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Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple is one of the biggest Hindu temples or Sad Kahyangan Temple in Bali situated in Pecatu Village, south Kuta District, Badung Regency or 25 km south of Denpasar City. This temple is set on the top of small peninsula cliff with deep of beach coral valley located in right and left side by apposite to the Indian Ocean. The rocky cliff with 80 meter high is one of the fascinations for tourists who visit this place and complemented by the spectacular sunset in the late afternoon. The savannas at the eastside of temple is dwelt by the group of monkeys who keep the temple from bad influences (accordance with the Balinese Hindu believe) and this savannas familiar called by Alas Kekeran ( restricted forest). Uluwatu Temple is a holy place appointed as tourist destination that has captivated many tourists to visit every day.

Archeological Heritage

The name of Uluwatu is deriving from the name of this temple. The word of Ulu is meaning the head or tip meanwhile Watu means stone. Therefore Uluwatu Temple is a temple set on the rock edge. When entering the temple area, we will find two stone statues look like boat located in the right and left side of altar ‘Gedong Ratu Bagus Jurit’ in the temple complex area. If both are merged, the shape is similar to sarcophagus, a coffin from the megalithic tradition. Here is also an archeological heritage come from the 16 century in shape of winged gate. The winged gate is a very rare archeological heritage that is rarely found.  If viewed from the year of manufacture, the winged gate at Uluwatu Temple can be compared with the similar heritage found at the mosque complex located in Sendang Duwur Village, Lamongan – East Java that the year of manufacture is related to Candrasengkala which is found on this site. Candrasengkala is found at mosque reads ‘Gunaning Salira Tirta Hayu’ which mean year 1483 Saka or 1561 AD.

When the stone through-like boat in the complex of Dalem Jurit is a sarcophagus and an artifact (an artifact is derived from such site or artifact is not transferred from other sites), then Uluwatu is a secret place since ancient megalithic cultures (around 500 BC).


In Lontar (Bible made from palm leave) of Usana Bali is mentioning that Mpu Kuturan (a holy priest from Java Island spread out the Hinduism in Bali) who had built many temples in Bali including Uluwatu Temple. Mpu Kuturan is identically considered with Senapati Kuturan, a historical figure who lived during the reign of Udayana King, Marakata and Anak Wungsu in the 11 century. He is one of the public figures who joined in the institution of king advisor. According with this Lontar, then the construction of Uluwatu Temple is preceded by Mpu Kuturan in the 11 century.

In the Lontar of Dwijendra Tatwa is written that Mpu Kuturan which is also familiar called by Danghyang Nirartha had visited this temple twice those are:

  1. On first visit, he had done the Tirta Yatra (a trip to visit the holy places). When arriving at Uluwatu, his heart feels secret vibration and soul murmuring that the place is suitable for worship the god. Later, when the time is up, he chose this place as a place for Ngeluwur (release the soul) or the soul return to the heaven. Based on his consideration, then he decided to build a temple or expand the exits temple at Uluwatu. When Danghyang Nirartha expanding the temple, he built an ashram as his residence and then the former ashram is built the temple by the local community which is named as Bukit Gong Temple. The temple development at Uluwatu by Danghyang Nirartha in the early of 16 century after he appointed as Purohita (the priest of King advisor) of Dalem Waturenggong who ruled in the year of 1460 – 1552.
  2. On the second visit when Danghyang  Nirartha will attain moksha (dead without leaving the body and disappeared). On Tuesday Kliwon Madangsia witnessed by a sailor named Ki Pasek Nambangan, he look like a lightning, just a very bright light to the sky (in Balinese word called Ngeluwur).

In the Lontar of Padma Bhuwana implied that Uluwatu Temple is located in Neriti direction or southwest direction functioning to worship the Rudra God, one of the nine gods (Dewata Nawa Sanga ) believed by Balinese Hindu. Rudra God is an aspect of Siva God as a Pralina or retuning to the original.


Tourist Destination

Nowadays, Uluwatu beside as place for worship, it had been also opened as a tourist destination that many visited by tourists from all over the word every day. This site offers the amazing panorama of deep clip bank of white stone with rocky beach valley under it. A beautiful Hindu temple is well set on the top of peninsula with steep rocky ravine just to the left and right of the temple. It is also blessed by the breathtaking view of sunset and spectacular Balinese Kecak Dance performed every day those are completing this site as one of the favorite tourist destination, This site is close with other places of interest such as Kuta Beach, Nusa Dua, Tanjung Benoa, Garuda Wisnu Kencana and Dreamland.