Pura Lempuyang Temple is one of the six most important sanctuaries in Bali and should be top on your Bali itinerary for many good reasons. Whether you want to explore Bali’s spirituality, religious customs or simply want to take the most epic photograph at the Lempuyang Gates of Heaven, I’ve got you covered! Keep reading to find out all you need to know to have a seamless visit to this epic monument.
Check my awesome 10 Days in Bali Itinerary for more inspiration.
Lempuyang Temple Tour
If you’re interested in getting to most scenic places in Bali and taking the most epic shots from your trip, all wrapped up in a one day tour then check out this Instagram Highlights tour including Lempuyang Temple, Tirta Gangga and a visit to Jungle swing, Tukad Cepung Waterfall and Tegallalang Rice Fields. A day packed with awesome spots and a great way to see them all if you don’t have enough time to organise it yourself.
Alternatively, if you prefer more private tour, then check out this combo – Lempuyang Temple, Tirta Gangga and Besakih Temple all in one-day hassle-free.
How to visit Pura Lempuyang Temple
Lempuyang Temple is located on the eastern side of Bali, 86 km from Kuta area and around 70 km from Ubud where most people decide to stay in Bali. You may think it’s not far but distances in Bali are completely different which I learnt the hard way. The roads in Bali are narrow and the traffic can be very heavy. So, the 80 km that should take 1 hour, takes in Bali 2 hours but also can easily turn into 3-4-hour journey. Having that in mind, I recommend combining visiting the temple with other points of interest in Bali.
For example, if you’re staying in Kuta you could stay in Ubud for a night or two and then continue to the east and combine Bali Lempuyang Temple with Tirta Gangga which is located in the same area. Tirta Gangga is also called the Water Palace and it’s also a very interesting place to visit. The spot is quite touristy, the good sides of that are numerous cafes where you can take a break. The garden is really pretty and if you’re into getting an Insta worthy shot, go ahead and take one in the middle of the pond with some massive fish swimming around you (if you feed them that is)!
After visiting the temple, you can stay in Amed. You have two options, either chill out in this cute coastal town and come back to your area the next day or take a ferry to the Gili Islands, which I recommend doing! Read on for best places to stay in Amed.
Best Places to stay
After your visit I recommend staying in Amed which is a pretty little coastal town, only 30 minutes drive from Lempuyang. You can chill out on a black beach here and go back or continue to the Gili Islands.
This hotel is situated right on the Amed beach where you can mingle with the locals and watch the fishermen go about their day. Stay in one of the Balinese style cottages with outdoor bathrooms. And relax with free yoga classes daily or go snorkelling, because the waters are teeming with fish of all kinds. The hotel has also got an onsite restaurant with delicious food, which is reasonably priced.
This is the hotel that I chose to stay in. It was located slightly further away from Amed centre and it was very quiet. There was a nice pool overlooking the ocean. My room had a small terrace with a sunset view over the sea, which was beautiful. There was a really good hotel restaurant, even guests from different hotels seem to be coming for a special seafood dish. There was also a very good free breakfast in the morning and the hotel sold ferry tickets to the Gili Islands, which was convenient.
The property is conveniently located close to some good restaurants, shops, diving and snorkelling centres and 3 km away from the busy Amed centre. It’s a great budget option with free WIFI and free breakfast. The hotel rooms are built on the hill so you can get some spectacular sunset views from your terrace. The highlight of the hotel is the infinity pool with some great vistas of the sea.
About Temple of Lempuyang Luhur
Pura Lempuyang Temple also known as Pura Penataran Agung is the second most ancient temple in Bali and is a part of six most important Bali temples, also called the pillars of Bali.
This Hindu Temple sits on the top of Mount Lempuyang in the eastern part of the island. It is an active place of religious worship and all Balinese people aim to visit all six main temples in their lifetime. For this reason, it is important to be respectful and follow the modest dress code and behave with regard.
The Gates of Heaven at Lempuyang Temple is one of the most instagramable places in Bali. The temple is overlooking Mount Agung which can be capture between the gate for an epic photo. If you’re lucky you may see steam coming out of Mount Agung which will make your visit even more memorable.
The temple is situated on the hilltop and there are 1700 steps to climb to reach the temple. It is a rewarding hike especially with a fresh mountainous air a lush forest which is so different from other parts of Bali. However, if hiking is not your thing, it is also possible to park at the very top of the temple.
Pura Lempuyang Temple is actually a part of the 7 temple complex and if you have the time, you can hike them all. The hike takes 3 hours and it takes you through some interesting local villages.
Lempuyang Temple Location
Temple Lempuyang is situated on the eastern side of Bali in Karangasem on the top of Mount Lempuyang. It’s 86 km from Kuta area which should take 2 to 3 hours’ drive depending on traffic which can be quite bad in Bali. From Ubud its’s 70 km and a slightly shorter drive – around 2 hours.
