Pura Luhur Batukau

Top choice in Central Mountains

On the slopes of Gunung Batukau, Pura Luhur Batukau was the state temple when Tabanan was an independent kingdom. It has a seven-roofed meru (multiroofed shrine) dedicated to Maha Dewa, the mountain’s guardian spirit, as well as shrines for Bratan, Buyan and Tamblingan lakes. This is certainly the most spiritual temple you can easily visit in Bali.

The main meru in the inner courtyard have little doors shielding small ceremonial items. Outside the compound, the temple is surrounded by forest and the atmosphere is cool and misty; the chants of priests are backed by birds singing.

Facing the temple, take a short walk around to the left to see a small white-water stream where the air resonates with tumbling water. Note the unusual fertility shrine.

There’s a general lack of touts and other characters here – including hordes of tourists. Respect traditions and act appropriately while visiting temples. Sarong rental is included in the entrance price. Guides at the entrance offer worthwhile two-hour jungle hikes for 250,000Rp.