The Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is a significant temple complex located on the western edge of the Lake Beratan crater in Bedugul, central Bali. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple has become a famous, iconic and picturesque landmark, one of the most photographed in Bali, sharing its scenic qualities with the seaside temples of Uluwatu and Tanah Lot.
Ulun Danau Beratan Temple lies at 1239 mt above sea level in the Bedugul highlands by majestic Mount Agung, the largest volcano in Bali. This amazing temple was built in the 17th century (in 1633) in worship of the main Hindu trinity, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, and is specifically dedicated to the goddess of the lake, Dewi Danu. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple can be traced back to the rise of the Mengwi Kingdom, as proved by the Papyrus Chronicle of the Mengwi people, placing the temple founding right in an era when the Mengwi Empire thrived. Its name was simply taken from the lake where the temple was built, Lake Beratan.
Ulun Danau Beratan Temple has a magical feel to it, as when looked at from afar, the smooth reflective surface of the lake surrounding most of the temple’s base creates a unique floating impression of the temple, while the majestic mountain range of the Bedugul region encircling the lake provides the temple with a scenic backdrop. The amazing main structure has four gates, facing each of the four points of the compass, and boasts 11 stories of meru (coned roofs) dedicated to Hindu god Shiva; it is their overlapping that give the temple its magnificent shape.
The temple complex is comprised of four groups shrines dedicated to the gods of Mount Batur and Mount Agung: prominent Lingga Petak to its east which has the function to worship God Shiva; Penataran Pucak Mangu to its north is dedicated to God Visnu; Terate Bang is used to worship God Brahma; and finally Dalem Purwa, used to worship Goddess Danu, who is considered to be an equivalent of Goddess Laksmi.
Ulun Danau Beratan Temple offering ceremonies to the lake goddes Dewi Danu are scheduled into two types: the so-called Piodalan Agung, executed every six months (210 days) and every 12 months (420 days) on Anggara Kliwon Julungwangi, an auspicious cleansing day for the mind of the individual Balinese family members who meditate and pray to cleanse one’s mind and the physical world in which one is reincarnated; and the so-called Pakelem, a ceremony that celebrates the awarding of life, fertility and prosperity which the area lake and mountains are believed to control.
A special mention should be given to the lake, which apart from being one of the ultimate sources of water for the rivers and springs that irrigate central Bali, it is especially important for the Balinese as it is considered not only holy, but of a particular variety. The temple priests say that the lake is fed by springs located at each of the wind directions, and each of the springs is the origin of water for that particular region of central Bali, with farmers from North Bali collecting their holy water from the northern spring of the lake, and so on. Bathing is forbidden, and visitors have to wear a sash band and refrain to go too near the waters at the temple.
Ulun Danau Beratan Temple is located in the Bedugul area, a favorite cool upland weekend and holiday retreat for locals and island visitors alike from the southern and urban areas. The sight and cool atmosphere of the Bali uplands have made Lake Beratan and Ulun Danau Beratan Temple a favourite sightseeing and recreational spot. Not to be confused with Ulun Danau Batur Temple, which is on the rim of the caldera at Lake Batur. Entrance to Ulun Danau Beratan Temple is IDR 50,000 (about 5 US$) for foreigners.
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