Bali has become lately one of the most visited place of Asia, a relatively large island situated in the Indonesian archipelago surrounded by other 18.000 heavenly pieces of land, each of them picturing unique landscapes, cultures and beliefs.
But what makes Bali so special is the Hindu culture, in the Muslim dominated country of Indonesia, where shrines and temples are rising in each corner of the street and carefully chosen offerings are dedicated to Gods every morning.
Burned incenses and palm leaves beautifully ornate with flowers of different colors represent the Balinese way of praising the Gods for the peace given to the world.
You will be surprise to find out that Bali has over 20.000 Hindu temples built on the main island but also in remote places as far as the ocean itself.
We arrived atTanah Lot just before the sunset, trying to capture the most beautiful moment of the day not only in pictures but also inside of the heart, the place where the memories last forever. A crowd of people is trying to find the best spot, waiting for the almighty Sun to settle down behind the rock, a place rich in history and veiled inmysticism.
Discovered 500 years back by an important Hindu priest who was traveling to Bali spreading his beliefs, the rock is in present one of island’s most important landmark for the offshore setting and the sunset backdrop.
The legend says that the priest was not well welcomed by the locals therefore he decided to break the rock apart from the shore, keeping it guarded by poisonous snakes that can be seen today hidden inside of dark cracks around the island.
This is by far one of my favorite temples of Bali a magical place best seen at the sunset. Beside the shrines overlooking the unbounded ocean, the cliff formation along the coastline it is an amazing sight and it stretch as far as the eyes can see.
Don’t miss the dark volcanic beaches with their waves constantly crashing against the rocks which offers a beautiful photography opportunity.
The gates of Heaven
Passionate about traveling, photography or instagram? This is the place where you want to be. One of the oldest and most highly regarded temples of Bali, Lempuyang temple it’s opening the gates of heaven for you. Located 1775 m above the sea level, the temple of the thousand steps offers a breathtaking view over the surrounding mountains.
We arrived at the Gates of Heaven early in the morning after more than 2 h drive from Ubud, trying to avoid the crowd but with no great success. Hundreds of people are queuing patiently waiting their turn for a picture, that sometimes can take as long as few hours.
A “professional” team of photographers set up their camp right in front of the gates trying to satisfy the travelers requests by adding a “special effect” to their pictures. With a small mirror they ingeniously create a reflection of the gate which is often mistaken for a river. They take their job seriously and work under any meteorological conditions, giving indications and advices for a great shoot in exchange of a small donation.
As you are visiting a sacred place always pay respect, wear appropriate clothes and do not talk or laugh loudly. A traditional cloth, Sarong, is required before entering the temple and your shoulders must be covered. The locals outside are always ready to give you a hand but don’t forget its not a gift and must be returned before you leave the temple.
Lempuyang temple its not only adored by the seeker of fame but also by the local worshippers being consider one of the six sanctuaries of the world which according to Balinese beliefs provide spiritual balance to Bali.
We refresh ourself with a well deserved beer before departure right outside the temple’s gates, ready to continue our spiritual journey through the sacred side of this exotic island while more and more visitors hypnotized by the mesmerizing view of Heaven are climbing in rush the difficult road to the top.