Lempuyang Temple locally known as Pura Luhur Lempuyang is one of Bali’s oldest and most highly regarded temples. It is also believed to predate the majority of Hindu temples on the island, and the six holiest places of worship on Bali.The entire landscape looks very picturesque from this temple gate, and that gate also known to the western world as "The Gates of Heaven". The gates and its temple located in the eastern part of the of Bali within the highlands of Mount Lempuyang, which sits at a cool 1,775m above sea level.
The whole complex complex that is made up of seven different sanctuaries, this temple offers visitors one of the most breathtaking views from any of the temples in Bali.
Pura Lempuyang Temple History
The word “Sad” was derived from Sanskrit word means “six” and “Kahyangan” means “place of Gods.” Hence, “Sad Kahyangan” could be translated into “six places of Gods.”
The establishment of places of worship around Mount Lempuyang is believed to predate the majority of Hindu temples on the island of Bali. The temples of Mount Lempuyang, represented by Pura Lempuyang Luhur, the highest temple in the area, is grouped one complex of temple which represents the Pura Sad Kahyangan Luhur Lempuyang. The temple groups are considered as part of the Sad Kahyangan Jagad, or the "six sanctuaries of the world", the six holiest places of worship on Bali. According to Balinese beliefs, they are the pivotal points of the island and are meant to provide spiritual balance to Bali. The temple groups of Mount Lempuyang is also one of the group of temples in Bali known as Pura Kahyangan Padma Bhuwana.
Each of the temple in the Pura Kahyangan Padma Bhuwana marked each of the eight cardinal directions. Pura Lempuyang Luhur represents the direction of east (purwa) and the color white. This direction is associated with the domain of Balinese the god Iswara.
2. Lempuyang Temple Location
Pura Lempuyang Temple located in Banjar Purwa Ayu, Tribuana village, Abang Subdistrict, Karangasem regency, Bali, Indonesia. Lies on top of Bisbis Hill in Mount Lempuyang 1,175 meters above sea level. There are seven temples that make up Pura Lempuyang Temple, the largest and most grand being at the very top.
Mount Lempuyang, also known as Mount Lempuyang Luhur, is one of the most sacred natural points in Bali. The distance from the city of Amlapura is approximately 22 km, northward through Tirtagangga to the village of Ngis in Abang sub-district and then turns east directly to the village of Purahayu.
3. How to Get to Pura Lempuyang Temple
Pura Lempuyang Temple located in east Bali within the highlands of Mount Lempuyang which is easily accessible from any areas of Bali. The distance around 89 km from Denpasar Ngurah Rai International Airport, or 2 hours 45 minutes by car and drive to the east via Jl. Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra. If you stay in Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Kuta, and Seminyak area you will need 2 to 3 hours to get there, and it's depending on the traffic condition. However, if you come from Ubud, it take about 2 hours and 30 minutes and drive to the east also via Jl. Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra. Is there no public transportation to Pura Lempuyang Temple, so we recommend hiring a car with driver and taking a tour of Easthern Bali to discover some popular places, like Tirta Gangga, Taman Ujung Water Palace, Candidasa, and much more.
Pura Lempuyang Temple Entrance Fee
Visit to the Pura Lempuyang Temple is no entrance fee required, however just small donations which collected by a local villager to maintain and cleaning the area. And please be respectful at all times. Wear a sarong while visiting this temple complex, and make sure bare knees and shoulders are not visible. This applies to both men and women. If observing a ceremony, take photographs from a respectful distance using your zoom lens.
What to Expect at Pura Lempuyang Temple
On the slopes of Mount Lempuyang sits Pura Lempuyang Luhur, otherwise known as Lempuyang Temple. This is one of the key nine directional temples on the island of Bali, where you can find the famous Gateway of Heaven and grants spectacular sunset views at dusk as it is situated high on the mountain slope. There are two sections to the temple, a lower level and an upper level. The latter is worth the climb up the seemingly infinite staircase – this is definitely a temple with a view.
The view from the temple is very beautiful, as you will see an amazing panorama of Mount Agung. The beautiful forest around the temple is known as the lungs of the island of Bali. To reach the temple Lempuyang, you pass the road with lots of turns and climbs. To reach the main temple, we have to climb more than 1,500 steps. The scenery along the way to the temple is very beautiful and tourists get to enjoy the refreshing cool air of the forest. A very unique fact is that one does not feel the clothes getting wet even when we pass through the clouds around us.
Beside the famous Gateway to Heaven, Pura Luhur Lempuyang presents another unique mystery. A Pelinggih named Tirta Pingit (Secret) is located between the clumps of bamboo that grow on the top of Pura Luhur Lempuyang. There are only 3 groves of bamboo that grow in that place. From the clump of bamboo, the Pemangku (Priest) of Pura Tirta Lempuyang Luhur gets Tirta (Holy Water). And then gives it to pemedek (people who perform the ceremony or prayer) as well as tourists who pray. To get the holy water or Tirta, the priest (Pemangku) will cut a piece of bamboo and from within the cut bamboo comes out the holy water for Tirta. And strangely, the bamboo has never stopped growing even though it is cut very often. You can drink the water in the bamboo reeds. It feels very fresh, but then you will only get a little bit when you pray.
