Posted by Bali Suta on 29 October 2015, last update 29 October 2018
Uluwatu Temple is located on the very step valley on the west of Pecatu Village, in the district of Kuta, Badung Regency, about 30 km from Denpasar. It can be reached by car, but the road are still rather steep.
Uluwatu Temple perches on the south-western tip of peninsula, where heer cliffs drop precipitously into the clear blue sea - the temple hangs right over the edge! You enter it trough an unusual arched gateway flanked by statues of Ganesha. Inside, the walls of coral brick are covered with intricate carving of Bali's mythological menageries. But the real attraction is the location - for the good angle, especially at sunset, walk around the cliff to the left (south) of the temple. Watch out for the local monkeys, which for some reason like to snatch spectacles and sunglasses, as well as handbags, hats and anything else they can get.
Uluwatu is one of the several important temples to the spirits of the sea to be found along the southern coast of Bali. Way back in the 11th century of Javanese priest Empu Kuturan first established a temple there. The temple was added to by Nirartha, another Javanese priest who is known for seafront temples, like Tanah Lot, Rambut Siwi, and Pura Sakenan. Nirartha retreated to Uluwatu for his final days, when he attained moksa, or freedom from earthly desires.
There is story about Hindu priest from Java called "Dang Hyang Nirartha" or "Pedanda Sakti Wawu Rauh", full of mystical episodes from the time of his arrival until is disappearance in Bali. One of Hindu teachings is the same as other religions that concern the world after death or the "hereafter" this world is contrasted into two polarization such as Eden garden and hell. For the devotee, a promise of all goodness and happiness are there which is called "Sorga" in the tradition of Hindu in Bali it is said that the "Sorga" is undeceived by words, and unduplicated with picture. Where truth is an absolute, and body is embraced into it, so it only exist "enlighten". But one can not enter the Sorga with worldly body except their holy spirit when he/she during the life had completes duties and behaved as indicated by religious teaching. The other way can reach Sorga by the way called "Moksa". It is not quiet clear what is actually meant by the world "Moksa". Many assumption arose. One thought is body sublimation, that one who was reach his stage of Moksa disappeared in the world without living his/her physical body. This stage can only be reached with a several body control on sense while developing knowledge by meditation or hermitage. Others though that when person dead, their spirit become one with the absolute being, and will not experience rebirth (Sanskrit : Samsara) anymore. Since life is basically a punishment of sains and misdeeds of their past life (Sanskrit : Punarbawa).
So, actually based on the last teaching human being during his life is stirred to do the good thing Dang Hyang Nirartha is believed the one that have reached such stage, and he accomplished his Moksa on a spot of land which is believed to be sacred place. In this sacred place than was built a temple called Uluwatu. That was why the place has been considered a very special place by the king in the past.