The temple of Pura Ulun Danu Batur belongs to the type of Balinese water temples. It is the second most significant temple in Bali after the complex of Pura Besakih, located at Mount Agung. "Pura" means "temple" in Balinese, "ulun" means "head" or "source," and "danu" means "lake." Therefore, the name of the temple can be translated as "Temple of the Lake Source Batur." The word "batur" itself, which became the name of the volcano, village, and lake, translates as "pure" or "spiritually pure."
Pura Ulun Danu Batur is located on the edge of the outer caldera of Mount Batur, in the village of Batur, overlooking Lake Batur. The sanctuary is dedicated to the god Vishnu and the goddess of lakes and rivers, Dewi Danu. She is the goddess of fertility, rivers, and lakes, one of the main revered figures in Balinese Hinduism.
Lake Batur, along with the lakes Bratan, Buyan, and Tamblingan, are the most important water sources for agricultural fields in Bali.
Initially, the temple was built at the foot of Batur on the southwest slope. Nearby was the village of Karang Anyar. In 1917, a strong eruption occurred, causing much destruction and loss of life, but the lava stopped at the temple walls. Local residents considered this a significant sign and decided to leave the temple in its place.
During the eruption of Batur on April 21, 1926, the Ulun Danu Batur temple and the village were completely destroyed. The village was covered in lava, and about 1500 residents perished. Only one eleven-tiered pagoda of the goddess Dewi Danu survived. Therefore, it was decided to relocate the temple higher, to the edge of the outer caldera, where it stands today.
The new temple was constructed in the same year. The last significant eruption of Batur occurred in 2000, but it was not destructive.
Pura Ulun Danu Batur is a temple complex consisting of 9 temples and 285 altars, shrines, and other temple structures. It is a space enclosed by walls and divided into three zones like any other Balinese temple.
also known as Jaba Pisan, is the outer zone where the entrance to the temple is located. Madhya mandala, or Jaba Madhya, is the middle zone of the temple. Utama mandala, or Jero, is the innermost zone, the most sacred. In it stands the Padmasana, an 11-tiered shrine dedicated to the god Shiva and his consort, the goddess Parvati.
The main temple of the complex, Pura Penataran Agung Batur, consists of five courtyards with Balinese multi-tiered pagodas: one 11-tiered and three 9-tiered.
One of the pagodas in the northwest corner of the temple complex is dedicated to the patron of trade named Ida Rat Ayu Subandar. It was built by order of King Jaya Pangus.
King Jaya Pangus was married to a Chinese princess and built a small pagoda for her in the Batur temple. After the reconstruction of the temple complex following the volcano eruption, a Chinese pagoda was also built within it.
The colorful and intricately painted stone figures of guardian demons and dragons, summoned to protect the temple, are also very interesting.
From the temple, there is a beautiful view of the lava fields, Lake Batur, and a panorama with Mount Batur, Mount Abang, and Mount Agung.
In all Balinese temples, it is customary to enter wearing sarongs and tying a sash around the sarong. If you have your own sarong and sash, you can use them. If not, local residents may offer to sell or rent them to you for 5,000 rupees. Some tourists complain that they are told about the necessity of using a sarong and sash only after purchasing the temple entrance ticket and are offered to buy sarongs for 200,000 rupees. Please negotiate regarding appropriate attire and clothing prices before buying the entrance ticket to avoid unpleasant surprises.