So to the dreamy Ulun Danu, a pretty pagoda temple situated on this lake in northern Bali, Indonesia. I had seen postcards of it before I went there and was intrigued.
There was an entrance fee of 10,000 Rupees to enter. I was there with my Brazilian mate Rodrigo as part of a day long tour of the area in and around Lovina in North Bali. We got to Ulun Danu around 10.30 am.
The walk down to the temple was dreamy, misty and windy. It reminded me of a few places I had been before: Lake Taupo in New Zealand, Tailuga in Taiwan and parts of the Inca Trail in Peru.
A path to the side with gardens and a stupa shaped dome. This was to be a Hindu Temple in fact, of the Shiva variety.
Odd entrance arch.
Translations into English are often not great in Indonesia and I laughed at a few of these. Ladies are forbidden to enter during their period and general mis-spellings such as Pleace instead of Please.
The actual name of the temple is Ulun Danu Beratan, and it is on Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul.
Close up of the sign.
These mini pavilions on the walk down had white and yellow ribbons round them. I am not sure why – I think our guide suggested either some kind of recent religious blessing. I had assumed renovation work!
And so to the gorgeous Lake Bratan. You know these are beautiful special places when you go there. As the mist and clouds gaped over us, the calm waters splashed on the shore and a breeze accompanied our walk to the front of the temple.
Lake Bratan in its quiet, reserved glory. I liked the fact there weren’t many tourists about.
View of Lake Bratan. A temple on the water means they pay homage to the Hindu Goddess of Water at the venue.
There was a small settlement across from us. There are not many boats on Lake Bratan but tours are available and I’m sure fishing is a common pastime in the area.
The small village, probably called Bedugul sits lonely and quiet overlooking the lake.
Boating options. It was clearly low season.
More yellow and white banners. Clearly not for renovation then!
A smaller pavilion style temple on the water’s edge.
And the stunning centre piece – Ulun Danu. It suddenly reminded me of Lotus Lake in northern Kaohsiung in Taiwan.
I was actually expecting Ulun Danu to be bigger and that you could walk inside the temple and even walk to the top. I had been spoiled in Taiwan a few years earlier when the temples were all massive and you could walk to the top.
This group of trees have been preserved. Possibly for religious reasons. Possibly for the love of nature.
Relaxing at Ulun Danu. A peaceful place.
My Northern Ireland flag turns up at Ulun Danu.
Ulun Danu itself sits on a small separate island. Access is actually forbidden which came as a surprise – or maybe just when we were there. It didn’t take away anything from the beauty all around us.
A model of a frog. We saw a lot of real frogs too.
Apologies for the blur in the middle of these photos – the camera I had at the time had clocked up some miles and was scratched in the end. Ulun Danu sits against a quite spectacular backdrop here.
View through some pretty flowers.
Both the temples against a misty, cloudy sky. That day’s weather included torrential rain, mist, cloud, wind and baking sunshine. Four seasons in one day if ever there was a day to represent the phrase.
A large concrete fish sits inside the temple complex too!
Sitting on the fish. I’m not actually a big fan of fish or seafood despite having tried almost every creature that lives in the sea. Get me a bacon and cheese toastie and a cup of tea any day!
Pedalos are also available to take a wee trip out on the lake. Sure, it would have been nice, but this was only a one week holiday off work and we weren’t staying in the area so time was a bit more pressed than it could have been. It was also low season.
Probably the best view of Ulun Danu from the same side. Honestly this part of Bali is amazing countryside. I would recommend staying up in the hills and valleys near the temple area. We just didn’t have the time for that so we moved around a lot on the 4 days we spent on the island.
Time for a picnic? Perhaps not in January but come July this place must be buzzing.
The walk back through pretty gardens. Nothing special actually. No new trees or wildlife of great interest.
The view across into the misty hills.
A restaurant with a view. For another time perhaps. There is always a tinge of sadness when I travel, as I know I miss things out, don’t get time to do things and pass by places with the knowledge of “you know what, I won’t be here again”. Ulun Danu was one of those moments.
Tiger, leopard, I don’t know what but animal statues line the gardens.
OK so there were some nice trees on the way out. These ones swaying in the wind. The rain and wind had added to the beauty of Ulun Danu and it was time to bid another farewell, to another place, in this lifetime.
Where – Lake Bratan, Bedugul, North Bali, INDONESIA (http://wikitravel.org/en/Bedugul )
What – Ulun Danu Temple, a Hindu Temple on Lake Bratan
Nationalites Met – Indonesian
Who Went – Rodrigo Godoy Coelho, Jonny Blair
Many Tourists – Certainly Not
Cost – 10,000 Rupiah (about 64 pence)
Key Song –
WATER TEMPLE MUSIC (just Perfect!):
My Videos from backpacking in Bali-
ULUN DANU PART 1:
ULUN DANU PART 2:
ROADSIDE MONKEYS ON THE DRIVE IN:
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