Temples of Bali: Pura Tegeh Koripan

If you travel up to the north of Bali to Kintamani and see the stunning views of Gunung Batur from any one of the many restaurants situated there, you will also be able to view the expanse of Danau Batur and on its far shores the village of Trunyan. The aforementioned places are on most tourist itineraries as is a visit to the magnificent and sacred Pura Ulu Danau Batur. Penulisan as a village doesn’t really have that much to offer except for the exceptional vistas, but if you travel further north along the road you will come to the small village of Sukawana. Here, the road junctions and to the left is the road to Singaraja. Right on the intersection of this junction you will find the ancient and mysterious temple of Pura Tegeh Koripan. Also known as Pura Puncak Penulisan, if you weren’t looking for it then you would probably drive by as all that is visible from the road is a long flight of steps.

The best place to park your vehicle or motorbike is across the road from the temple at the warung located on the corner (serves a great nasi goreng and kopi Bali). The temple is the highest on the island of Bali and sits on the summit of Gunung Penulisan. This ninth century temple is a series of terraces and before you even enter the candi bentar you have to climb the 336 steps. The main striking features of this temple are the bales housing the ancient stone statues and lingga dating from the 11th-13th centuries, one of which is of Queen Mahendratta. Although many of the statues are weather worn and some partially destroyed in a civil strife between government forces and those accused of being communists in 1965, they are still surreal. Pura Tegeh Koripan is one of those unique temples on the island that is enjoyable to wander around as you climb from terrace to terrace. There is an admission fee of Rp1,000 and this of course going towards the upkeep of the temple, not that the temple gets many visitors.