- Mount Agung
Mount Agung is not only the tallest and one of the most majestic volcanos in Bali, but it is also honored by the Balinese as the dwelling place of the gods—especially Mahadewa, the supreme manifestation of Lord Shiva. The people on the island also believe that Mount Agung is the replica of Mount Meru—or Mahameru—, which is the sacred five-peaked mountain that is considered to be the center of the whole physical, metaphysical and spiritual universe. Because Mount Agung is one of the most sacred places for the Balinese Hindus with mystical properties and a challenging landscape, hiring a local guide is highly recommended. Please note that before hiking begins, the guides and the locals will pray in one of the mountain temples. As cows are considered sacred beings, bringing beef in any form is prohibited. Also, be mindful of the signs and do not enter places you’re not supposed to.
- Besakih Temple
This temple is the largest, the most important, and the holiest temple for the Balinese Hindu. It is also called the Great Besakih Temple or the Supreme Holy Temple. Located on the jungly slopes of the sacred Mount Agung, Besakih has been used as a Hindu place of worship since 1284 and is now the center of religious activities for the whole island. The temple is open to the public, however, some parts are strictly reserved for religious activities. Every year at least 70 ceremonies take place here. Visitors entering the temple are required to wear clothing that covers the chest, arms, and legs. Also, note that women are prohibited to enter while menstruating.
- Ulun Danu Batur Temple
Ulun Danu Batur Temple was dedicated to the god Vishnu and the goddess of the lake, Dewi Danu. The name Ulun Danu translates to lake source, to pure or spiritually clean. In 1926, when the sacred Mount Batur erupted, wiping out a whole village—including a mighty temple—, miraculously the temple’s most vital shrine remained intact, the 11-tiered Meru roof dedicated to Danu, the goddess of water. This incident is said to manifest the temple’s high spiritual importance to the locals who depend on the water goddess to bless their fields.
- Trunyan Village
Located on the eastern shore of Lake Batur in Bangli Regency, this village is known for the way they treat dead bodies. The locals put them openly on the ground, only covered with cloth and bamboo canopies and then leave them there to decompose. This special practice is not found anywhere else in Bali, most of the Balinese Hindu cremate the dead bodies. The ancient Banyan tree—known as Taru Menyan— emits a scent that neutralizes the smell of rotting bodies which are also called Trunyan.
- Ubud Monkey Forest
This monkey forest may be subject to a widespread hype, but it is hype-worthy! The tropical jungle, hundreds of friendly monkeys, the ancient architecture and overall peaceful ambiance in the heart of Ubud are some of the reasons why. More than just a monkey forest, the area also houses three holy temples—the main temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Holy Spring Temple dedicated to goddess Gangga, and a cremation temple also serving as a place to worship of Lord Brahma Prajapati. The temples are open only for religious activities yet visitors get to appreciate the beautiful architecture. The trees species in the forest are significant for Balinese spiritual customs, many are regarded as sacred and are often used during religious rituals.