The Bukit peninsula is located on the southernmost part of Bali, just south of the airport. Bukit is different from the rest of Bali, it is dry with sparse vegetation, similar to several places by the Mediterranean sea.

Bali, Badung, Uluwatu. The monkeys at Uluwatu are entertaining, but watch your belongings! The temple in the background. (Bjorn Grotting)
Bali, Badung, Uluwatu. The monkeys at Uluwatu are entertaining, but watch your belongings! The temple in the background. (Bjorn Grotting)

In former days it was used as hunting fields for the raja’s of Denpasar. At the southern point of Bukit sits Pura Luhur Uluwatu, a famous temple on top of a high cliff, about 90 meters above the Indian ocean.

Bali, Badung, Uluwatu. Pura Luhur Uluwatu is an important hindu temple on Bali, and ceremonies are often held here. (Bjorn Grotting)
Bali, Badung, Uluwatu. Pura Luhur Uluwatu is an important hindu temple on Bali, and ceremonies are often held here. (Bjorn Grotting)

Uluwatu is well worth a visit, the view from the top of the cliffs are beautiful. Like Tanah Lot this is a sea temple dedicated to the gods and spirits of the ocean, but not as touristy. The long chain of sea temples along the southern coast of Bali also includes Pura Sekenan, Pura Rambut Siwi and Pura Petitenget.

Bali, Badung, Uluwatu. Pura Luhur Uluwatu sits on the edge of a high cliff. Looking Northwest. (Bjorn Grotting)
Bali, Badung, Uluwatu. Pura Luhur Uluwatu sits on the edge of a high cliff. Looking Northwest. (Bjorn Grotting)

Uluwatu belong to a group of holy state temples, sad-kahyangan, and because of the remote location this is one of the less commercialized. The temple belong to all the Balinese people and is therefore a place of frequent ceremonies. The fishermen consider it as extra sacred and come here to pray to Dewi Laut, the sea goddess. A legend says that the temple is actually a ship transformed to stone. Pura Luhur Uluwatu means something like “The Temple above the Rock”.

Bali, Badung, Uluwatu. A hindu ceremony. This fellow is a bit too young to take part in the praying. (Bjorn Grotting)
Bali, Badung, Uluwatu. A hindu ceremony. This fellow is a bit too young to take part in the praying. (Bjorn Grotting)

Like other temples on Bali this one also has a large number of “temple-monkeys” (see also Ubud and Sangeh). Monkey food can be bought at the entrance, but if you don’t pay attention it will soon disappear, these creatures are very clever pickpockets. It is said that some of them are trained to steal glasses, hats and other loose belongings, which then can be reclaimed in change of a small “reward”. You are warned to take care of your belongings when you enter, and it is a smart thing to follow this advice!

Bali, Badung, Uluwatu. Cliffs straight up from the ocean. Among the cliffs there are beaches famous for good surfing conditions. (Bjorn Grotting)
Bali, Badung, Uluwatu. Cliffs straight up from the ocean. Among the cliffs there are beaches famous for good surfing conditions. (Bjorn Grotting)

It’s a fantastic view over the ocean from the top, the cliffs fall steep into the sea. The area is also known for good surfing conditions, the most popular beach is Pantai Suluban, about three km from the temple. Turn off the main road just before the parking lot of Pura Uluwatu. There are some accommodation and restaurants here.

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Bjørn Grøtting

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Photographer based in Norway. See a collection of my best photos in the portfolio. Licensing of images is done through Photoshelter or alamy.
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