Pura Ulun Danu Bratan (also written as Beratan) is the famous Bali water temple that sits near Bedugul on a lake in the Northern mountains. It is one of the most iconic Bali temples and is documented heavily on Instagram. If you want to plan your very own visit, here are a few things you should know in advance.
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Where is Pura Ulun Danu Bratan?
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan is a temple complex at the edge of Lake Bratan near Bedugul, a mountain lake resort area. Lake Bratan also goes by the name of Lake of Holy Mountain and sits 1200m above sea level. It is Bali’s second largest lake.
Around it, you can dine in a few restaurants, stock up on snacks at convenience stores or refuel your bike.
Use GoogleMaps to get to Pura Ulun Danu Bratan if you drive yourself. When going on your scooter, you can just plug in your earphones to listen to the GPS for directions. You need wifi, so don’t forget to pack a portable hotspot. (This is the one I have been using worldwide.)
Why Should You Visit Ulun Danu Temple?
The temple dates back to 1633 and is used for water offerings to Balinese goddess of Dewi Danu, who is responsible for water, lakes and rivers (hence irrigation). The temple complex boasts several remarkable buildings, such as the 11 storey meru tower (pelinggih meru).
The temple complex encompasses the following temples: Dalem Purwa Temple, Terate Bang Temple, Lingga Petak Temple and Penataran Pucak Mangu Temple. These temples are dedicated to Shiva and Parvathi, Brahma and Vishnu. You can find more indepth information on temple ceremonies here.
Since the temple is used for offerings to water, it makes total sense that it was built in the lake. When the water table of the river and consequently lake rises, the temple is completely surrounded by water. This gave it the name of “Bali water temple” or “Bali temple on the lake”.
Ulun Danu Temple – How to Get There
On our day trip from Canggu to Lovina Beach and back the next day, we absolutely had to stop by Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. You can’t really miss it driving on the main road from South to North Bali. (The road changes names but near the temple it’s Raya Baturiti.)
Address: Danau Beratan, Candikuning, Baturiti, Tabanan Regency, Bali 82191
[su_note note_color=”#f7f0e5″ radius=”0″]Lovina-Ulun Danu temple: 52 min 29km
Canggu-Ulun Danu temple: 80 min 50km
Denpasar-Ulun Danu temple: 92 min 53km
Seminyak-Ulun Danu temple: 95 min 54km
Kuta-Ulun Danu temple: 110 min 59km
It is possible to rent a scooter and bike all the way to Ulun Danu Bratan by yourself instead of hiring Go-jek or a local taxi to take you there. (Download the go-jek or blue bird app for that.) Local taxi companies also offer packages in which you can hit up a few different spots during 3-4 hours. You can find them advertising in facebook groups.
Should You Book a Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Tour?
Once you post a request for a tour in a facebook tour, tour operators will instantly contact you via messenger. Then you can start sorting through the offers, let them know what other stops you like, maybe negotiate, etc. It’s a good idea to check their credentials too.
However, if you really are just staying in Bali briefly, why not get the entire thing sorted out quick and in advance? By booking a premade tour online, you have the entire planning, research and organising done for you. This includes getting a vehicle, driving the windy roads, entrance ticket, etc.
You can book various private tours up to Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. If you want to make the most out of the trip, book a Ulan Danu tour with a visit to Sekumpul Waterfall. (Here is why you should visit Sekumpul too.) If Bali water temples is what you’re after, why not get a tour to combine Tanah Lot, Ulun Danu and Taman Ayun in 8 hours? Check the tour here.
[su_note note_color=”#f7f0e5″ radius=”0″]Private day trip from Ubud / Kuta / Seminyak / Sanur: Ulun Danu Temple and Kembar Waterfall + lunch – from $99
Private 12h from Kuta: Tanah Lot, Ulun Danu and rice fields at Labhagga Pacung – from $88.51
Private 10h trip from Denpasar: Tanah Lot, Pura Ulun, rice terraces of Jatiluwih, Twin Lakes – from $30[/su_note]
Can You Visit Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Without a Guide?
At the moment of writing, no guide was required to enter the premises of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. However, considering recent developments of inconsiderate tourists, Bali is considering to enforce guided temple visits and additional rules.
What Is the Temple Etiquette at Pura Ulun Danu Bratan?
Bali is a very religious island and its temples and religious sites are very important cultural and religious landmarks. It should go without saying that you need to treat them with respect and behave in a considerate manner.
This starts with the temple dress code. Wear a sarong and scarf around your hips to cover up your legs. Also wear shirt that cover your upper body and arms. Essentially, dress modestly and never ever just wear swimwear. Before entering the temple buildings, take off your shoes and leave them at the entrance.
Never point your feet towards the shrines or holy objects (as they are considered unclean). Praying is done on the knees for women and cross legged for men. Likewise, never stand (or hold your head) higher than the priest , walk before a procession or touch anyone’s head.
Unfortunately, you cannot enter a temple when bleeding – this goes for menstruating as well as bleeding from cuts and the like. Pregnant women or new mothers who have given birth within the past half year are also barred entry.
How’s the Pura Ulun Weather Typically?
Being located high up on the mountains and near water, you can expect cold tropical climate. This means you still need to cover up heavily with sunscreen, but pack a light jacket just in case it cools down quickly.
Also important to know is that Bali has two seasons. The first is dry season from March to October. The second is rainy season from November to April.
When to Best Visit the Floating Temple?
In rainy season, you have higher chances of seeing the Bali water temple actually IN the water. Try to aim for sunrise during that time.
Mornings are your best bet for stunning photos as the fog hasn’t yet creeped in. Also, there aren’t as many crowds and boats on the lake. The temple opening hours are from 5AM–7PM.
Read this too: Why You Can’t Visit During Nyepi
What to Bring to The Floating Temple in Bali?
The essentials for any Bali trip include: sunscreen, sunglasses, rain poncho (for sudden rainfall), comfortable walking/hiking shoes and international driver’s licence and helmet if you are driving. Dress appropriately according to temple etiquette. (See tips above.)
On rainy or slightly cooler days or for afternoon visits, pack a light (waterproof) jacket as it can cool down.
The Ulun Danu Beratan Temple entrance fee is 50,000 IDR and has to be paid in cash at the entrance. Parking costs 3,000 IDR for a scooter and 5,000 for a car. You can rent a paddle boat as well, so pack extra cash for that.
Photographers, come prepared for all weather. This could mean that your equipment could get exposed to rain. So pack a protective filter, a lens cleaning set or a waterproof camera bag. On sunny days, a polarising filter makes all the difference. Drones aren’t allowed.
Read this too: What to Pack for Bali – Female Vacation Edition
Is a Day Trip to Ulun Danu Beratan Temple Worth It?
Yes, it is. The famous floating temple of Bali is absolutely stunning. However, don’t expect it to sit right in the middle of the lake. It really is quite close to the general temple complex area on shore and only appears like a floating temple from the lake. So you would have to rent a boat. All the photos you can see here have been taken from the shore. It was fine as well.
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