Pura Lempuyang Temple Opening Hours
Pura Lempuyang Temple is oper for visitor daily from 09.00 AM to 06.00 PM, however for worship purpose it is open for 24 hours daily. The temple's unique location and spectacular views are definitely a highlight for the fit and willing. The steep and challenging climb with more than 1700 stairs will lead you to the temple almost 1.200m above sea level. The entire area around mount Lempuyang is actually one of the best to hike and enjoy a Bali, that has nothing to do with the south. To many, who are into hiking and trekking this visit is a fantastic blend of an adventurous mountain trekking experience, incredible panoramic views, and the visit of an ancient religious site.
Best time to visit Pura Lempuyang Temple
The best time to visit the Pura Lempuyang Temple is during the day before sunset, as the view is absolutely breathtaking. Or as early as possible suring the sunsrise so you can take so much better pictures with less crowded even no crowd at all.
Various locations offer stunning views of the temple, making this a very photogenic destination. Depending on the position of the sun, the light is perfect for taking beautiful photographs.
Pura Lempuyang Temple Layout
Lempuyang Temple or Pura Penataran Agung is located on the slope of Mount Lempuyang 600 metres (2,000 ft) high above sea level. Mount Lempuyang, also known as Mount Lempuyang Luhur, is one of the most sacred natural points in Bali.
The whole Lempuyang mountain was divided into three section which corresponds to the Balinese cosmology, the base of the mountain is known as Sang Ananta Bhoga and corresponds to the mount of Brahma. The middle part of the mountain is known as Sang Naga Basukih and corresponds to mount of Vishnu, while the top of the mountain is known as Sang Naga Taksaka and is considered as mount of Shiva. The sacred-most point of Mount Lempuyang is where the Pura Lempuyang Luhur is built. Pura Penataran Agung, also known as Pura Silawana Hyang Sar, is located in the middle part of the mountain; while at the base of the mountain, the Pura Dalem Dasar Lempuyang is built.
The temple compound is divided into three areas: the outer sanctum of the temple (jaba pisan or nistaning mandala), the middle sanctum (Jaba Tengah or Madya Mandala), and the inner main sanctum (Jero or Utamaning Mandala). Entrance to the outer sanctum (jaba pisan) is marked with a white-painted candi bentar split gate. Several bale (Balinese pavilions) are located in the outer sanctum, one of them is the rectangular bale gong ("Gong Pavilion") where the gamelans are stored. Another bale in this courtyard is the bale kulkul where the percussive drum to call for prayer is placed.
Entrance to the middle sanctum (Jaba Tengah) is marked with three white-painted paduraksa portals. The entrance to the left is used for entry, while the entrance to the right is used for exit. The central door is usually closed and is only opened during the pura's main festival e.g. the biannual piodalan festival. The central portal is where sacred objects, heirloom, and offerings could pass during festival time. All three flight of stairs which lead to the paduraksa portals is flanked with mythical figures of Naga. Sculptures inspired by the epic of Ramayana, e.g. of Arjuna, Bima, and Yudhistira dots the landscape of the stair climb. On the uppermost level of these is the statue of Krishna, the worldly form of Vishnu. The uppermost inner sanctum (Jero) is the most sacred courtyard of the Balinese temple. The courtyard of Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang features several meru towers and pelinggih shrines each dedicated to different gods and local deities. Several padmasana shrines in the shape of empty stone thrones, each are dedicated to the highest god of Hindu pantheon e.g. the Sang Hyang Widhi and the gods of the Trimurti.
Lempuyang Temple Hike
Pura Lempuyang Luhur, the highest temple, is the crown jewel of the complex (and also its namesake). It sits atop the mountain’s peak, which is believed to be its most sacred spot. Those who want to climb to the top temple, the return trip will take at least three hours and you’ll climb more than 1,700 stairs.
But you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view from the peak of Mt. Lempuyang. However, it’s so much more than a pretty picture waiting to be taken. On your way there you’ll pass through small remote villages, seeing a side of Bali that you won’t experience in the crowded tourist areas, and at the temple you’ll be one of only a handful of tourists, and treated like a local by the guides and priests.
Things to Know and prepared Before Visiting Lempuyang Temple
As we know when you visit of any temples in Bali, both men and women should wear a sarong, scarf or sash tied around the waist, and here are the important things you should to know before you go to Pura Lempuyang Temple;
- Wear a sarong while visiting this temple complex, and make sure bare knees and shoulders are not visible.
- Pura Lempuyang Temple is a very religious Hindu temple so any form of kissing in public is seen as scandalous.
- Don’t take photos directly in front of worshippers.
- Don’t Step Over or Tread on Offerings - Small offerings called canang sari are often left on the ground. Palm leaves are woven into a small box and flower petals herbs, money, snacks are inside. These offerings are to appease the spirits. Be careful where you’re walking.
- Any woman on her period, or anyone (regardless of gender) with a running sore or bleeding wound for that matter, is considered impure and not to be allowed into any Balinese temple.
- As long as you remember that the temple you are in is a space of reverence to the Balinese people, and treat it as such, your temple visit is sure to bring you the happiness and enlightenment you seek.