Uluwatu Temple: A Balinese Marvel perched on Cliffs

Perched on the edge of steep cliffs, overlooking the vast Indian Ocean, Uluwatu Temple is one of the most iconic landmarks in Bali. Also known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu, this temple is revered not only for its religious significance but also for its stunning location which provides a magnificent view, especially during sunset.

What To Expect

Uluwatu Temple is an architectural gem. Built with black coral rock, the structure is a testament to traditional Balinese architecture. The intricate stone carvings and ancient sculptures narrate tales from Hindu mythology. As you wander through the temple complex, you’ll witness a ‘kecak’ dance performance which is a unique Balinese dance drama enacted by a circle of performers.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Uluwatu Temple is during the late afternoon, just before sunset. The views of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean from this vantage point are simply breathtaking. However, this is also the busiest time, so expect more crowds. If you prefer a quieter experience, visiting in the early morning is advisable.


Uluwatu Temple has historical roots dating back to the 10th century when the sage Mpu Kuturan first established it. The temple was further expanded in the 11th century by Empu Dwijendra. According to Hindu beliefs, the temple is one of the pivotal directional temples meant to protect Bali from evil spiritual influences.

Unique Dance Performance: Kecak

The Kecak dance performance at Uluwatu Temple is a must-see. This traditional Balinese dance is unlike any other. The performance is accompanied by a chant-like ‘cak’ sound, created by a chorus of around seventy men. The dance portrays a fragment of the Ramayana, a Hindu epic, and the atmosphere, especially against the backdrop of the setting sun, is truly magical.

Travel Tips

  • Respect the Temple Rules: As a place of worship, visitors need to adhere to the temple rules which include modest clothing and proper conduct.
  • Beware of Monkeys: The temple is home to mischievous monkeys. While they can be entertaining, avoid any interaction that might provoke them.
  • Sunset Views: The temple provides a spectacular view of the sunset. Make sure to secure a good spot in time, as it tends to get crowded during this hour.

Uluwatu Temple not only offers a spiritual journey but also a visual feast of traditional Balinese art and architecture. The setting, with waves crashing below and sun setting on the horizon, adds a mystical allure. Don’t miss the chance to witness the unique Kecak dance and embrace the spiritual aura of this sacred temple.