If you search the name ‘Bali’ on the internet, chances are you will see a picture of a Hindu temple on a serene lake with mountain views on the background. Yep, that is Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, often considered as the icon of Bali. The image is so popular it’s been the face of Indonesian currency, in the IDR50,000 banknotes, which happens to be the exact price of the entrance fee here.
Located at Candikuning, Baturiti, Tabanan Regency, this lake and its temple complex is one of the most popular destination in Bali. With an extremely photogenic scenery, this surrounding Lake Beratan is a great family vacation spot. There are many fun family-friendly activities in this lake and the nearby botanical garden provides a good education tourism.
Exploring the temple complex
What you often see when you search Bratan Temple is the Lingga Petak (also called Ulun Danu Bratan) with its 11 tiered roof. This temple hosts several highly sacred items, including Lingga and Holy Water). It is believed that this temple is the source of water and fertility of Lake Beratan. However, the five other temples are also interesting to explore.
The biggest temple here is Penataran Agung that serves to worship God Shiva. Dalem Purwa Temple has several fuction; a place for discussion, a place to put offerings, and the place to worship goddess Durga and Lord Rudra. Taman Beji Temple is the ritual site of purification in Balinese Hindu.
Prajapati Temple is dedicated to goddess Durga and located under a big banyan tree. Interestingly, there is a Buddhist Stupa located in this Hindu temple complex, proving a harmony and religious tolerance in this area.
Exciting family water recreation
Lake Beratan is located on a highland, meaning it has a cool climate and refreshing air. A popular family recreation spot, there are many activities you can do here. You can charter a speed boat to go around the entire lake. Pedal boating is available by renting special duck-shaped boats. If you are up to the challenge, you can even explore the lake with traditional jukung boat! Some people also fish in the docks at the shore of the lake.
Picnic and getting close to exotic animals
There is a small park in the Bratan Area, adorned with beautiful garden and several statues. Many families having small picnic in this picturesque park. You can enjoy your meal in an open air with wonderful scenery of Lake Bratan and its temple complex. You can also have your photo taken with several exotic animal like albino python, owls, giant bats, great hornbills, eagles, and many more.
Orchid and carnivorous plants in Bali Botanic Garden
Overlooking the lake, just a kilometer away from the Ulun Danu Bratan, Bali Botanic Garden offers a different experience for tourists. With an entrance fee of only IDR20,000 per person, this garden will introduce you to many interesting species of plants.
There are more than 300 species of orchid, 87 species of bamboo, hundreds of cactus and fern species, and also a collection of carnivorous plants. In a clear weather, this garden has a great views to Lake Bratan.
Lake Bratan and the surrounding area is a magnet for photographers. Many couples from all over the world decided to come here to do their pre-wedding photography. For general tourists, the area near Lingga Petak Temple can be very crowded and everyone wants to have their photo taken with the temple as the background.
Most of the times, you can’t have your photo taken without anyone else within the frame. You’d get a better luck with the picture if you come early in the morning. Next