Uluwatu Temple In Bali

The Pura Uluwatu Temple is an iconic seaside pagoda that sits on a cliff, located in the far south corner of Uluwatu Bali.

This 1,000 year old Bali temple is one of the island’s most famous tourist sights because of its impressive cliffs, sunset views, traditional Balinese ‘Kecak’ fire dance, and the notoriously sneaky Uluwatu monkeys that like to hang out near the temple.

Uluwatu Temple is easy to visit from Kuta, Canggu, Sanur, and the other popular tourist areas in Bali, and I’d rate it as a must do! The whole experience is very memorable.

This travel guide will explain where Uluwatu Temple is located, how to get to Uluwatu, current ticket prices, when to visit, sunset tips, monkey warnings, and everything else you need to know before you go!

History Of Pura Uluwatu

According to ancient Balinese manuscripts, the history of Uluwatu Temple dates back to at least the 11th century, and probably even earlier.

It was established by a Javanese Hindu priest named Empu Kuturan, and then expanded by Dang Hyang Nirartha, who spent months meditating by the seaside cliffs of Uluwatu before building the temple grounds that sit there today.

Pura Uluwatu was thought to be a portal to heaven, and the Balinese Hindus today still consider it one of the most important temples on the island.

Uluwatu Temple – What To Expect

Visiting Uluwatu Temple is pretty straightforward and you don’t need a guide, although it doesn’t hurt to have one.

You actually can’t go inside the temple itself or see the pagoda from very close, you only view it from the outside while walking along the cliffs. That may be a bummer for some, but I think the cliff views are the best part anyway.

It’s a bit of mesmerizing Bali magic to see the waves crashing on the 75 meter (250 foot) high limestone cliffs at Pura Uluwatu while the sun sets over the Indian Ocean. The ancients picked a perfect spot for this pagoda.

You can avoid some of the crowds by coming earlier in the day, but then you have to deal with the heat. Personally I think it’s best to brave the crowds so you can enjoy the sunset.

All in all, it’s one of Bali’s classic sights and you can’t miss it!

Uluwatu Temple Monkeys

There are hundreds of wild monkeys roaming the temple grounds at Uluwatu, and they’re notoriously sneaky thieves. Surrounding the temple is an 11 hectare forest where more than 400 monkeys live and make their home.

There have actually been research studies done on these infamous Uluwatu monkeys and their unique tradition of stealing swag from tourists and then using it to barter for bananas. Trust me, these monkeys make the ones at Ubud Monkey Forest look mild mannered.

The Uluwatu temple monkeys especially like to grab phones and sunglasses, which they can do easily because the safety fence by the cliff is roughly shoulder height with all the tourists walking by holding their phones out.

Uluwatu Temple Sunset

Uluwatu Bali is one of the best spots on the island to watch the sunset, so hundreds of people (and monkeys) flock here for sunset every evening.

During the Uluwatu Temple sunset, the white limestone cliffs slowly turn gold, and even the monkeys seem to enjoy the nice ocean breeze as the sun disappears from the horizon. It’s a beautiful show.

If I had to choose between the Uluwatu Temple sunset or the also famous Tanah Lot Temple sunset, I think I’d choose Uluwatu, although they’re both very nice.

However, Uluwatu does get pretty crowded, and it always makes me wish tourists would branch out to some of the less known temples in Bali.

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