Three temples in Bali

Three temples in Bali

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Three temples in BaliDriving through small villages, children running after you, passing by lush green rice fields and waving palm trees, hair dancing in the wind. There are so many temples to visit in Bali… and what better way to do this than on a day trip from Ubud on a motorbike?
We visited three temples: the Elephant Cave temple (Goa Gajah), Gunung Kawi and the Holy Water temple (Tirta Empul). All three of them can be found on the road from Ubud to Tampaksiring, a village about an hour’s drive from Ubud.
They are not that hard to find, but with the help of Waze (a navigation app and one of my favourite apps ever) it’s easy peasy!

    Tirta Empul

Tirta Empul or the Holy Water temple is a beautiful temple compound built around a freshwater spring. Hindus come here to pray, bathe and purify. The big pond in the front yard must contain thousands of massive kois! The Holy Water spring is caught in a large basin that feeds into the baths further downstream. As a tourist, you can bathe here too, but you have to get into the water with your sarong, and you can’t visit the rest of the temple when your clothes are wet. So plan your visit wisely…

Tirta Empul baths
Tirta Empul baths

Tirta Empul spring
Tirta Empul holy spring

Tirta Empul detail
Tirta Empul detail of one of the temples

    Gunung Kawi

Gunung Kawi is one of the oldest temples in Bali. Hewn out of the rocks, its size is so impressive. You need to go down quite a few steps to get to the valley where the temple is – yes, very pleasant when you have post-volcano-climb trembling legs, so be warned. (If you missed this post, you can find it here). But the views of the temple…

Gunung Kawi
Gunung Kawi
Gunung Kawi temple
Gunung Kawi temple carved out of the rocks

Gunung Kawi walk down the steps
Many many many steps down to the Gunung Kawi temple but the view alongside is pretty awesome!

    Goa Gajah or the Elephant Cave Temple

There is a Hindu part and a Buddhist part of the temple, but the Buddhist part is a bit of a walk up the mountain through the forest. Which wouldn’t be such a problem but for the fact that the sun was already setting, and the woods are dark and full with bats… Next time ;-)
Also, running through the grounds to see everything before nightfall doesn’t really do anything for good pictures… But I tried!

Entrance of the Elephant Cave
Entrance of the Elephant Cave

Offering at Elephant Cave temple
Offerings everywhere at Elephant Cave temple

Elephant Cave temple baths
Elephant Cave temple baths

Elephant Cave temple Bali
Remains of pre-hindu temple at Elephant Cave temple site

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