Photographer's Note

Ulun Danu temple is without a doubt, one of the most picturesque temples in Bali. The Hindu temple (against the imposing backdrop of Gunung Bratan) was constructed in honor of Dewi Danu, goddess of the sea & lakes, in the lake that was formed by a volcanic eruption 30,000 years ago.

The setting of the temple is quite mind blowing as we went around the compound. It’s actually built on small islands, which means it is completely surrounded by the lake. Both pilgrimages and ceremonies are held here to ensure that there is a supply of water for farmers all over Bali. The gates of the temple compound were however closed for visitors. The water of the lake was crystal clear and we could literally count the stones in the lake bed. Mist and clouds hung around Gunung Bratan creating a magical atmosphere.

The temple is located on the west bank of Lake Bratan. The name Ulun Danu, literally means "the beginning of the lake". It actually means that everything that exists around the lake will have the orientation to the temple site.

The temple complex has a three-tiered meru dedicated to Dewi Danu, goddess of the sea and of lakes. Another meru with eleven tiers is believed to be dedicated to Dewa Pucak Manu. Current pavilions, shrines and basements at the site have been newly renovated and no historical facts can be used to trace the history of the temple. The only source to disclose the history of the temple is a chronicle of Mengwi kingdom, a manuscript now available at Bali Museum, in Denpasar…and from that we can approximately think that the approximate year of the Ulun Danu temple is 1634 AD.

The main shrine seen in the picture is an 11 tiered meru, which is considered to abode Mt. Mangu. Mt.Mangu is stated in the manuscript, as the abode of Wishnu or Dewi Danu.

I took this shot with the Canna flowers in the FG. Mist almost perpetually hangs around in the background of the temple on account of the altitude of Gunung Bratan, which actually creates a good backdrop.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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