Lempuyang Temple or Pura Lempuyang Luhur is one of Bali’s oldest and most venerated temples, on par with Besakih (the ‘mother temple’ of Bali). The temple is also believed to predate the majority of Hindu temples on the island. A highlight on any travel itinerary for the fit and adventurous, the main temple lies at 1,175 metres above sea level, on the peak of the namesake Mount Lempuyang in East Bali. The heights are reachable via a steep staircase of over 1,700 steps, with attractions along the way that include several other temples and hordes of grey long-tailed macaques that inhabit the surrounding cool mountain forests.
After an approximate 2-hour climb, the Lempuyang Temple welcomes weary pilgrims with a spectacular view and a calming place of respite. The temple itself is smaller compared to the Penataran Agung, but there is a more mystical feel about the setting and calmness. Prayers ensue with refreshing holy water sprinkled by the priest which soothes body, mind and soul
Highlights of Lempuyang Temple
While avid hikers will love the blend of mountain scenery and cultural highlights that Bali’s eastern region has to offer, those unwilling to take on the ascent up to the peak at Lempuyang can still enjoy the splendid views at the grand Pura Penataran Agung temple at the foot of the mountain. It’s the first to come into view on the pilgrimage and offers an impressive sight with its towering dragon staircases – perfect for photos. The best views are higher up the stairs, where you can see all across the green forested slopes and to neighbouring Mount Agung, Bali’s highest peak and home of Besakih Temple.
Getting to Lempuyang Temple
The heights are reachable via a steep staircase of over 1,700 steps, with attractions along the way that include several other temples and hordes of grey long-tailed macaques that inhabit the surrounding cool mountain forests.
Visit to the Pura Lempuyang Temple is no entrance fee required, however just small donations which collected by local villager to maintain and cleaning the area. Motorcycle taxis operated by locals can take you up where the asphalt ends at the Penataran Agung (for a negotiable fee). They are convenient for those who wish to start their climb quicker, shortening walking times from the parking area. After enjoying the views at this first stop, the main site of Lempuyang Temple is still another thousand-and-a-half-or-so steps up – slightly intimidating for most visitors.
Even so, the locals believe that pilgrims with a heavy heart will never make it to the top. To the locals themselves and many devotees making the trip, this adds to the spiritual aspect of the climb.
What to Expect at Pura Lempuyang Temple
On the slopes of Mount Lempuyang sits Pura Lempuyang Luhur, otherwise known as Lempuyang Temple. This is one of the key nine directional temples on the island of Bali, where you can find the famous Gateway of Heaven and grants spectacular sunset views at dusk as it is situated high on the mountain slope. There are two sections to the temple, a lower level and an upper level. The latter is worth the climb up the seemingly infinite staircase – this is definitely a temple with a view. Beside the famous Bali Gateway to Heaven, Pura Luhur Lempuyang presents another unique mystery.
A Pelinggih named Tirta Pingit (Secret) is located between the clumps of bamboo that grow on the top of Pura Luhur Lempuyang. There are only 3 groves of bamboo that grow in that place. From the clump of bamboo, the Pemangku (Priest) of Pura Tirta Lempuyang Luhur gets Tirta (Holy Water). And then gives it to pemedek (people who perform the ceremony or prayer) as well as tourists who pray. To get the holy water or Tirta, the priest (Pemangku) will cut a piece of bamboo and from within the cut bamboo comes out the holy water for Tirta. And strangely, the bamboo has never stopped growing even though it is cut very often