Bali’s City & Sites Info – M thru R

Mas – According to mythology, Pedanda Sakti Bahu Rauh, the first Hindu priest who come to Bali, settled in this village. Many of the Brahmans concentrated in Mas claim descent from this famous priest. In the 13th century, the founders of the village built a large temple to please the ancestors. The Brahman class became so influential that the whole community came to share in the festivities of the temple, as they are still do today in Pura Taman Pule built up on the same site. In the olden days, the fine arts of woodcarving and painting were reserved exclusively for the royal and religious purposes. Nowadays, they are also produced for fun and commerce. Men of every caste are artisans and the particularly talented live in Mas. Don’t be surprised when you visit an art shop to find a core of wood carvers busy making statues, a carver select his seasoned block of timber, then shapes the rough from with an axe. With mallet and dozens of small chisels, the carving is incised with ornaments, and finally smoothed. The sculptors begin young. The most expressive carving is often done by boys of twelve years. As a craftsman says: “young boys have no worries in life, they just carve”.


Mengwi – Eighteen kilometers northwest of Denpasar city, this small village has a glittering history as the capital of a powerful 17th century kingdom and is the site of an important temple from that era. The once great realm of Mengwi arose with the weakening of Gelgel in east Bali around 1650.
The most splendid remainder from Mengwi’s former glory is indisputably the Pura Taman Ayun. This is probably the largest existing Balinese house temple, built in the middle of the 18th century by Mengwi’s greatest king. The temple is surrounded by a wide moat that gives impression of a sanctuary in the middle of a pond. The waters are a symbolic place of contact with the divine through celestial nymphs who bath in the pond. It is a state temple to worship the ancestors of the royal dynasty of Mengwi kingdom.


Menjangan is the most beautiful, unspoiled coral reefs in Bali are located off the coast of Menjangan island. Comprising hundreds of species of coral, these reefs extend 100 to 150 from the shore, then drop 40 to 60 m down to the ocean floor. Menjangan and the nearby mainland are excellent places for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. To reach Menjangan island, hire a boat at Labuhan Lalang, just opposite the island on north coast of Bali.

Munduk – It is the central for coffee and clove plantation on the island. The area around here has been explored by archeologists who have found evidence of a 10th to 14th religious and administrative center on the shore of the lake Tamblingan, ancient Chinese ceramics near Munduk and a copper inscription in Gobleg describing a mountain kingdom in the area as early as the 8th century. With an excellent 500-meter walk down through the coffee and clove plantation you reach a mighty waterfall. The falls are high, powerful and a far better option than the falls at the more famous Gitgit waterfalls. It is a quiet, peaceful and pleasantly landscaped spot. A great opportunity to have a great shower and feel it’s natural massage under the great falls.

Nusa Dua is Bali’s modern tourist resort area with some 5 star hotel resorts and golf courses as well as shopping centers and upscale restaurants. A government run dreamland of coconut palms, white sand beaches and pristine waters located near the island’s southernmost tip. Geologically, the area is quite different from the rest of the island. The climate here is also drier than the rest of Bali, freshened by a mild ocean breeze.

Pacung is between Ubud and Bedugul, stop for a breathtaking panorama of rice terraces.

Penelokan (lookout) is the best place to enjoy the breathtaking views of Batur Lake between the huge backgrounds of the mountains of Abang and Batur. If you want to climb mount Batur, the best time is in the early morning so you can enjoy the sunrise from the top. Any later in the day and it becomes to hot to walk. The beauty of its caldera truly beggars description. Visitors can also take a look at the beauty of crystal clear water of Lake Batur and mountainous areas.

Pura Beji
see… Singaraja

Pura Bukit Sari
see… Sangeh

Pura Dalem Sidan is an incredible temple of the dead drips with gruesome carvings and statues of the terrible Rangda squashing babies, while the Kulkul, the alarm drum tower graphically depicts the punishments that await evildoers in the afterlife.