The temple is also located in close proximity (30 minutes drive) from Amed, the coastal town with good snorkelling and also where you can take a ferry to the Gili Islands.
Other points of interests include Tirta Gangga (the Water Palace) only 10 km away and Besakih Temple, known also as the Mother Temple, 90 minutes drive from Lempuyang.
How to get to Lempuyang Temple from Ubud
Unfortunately, public transport doesn’t really exist in Bali but there is at least 3 other ways to choose from to get to Pura Lempuyang.
Hire a scooter
To get from Ubud to Lempuyang Temple, you can rent a scooter. It should cost around 60k IDR to get a motorbike for the day and you will also need some petrol money. This option is great if you’re an experienced scooter driver as roads in Bali, especially around Lempuyang can be challenging. The drive should take around 2 hours one way.
Hire a driver with a car
Another option is to pay for a driver to take you there in their car. This alternative is great if you’re not that confident with motorbikes or if you want to get to Lempuyang for the sunrise or sunset. You can also create your itinerary and let the driver take you to other places you’re interested in. Just ask your hotel to recommend you a driver. This should cost around 900k IDR for 8 hours.
Take a tour
If you prefer to have everything organised for you, check out this Instagram Highlights tour which will take you to Lempuyang Temple, Tirta Gangga and some other cool, instagramable places!
Temple Entrance Fee
The temple fee is a donation so, in theory, you can decide how much you want to gift. In practice, you may be told that a minimum donation is 10k IDR.
There is a 5k IDR parking fee for your scooter or a car.
Another 10k IDR will be required to rent a sarong. Before my visit I read up on this and came prepared, wearing a long dress. However, on the entrance they still wanted all non-Indonesian visitors to wear their sarongs. So, no matter what you wear, you’ll be expected to pay 10k IDR and wear their traditional sarong.
Due to the number of tourists queuing for the photo at the Gate of Heaven, some locals are helping to speed up the process. This is a great news if you’re travelling solo but still want to take this scenic shot! Don’t forget to tip the poor chap that is sitting there and taking photos for everyone!
Lempuyang Temple Photo Trick
You probably wonder how the Instagram famous photo at the Gates of Heaven is taken? Well, Lempuyang Temple mirror reflection is achieved with a small mirror! There is no water in front of the gate so please don’t be disappointed.
Instead, there is a group of young local boys that help visitors in creating this image! Everyone gives them their phones and one guy takes various photos of every single person. The other guys hold an umbrella and are assisting him. Oh yes, it’s a mass photoshoot production! They don’t take any money for it but it’s only fair to tip them for their photo-taking skills.
Even though the reflection is a trick and it is a bit of a tourist spot, the scenery is undeniably grand and I can’t see how anyone can be disappointed by it.
Best time to visit
Since the photo of the Gates of Heaven at Pura Lempuyang has become super famous on Instagram, the place is a major touristy spot. The temple can get rather crowded with people wanting to take a photo. If you don’t care about that, you can visit any time.
If you rather had more intimate experience or want to get there first for the photo, I recommend getting there at sunrise before the temple official opening time. That is before 7 am. You could arrive the previous day, stay in Amed overnight and get to Lempuyang Temple first thing in the morning. The advantage of this option is fewer people and good morning light for the photos.
Another good time for your visit is sunset time. Most people will be returning to their hotels by late afternoon so the temple should be less crowded. And in addition to that, you can experience an epic sunset over the Mount Agung. The thing to consider while choosing this option is that you’ll be coming back to your accommodation in the dark. The roads leading to the temple are steep with many twists and turns so if you’re planning to visit on a scooter, the sunset time may not be the best choice for you.
Other things to know before your visit
• The official opening hours are 7 am to 5 pm.
• Dress code- Pura Luhur Lempuyang is a Hindu Temple, so you will be required to cover your knees and arms. You can rent a sarong (you also may be required to rent it no matter what you wear) for 10k IDR and they will also give you a small scarf to cover your shoulders.
• No kissing or showing other type of affection at the temple grounds is allowed.
• Women during their menstruation are not allowed in the temple grounds. They are considered impure.
• Respectful behaviour is expected. This applies in particular during a religious ceremony. If you happen to visit at that time, be quiet and take photos from a distance not to interfere with the local customs.
• Drones are not allowed within the temple complex
• These are common sense but not harm in repeating it. Don’t climb statues, tread on small offerings on the ground and don’t enter areas that say not to enter.
What to expect at Pura Lempuyang Luhur
Lempuyang Temple is an active place of worship and one of the most important temples in Bali but at the same time a popular tourist point of interest.
You’ll find that the place is busy with foreign visitors and locals alike. There are plenty of shops where you can get a drink, food and use a toilet.
If you arrive during the day, you may need to queue 2-3 hours for your turn to get a photo taken at the Gates of Heaven. As much as it’s an epic shot, please don’t feel obliged that you have to get one. But if you decide that you must have one, try arriving as early as possible to avoid queuing for hours.
Be respectful and enjoy the experience.
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