoided by tourists. Christmas and New Year time are usually the exceptions when a large number of domestic and international tourists arrive at Bedugul to enjoy their vacations.

View of the lake at Bedugul, Bali, Indonesia

View of the lake at Bedugul, Bali

What to see

Bali Botanical Gardens. One of the four official botanical gardens of the country, the picturesque Bali Botanical Gardens are situated in Candikuning area. These gardens are spread over an area of about 160 hectares across the slopes of Gunung Pohon and give visitors an opportunity to spend a whole day in close proximity to more than 400 species of orchids, 650 species of trees, and over 80 species of birds. A massive “corn on the cob” stone statue at the entrance road is amazing to watch. The gardens remain open between 8 am – 4 pm daily.

Pura Ulun Danu Temple, Bedugul, Bali, Indonesia

Pura Ulun Danu Temple, Bedugul, Bali

Lake Bratan Temple (Pura Ulun Danu Bratan). As of the Top 10 Temples to Visit in Bali, this immensely attractive temple stands on the shore of Lake Bratan. The temple is devoted to Ida Batara Devi Ulun Danu and dates back to 1633. It is also one of the top most photographed temples of Bali. Its close proximity to lake creates an illusion that the temple is floating on the lake.

What to do

Trekking in the mountain slopes and around the lakes. Trekking in Bedugul area is a highly rewarding experience for most visitors. Many groups organize regular trekking tours for Mount Catur, around Lake Tamblingan, Jatiluwih, and Munduk area. These tours allow trekkers to explore the hidden areas of central Bali while enjoying the spectacular views at the same time.

Trekking to Mount Lesong, Bedugul, Bali, Indonesia

Trekking to Mount Lesong, Bedugul, Bali

Taking a dip in one of the secluded waterfalls. There are several beautiful and secluded waterfalls dotted around Bedugul, and if you can try to find one of these secret spots and take a dip in one of the clearest waterfalls you’ve ever seen.

What and where to eat

Bedugul is known for a variety of restaurants serving a local specialty called Ayam Taliwang, which is a spiced and grilled/fried chicken. Bedugul Lake View, located near Lake Bratan, is known for its delicious local dishes. You can also find several inexpensive places lining the road to the Botanical Gardens. Ngiring Ngewedang near Lake Tamblingan lets visitors enjoy tasty Indonesian food as well as views of the beautiful surroundings at the same time. Restaurant Batukaru (between Mount Batukaru and Jatiluwih), Strawberry Hill (Bukit Strobeli), Strawberry Stop (between Lake Bratan and Lake Buyan), and Warung Bukit Hexon are some other popular restaurants in Bedugul area.

Procession at Pura Ulun Danu Temple, Bedugul, Bali, Indonesia

Procession at Pura Ulun Danu Temple, Bedugul, Bali

Where to stay

Candikuning village in Bedugul is known for providing the best tourist facilities to visitors. Some nice budget options in Bedugul include Ashram Guest House (near Lake Bratan), Ibu Hadi Homestay, Penginapan Cempaka (Jalan Kebun Raya), and Sari Artha Inn. Among mid-range options, Atres Villa * (Banyuatis Village), Aditya Homestay * (Munduk) and CLV Hotel & Villa * are some of the popular names. Handara Golf & Resort * (Pancasari), Puri Candikuning Retreat * (near Bratan Temple), The Kalaspa Health Retreat (Banjar Asah Panji), and Saranam Eco Resort (Pacung) cater to luxury tourists in the region.

How to get there

Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport, is the nearest airport to Bedugul. The airport is served by several domestic and international airlines including Garuda Indonesia, Singapore Airlines, etc. You can hire a prepaid or a metered taxi from the airport which usually takes not more than two hours to get to Bedugul. Regular bemo (minibus) for Bedugul are available from Batubulan terminal in Denpasar and Singaraja town. Taxis are readily available from different parts of Bali. You can also rent a car and drive up yourself to enjoy the wonderful roads in the region. However, make sure that you have a good map of Bali and Bedugul region before you start your journey.

Local boats at Lake Bedugul, Bali, Indonesia

Local boats at Lake Bedugul, Bali

How to get around

Using a motorcycle is a perfect way to get around the Bedugul area. Many of the places of interest in this area are located too far to be explored on foot. You can ask your hotel staff to arrange for a rented motorbike for you. You’ll also find many taxi drivers willing to take you to nearby attractions for a fixed price. Local bemo (minibus) are generally available, and you can find them around the car parking place in Candikuning market as well as in Pancasari village.

Where to go nearby

Munduk, one of the off the beaten tracks places with its own local charm.
Singaraja, the former capital of Bali, featuring lots of imposing monuments and colonial structures.
Lovina, the coastal town of North Bali, famous for lovely beaches and early-morning dolphin trips.

Photo credits from top: trezy humanoiz, a_rabin , Aleksandr Zykov, Rollan Budi, Castio T. Lauren, Jos Dielis and alex hanoko

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