Faces of Bali - Uluwatu Temple
Pura Uluwatu (temple of the stone head) or Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple is located in the edge of stone cliff in southern part of Bali. This ancient temple is dedicated to the spirits of the sea. Built in the eleventh century during the era of Empu Kuturan, the temple became a classic expression of ancient Bali in a spectacular setting, high above the crashing waves.
Here you can witness an impressive picturesque view especially on the sunset time. The three courtyards are surrounded by hard weathered white coral. The guardian gate in the middle courtyard has similar appearance of East Javanese temple architecture. The sacred resident monkeys are smart enough to steel your belonging even from your pocket, so beware.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of Bali’s kahyangan jagat (directional temples), believed as a South West Balinese guardian from evil spirits, a dwelling place for a deity called Bhatara Rudra, God of the elements and cosmic force majeures.
HOW TO GET THERE
A taxi from Kuta to Uluwatu takes about 30 minutes up and down winding roads and will cost you a lot of money. As it can be difficult to find transport, get the driver to wait for you for the trip back. Joining a tour can be a cheaper solution of getting to Uluwatu.
If you are riding a rented motorcycle from Kuta, be aware that you need an IDP (International Driving Permit). Police perform frequent checks for driving licenses on the road between Kuta and Uluwatu, especially targetting foreigners. If you can not present the necessary paperwork you will be faced with a fine.
ABOUT EMPU KUTURAN
Empu is a title given to someone who attains high distinction in literature, philosophy and craftsmanship. Empu Kuturan was a Hindu figure who came from Java to Bali during the reign of Marakata, he’s the youngest child of King Udayana. The arrival of Empu Kuturan in Bali had changed religious life. It was Empu Kuturan who taught people how to build Sad Kahyangan Jagat, Kahyangan Catur Lokapala, Kahyangan Rwabhineda in Bali. It was he who expanded Besakih Temple by building Meru Gedong, etc. he also taught the building of Kahyangan Tiga in every customary village in Bali. Beside teaching how to build temple physically, he also taught about spiritual for example: kind of ceremony, kind of Pedagingan, Shrine, etc as mentioned in DewaTattwa palm manuscript.
Temple in Bali called Pura which translates “literally as a place” and the temple can be classified into four characters, they are:
1. Public Temple
2. Territorial Temple
3. Functional Temple
4. Family Temple
i will tell you about Kahyangan and history of temple classification in another articles.