• Crystal clear water at Uluwatu Beach

    Surfers come to Uluwatu to tackle the highest waves of Bali. Not a surfer? You can still jump into the tropical water for a wonderful swim too.

  • Rice fields of Bali

    Travel through Bali and be amazed at the beautiful rice fields. From fresh green seedlings
    to yellow plants ready for harvest.

  • Temple Ulun Danu Bratan

    Visit temples at the most beautiful locations: perched on a cliff, located in sea, at a lake or
    right in the shadows of the mystical Mount Agung.

  • Colourful Baskets

    The Balinese are preparing religious offerings every day. Whether it is for the small daily offerings or for big temple ceremonies. Everywhere you will see women balancing
    colourful baskets on their heads full of offerings.

Enjoyable stone carvings at the Buleleng temples...


The Buleleng temples are located in the North-East of Bali in the Buleleng region. This region is known for its quiet farmer villages, black beaches and its beautifully decorated temples. Some of Bali's finest temples are found here.

When you drive around the island you might see there are some differences between the temples in the south and north of the island. The reason for the big difference is the type of stone from which the temples of Buleleng are built.

 

the buleleng temples in north bali
Beautifully carved out of volcanic sandstone

 

In the north there is availability of volcanic sandstone, which makes carving easier.

Sandstone has enabled the Balinese craftsmen to sculpt all kinds of decorations in the temple walls some of which are very complex, such as three-dimensional demons.

The wall sculptures are traditional pictures of daily or religious stories; however the Balinese love caricatures which has resulted in many funny depictions as well.

 

dutch caracters at the beji temple in north bali
Dutch colonists with music instruments

 

There are even carvings that show how life was not so long ago: boats of the Dutch occupier being attacked by sea monsters or their airplanes falling from the sky and, funny but true, sculptures of fat Europeans.

After a closer look you can see that many of these stone carvings are very detailed and show real complicated craftsmanship.

The most amazing and funny temple decorations can be found in Sangsit, Jagaraga, Kubutambahan and Yeh Sanih.

 

funny carving at the pura dalem near pura beji in north bali
Funny depiction at the Pura Dalem

 

All these villages are located on the east side of Singaraja and are easy to reach, whether you travel by public bus or with your own transport.

In Sangsit you can find the Pura Beji. This temple was built in the 15th century during the highlight of the Majapahit and is considered one of the oldest temples in Bali.

The Pura Beji is a subak temple, which means that it is dedicated to the goddess Dewi Sri who protects the irrigated rice fields. This temple if fully decorated with wall sculptures of demons, snakes and devils.

 

offering at the beji temple in north bali
Pura Beji, dedicated to the goddess Dewi Sri and one of the
oldest temples in Bali

 

Not far from this temple is another one that is worth visiting. At the Pura Dalem you can see wall sculptures of scenes of punishment in the afterlife. These stories are humorous and erotic which are meant to scare away demons.

The unusual Pura Maduwe Karang is located in Kubutambahan. This temple is “the temple of the landowner” and here the gods are worshiped to ensure successful harvests of crops on un-irrigated lands.

 

pura maduwe karang temple in north bali
Monico, my sister and me at the Pura Maduwe Karang

 

The temple is one of the biggest in Bali and it is often said to be one of the nicest as well. Like the other temples, the wall sculptures are really nice to see.

The most famous wall sculpture is of a Dutch man riding a bicycle with wheels of flowers. The cyclist is W. Nieuwenkamp, a famous Dutch painter who in the 20th century cycled around the island.

 

nieuwenkamp painter on bicycle in north bali
The painter Nieuwenkamp on his bicycle at the Pura Maduwe Karang

 

If you are travelling along the coast of North Bali than you should try to stop at least at one of the temples in the Buleleng regency to see the beautiful and surprising carvings in the temple walls.


Home > North Bali Sights > Buleleng Temples

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