Uluwatu Temple and Kecak Dance
Pura Luhur Uluwatu is a famous cliff-hanging temple that clings to the southernmost tip of Bali on the Bukit Peninsula. With sheer cliff faces falling 70m directly onto the pounding surf of the Indian Ocean, the dramatic surrounds of this temple are only heightened at sunset by the nightly kecak folk dance.
Uluwatu Temple dates back to the 11th century and is situated at land's end to protect from evil spirits. Made from black coral rock, the tiered shape of the sea temple has a dramatic contrast against its precarious location and creates the most amazing silhouette at sunset.
The entrance to the ancient Hindu temple is through an archway decorated with statues of the Hindu elephant deity Ganesha. Behind the main pagoda is a statue said to be of the founding priest, Dwijendra, as well as a shrine shaped like the boat he arrived in. Despite its age, the temple has well-preserved stone carvings and has undergone several restorations to preserve its history and unique location.
Access to the inner temple is for Hindu worshippers only, and you’ll need to dress in respectful attire when you visit. Another unusual attribute of Uluwatu Temple is its animal inhabitants. The grounds of the temple are home to a troop of mischievous monkeys and warning signs abound to ensure you keep your belongings safe and away from swift simian hands.
But really, this site is all about the view. Sunset is best admired from two vantage points to the north and south of the temple. The kecak or monkey dance is also performed nightly between 6 and 7pm at Uluwatu Temple.
The popular Balinese dance performance relays excerpts of the Ramayama legend though elaborate costumes, hypnotic chants and a fiery finale. Tickets to the kecak and fire dance are IDR100,000. Entry to Uluwatu Temple is IDR20,000. Many tours include this site on their itinerary or to visit on your own, the temple is an hour's drive south from Kuta.