As one of Bali’s nine directional temples, Uluwatu Temple (or Pura Luhur Uluwatu) was built and founded for the primary purpose of shooing away evil spirits from the island. It is one of the only three directional temples that are included in most package tours in Bali. Located high on top of a cliff, Uluwatu Temple is believed to house Bhatara Rudra, the Balinese god of the elements and cosmic forces. Uluwatu Temple is found 250 feet above the Indian Ocean at the southern end of Bali. Being set on top of a black coral rock, this architectural wonder of a temple is one of the oldest temples in the island. It is beautifully designed and blessed with a spectacular view of the ocean. Uluwatu Temple is one of the islands many ascension temples (meaning they are set on a high place), which include Tanah Lot Temple, the Bat Cave Temple, and Goa Lawah. All these ascension temples (or Pura Luhur) are built in auspicious locations overlooking a large body of water.
Ancient Pura Uluwatu was founded by the Javanese Hindu priest, Empu Kuturan in the 10th century. He also founded a nearby shrine and other religious structures along the same coast. In the 15th century, Dhang Hyang Dwijendra, a well known figure in Balinese Hindu history as a greatly revered pilgrim priest, decided to make Uluwatu Temple his final abode on earth. This priest is also popular for having established the Hindu-Dharma religion’s present form. He is also credited for having designed many major temples all over Bali. According to legends and historical records, while meditating in Pura Uluwatu, the priest Dwijendra achieved oneness with the godhead and blazed in a flashing light. This ecstatic state is called “moksa”. [Read more…]