Friday, June 14, 2013

Uluwatu– Bali’s temple at Cliff’s Edge

A stunning location. A beautiful temple that you can only see from the outside unless you pray in the local style and follow local traditions. A set of rowdy monkeys that steal tourist’s belongings. And the cliff’s edge and the lovely Indian Ocean view. This is how I would describe Uluwatu, one of South Bali’s main hotspots and also home to a temple that is on the edge of a cliff and that faces the Indian Ocean.

Uluwatu Temple at Cliff's Edge, Bali, Indonesia
It is famous for is lovely sunset views, but as with any equatorial country, the sunsets are very unpredictable and depends on how lucky you are. But, in spite of that the sunset is the main draw here and tourists ensure that they reach as early as 3 pm. The entrance ticket is about 15,000 rupiah and if you are wearing short dresses, the temple authorities will give you a full length sarong to help obey temple traditions.

Cliff view at Uluwatu, South Bali, Indonesia
It is just a short walk from the ticket counter to the temple, but the views are spectacular. The wide cliff with the sheer drop is very spectacular. But even better is the sound of the waves ramming against this cliff. Amidst all this awe at nature’s construction, be aware of the naughty macaques that are known to steal your ear rings, sun glasses, hats, bags and more and they only give it back when you exchange it for some food. Apparently, these monkeys are trained by the temple staff to do such naughty things. In most cases, you can get your belongings back by paying the temple priest some money and he in turn would bribe the monkey with some fruit or food items.

A Kecak dance performance taking place at Uluwatu, Bali
As the sun sets and nature’s vibrant views disappear into the darkness, the man made cultures and traditions of Uluwatu can be seen through the Kecak dance, a fire dance where the music is provided for by the mouths of the artists and their feet. The modulation and synchronization of voice is so good that this ends up being a captivating performance. The entrance fee to this show is 70,000 rupiah and the show starts at 6 pm sharp along with sunset and lasts one full hour amidst vibrant sound and drama. Uluwatu is one place that you will end up visiting if you are in South Bali. Such is its charms.

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