Pura Dalem von Jagaraga
see… Singaraja

Pura Gunung Kawi
see… Sebatu

Pura Kehen
see… Bangli

Pura Luhur Batukau
see… Batukau

Pura Luhur Ulu Watu is poised 825 feet above the Indian Ocean. The temple is carved from the enormous limestone rock upon which it sits at the farthest edge. Ulu means head, watu means rock and luhur implies heavenly, ancestral, original and transcendent all at once. It was here that Dang Hyang Nirartha the Javanese high priest, who brought a renewal of Hinduism to Bali in the 16th century, achieved the conscious death called Moksa. Legend said that the temple was built by Mpu Kuturan in 11th century and then rebuilt several hundred years later by Dang Hyang Nirartha in anticipation of his release there.

Pura Meduwe Karang is located at Kubutambahan village about 12km east of Singaraja north Bali, dedicated to Batara Meduwe Karang (The Lord possessing the ground). The temple ensures divine protection for crops grown on dry land. It’s built on a spectacular scale, well-maintained ground and frangipani trees with great figures of Ramayana epic on the terrace of the front, the central courtyard is decorated with carvings of Balinese folk, elderly people, mothers with babies and toddlers. The most unique carving of the temple is the one on the base of a large rectangular links three central shrines in the inner courtyard, of a cyclist wearing floral shorts with a rat about to go under the back wheel, apparently being chased by a dog. The cyclist might be the Dutch artist WOJ Nieuwenkamp who first visited Bali in 1904 and exploring the island by bicycle.

Pura Ponjok Batu is very much related to the sacred journey of the Javanese Hindu priest Dang Hyang Nirartha in the 16th century. Ponjok Batu came from the word Ponjok means small projection and Batu means stones. According to the story, while sitting on a small projection of stones to admiring the great view of the sea and composing a bit of poetry, suddenly he saw a wrecked ship below with dying crews. With his holy magic Dang Hyang Nirartha healed the crews and bid them to drink the holy water that suddenly appeared in the rock. The local people noticed that the rock where the priest was sitting on shone with a magical light and built a temple there.

Pura Taman Ayun
see… Mengwi

Pura Tanah Lot – Tanah Lot, one of the most popular places of interest in Bali, is located on the coast of West Bali, at the village of Beraban in the Tabanan Regency. It is also called Tanah Let which means ancient land and also Tanah Lod, which means the land to the south.

The temple Pura Tanah Lot was built in around 16th century by the priest Dang Hyang Nirartha. Simple in it’s construction, is dramatic in it’s ocean-front location and is one of the main temples in the worship of Balinese gods.

Tanah Lot has a long history in the world of tourism. The temple itself is built on a small promontory which is only accessible at low tide. During high water the rock takes on the appearance of a large boat at sea, such is its shape. Poisonous snakes live in the nearby caves to ‘guard’ the temple and contribute to the temple’s dangerous reputation.

Sunset is the best time to visit Tanah lot, when the golden red skies frame the temple and waves crash into the rocks.


Pura Tirta Empul – This holy spring temple dates from legendary times. In popular folklore, God Indra made it when he pierced the earth to create a spring of amerta, the elixir of immortality, with which was able to defeat the atheist demon-king Maya Denawa. The waters here are believed to have magic curative powers. Every year people journey from all over Bali to purify themselves in the clear pools. After leaving a small offering to the deity of spring, men and women go either side to bathe. On the full moon of the fourth month each year, the villagers from nearby village take sacred stone to be cleansed at Tirta Empul. The weathered inscription on the stone was deciphered and it gave the date of Tirta Empul’s foundation as 962 AD and described the cleansing ceremony. For a thousand years these villagers had been abiding by this tradition without having been aware of the meaning incised on the stone. In 1969 the temple at Tampaksiring was completely renovated. Many of the shrines were built anew and painted in bright colors.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
see… Bedugul

Pura Ulawatuis one of Bali’s six directional temples and Uluwatu’s only site of significance. More remarkable than the temple itself is its location, perched on a steep cliff 70 meters above the roaring ocean waves. There are more steep headlands on either side, and sunsets over Uluwatu are a sight to behold. Note: while you are free to walk around the edges of the temple, the central courts can only be entered during special rituals. The temple is inhabited by large number of monkeys. Keep a very close grip on all your belongings and stow away your eyeglasses if at all possible.


Putung is a small village on the east of Bali where we can enjoy a great view overlooking the snake fruit cultivation as well as the ocean.