Friday, January 30, 2015

Up into northern Bali to visit the famous 'floating' temple

Today a two hour drive took us to the northern part of Bali. Once we passed the urban areas there was field after field of rice paddies. Men and women were tending the rice, backbreaking work. Later we saw a couple of people fishing for eels in the rice paddies.

Eventually, we arrived at our destination, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, one of the biggest temples in Bali. It is located 1200 meters above sea level. It is a popular spot for locals and tourists. The temple is often called the Floating Temple because the reflective surface of the lake surrounding the temple makes it look like it is doing just that. It was built in the 1600s.

The landscape is stunning with beautifully manicured gardens filled with colorful canna lilies. Passing through the gates we immediately noticed the Balinese architectural Qfeatures and the towering tiered shrines. The temple complex is home to three mainshrines, 11-tiered, 7-tiered and three-tiered, dedicated to the worship of the gods Wisnu, Brahma and Shiva. It seemed like a good spot for a picnic or even a whole day's outing.

We continued to climb higher and higher. We took a quick roadside stop to admire the scenery at a spot which had a very large and quite ugly lizard standing on a box. But beside this there were two huge bats unlike anything you have ever seen hanging from poles. Disgusting.

The animals at the next stop were much nicer and they were everywhere, monkeys large and small. I fed the monkeys small bananas. Of course the leader of the troop would sidle up and grab a couple of the bananas from the basket. The other monkeys had more manners and would wait for you to hold out the banana. I felt sorry for one very young monkey with the most expressive little face, who was too scared to come and take a banana. He scavenged everyone's leftovers. There were monkeys on walls lining the road grooming each other, while others were soaking up the sun.







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