Saturday, May 10, 2014

Temple on the Lake: Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

  With all of the water activities here in Bali it can be easy to miss out on the beautiful mountains. You can see the volcanoes and mountains clearly from the coast in the mornings. By early afternoon the summits are cloaked in clouds and mystery. It is definitely worth taking a day off from the ocean to drive deeper inland and explore these mountains up close.

  Heidi and I have been to one of the mountain lakes before so this time we decided to see Lake Bratan with its beautiful lake temple. When looking at a map our destination looks quite close to Ubud, but in reality it takes a long time to get anywhere in Bali. The roads are so small and congested that you are almost always driving under 50km/hr. Maybe the roads are still set up for bicycles.

   I was blown away when we walked down to the lake temple. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple is a water temple built in 1663. Lake Bratan is known as the Lake of Holy Mountain due to the fertility of this area. It is located 1200m above sea level and serves all of the irrigation and crops down below it. I was surprised at the cool climate. Some worshipers and day trippers had thought ahead and packed picnic lunches to enjoy here. The well manicured lawns, beautiful flowers, and many shrines made for a perfect afternoon relaxation spot. One local kid wearing traditional Hindu attire even tried his luck at fishing for some of the small minnows swimming around the lake temple. This place goes on the 'must see' list for anyone heading to Bali.

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