Pura Ulun Danau Bratan


pura ulun danau bratanPura Ulun Danau Bratan on the shores of Lake Bratan is one of Bali’s kayangan jagat (directional temples) and protects Bali from evil spirits from the NW. For tourists visiting Bali, Pura Ulun Danau Bratan is a convenient temple to visit and a pleasant place for a rest stop.

Located 2 hours north of Kuta, Pura Ulun Danau Bratan in in the Bedugal area, a common directional indicator used by locals when referring to the area of the 3 western mountain lakes.

History
Pura Ulun Danau Bratan was built in 1633 by the raja of Mengwi on the western shore of lake Bratan. The Balinese people rely on their rice harvest and the Goddess of water / fertility, Dewi Danu is the deity who is honored here.

lake bratanTemple design
The temple itself sits in well manicured gardens and attracts local and foreign visitors. The 2 obvious part of the temple are the structures set on land and the ones set on a point, extending into the lake.

The temples grounds have an assortment of structures including the multi-tiered meru. These pagoda-shaped shrines which are found in almost every Balinese temple, are named after Mt. Meru, a sacred Hindu peak, considered the home of the Gods. The importance of the God being worshiped is indicated by the number of roofs, which is always an odd number, with a maximum of 13.

The part of the temple that gets all the attention is the 11 roof meru, followed by a 3 roofed meru, situated on a point of land, jutting out into the lake. The larger meru is dedicated to Wisnu and Dewi Danu. The smaller meru contains a lingum (phallus), very much a part of temple architecture in India. This temple is dedicated to Siwa (the Destroyer). Visitors are allowed to photograph the shrines from the shore, but are not allowed to visit them directly.

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The temple on the shore, Pura Teratai Bang has its own 7-tier meru dedicated to Brahma (the Creator). You will often see parties of Balinese worshipers inside this temple, taking blessings. Similarly, you are asked to stay outside the inner courtyard, but it is possible to look over the wall and get good photos.

Opening hours
Open daily 7am – 5pm.

Entrance fee
Entrance is 3,300rp cars 1,000rp.

Amenities
There are toilets, which charge a nominal fee and a small warung selling food and drinks. There is also a kid’s playground.

Directions from Kuta
Head north to in the direction of Seminyak / Kerobokan. Follow signs in the direction of Tabanan. When you see the right hand turn off for Singaraja, take it. The journey is on an uphill grade, with many curving sections as you get higher. Just to let you know, the Baturiti market is the one where all the locals are spilling out onto the main street, the market area crammed with pick ups full of produce. Shortly after that you drop down and curve around to the right, spotting another small local market, identifiable by the ladies selling corn. This is Candi Kuning market, the location of Crackers Bar & Grill. Just down the hill from there is Lake Bratan and the temple.

candi kuningOther things to do in the area:
Rent a motorboat and take a ride across the lake. Prices vary, you’ll have to negotiate. Across the lake are some Japanese WWII. caves
Paragliding is sometimes offered on the lake.
Hike Gunung Catur, if you have a few hours and lots of energy to spare.
Check out Baturiti market to the south for an impression of a busy Balinese mountain market.
Visit the Crackers Bar & Grill located in Candi Kuning market just south of the lake on the main road.
Explore the beautiful mountain scenery. This photo has Lake Buyan is on the left, Lake Tamblingan on the right.