• Temple Pura Kehen

    This impressive temple can be reached after ascending 38 stairs. The old banyan tree and
    large trees surrounding it, create the unique feature of this ancient complex.

  • Meru

    Throughout Bali you can find workshops where carpenters are preparing all kinds of
    objects for the temples, such as these two 'meru'.

  • On their way to...

    You know you are approaching a beautifully decorated temple if you see a group of
    colorful dressed women walking along the road balancing baskets with offerings...

  • Temple carvings

    Temples are always decorated with numerous stone carvings. It's a never ending job since
    each village have at least three.

The mystical setting of Pura Kehen in Bangli

Pura Kehen is located north of Bangli and it is the state temple of the Bangli kingdom. This temple is often described as the miniature version of the Pura Besakih. Like the mother temple, this temple has 8 terraces and it is built on the southern slope of the hill.

Built in the 11th century, the Kehen temple is the biggest temple in East Bali and considered to be the finest as well. The temple complex is amid palm tree plantations which create a mystical atmosphere...


statues pura kehen bangli ubud


Kehen means household or fireplace and symbolizes the fire god, Brahmen who protects the temple.

Because it is an one of the most important temples in the region, many religious ceremonies take place here. It is a colorful sight to see the women carrying large fruit offerings up the stairs and during these ceremonies also different types of dances take place which are typical for the Bangli region.

Before entering the temple you are expected to dress accordingly: legs should be covered and you have to wear a temple-scarf around the waist. If you are wearing shorts you can rent a sarong for a small donation, together with the temple scarf.

In front of the temple there is a booth where you can get a sarong and the Balinese man standing there is more than willing to answer any questions you have about the temple.

stairs to temple kehen bangli ubud
The impressive temple terraces


You must climb up the steep 38 stairs before you reach the beautifully decorated entrance of this mystical temple. On both sides of the stairs there are  guardian statues of wayang-figures taken from the popular Ramayana story.

When you arrive at the entrance the first thing you see is the courtyard, which is shadowed by a huge banyan tree. This tree creates a nice cool climate and is considered sacred by the Balinese.


pura kehen bali meru
The smaller meru are for the gods to rest when they visit the temple


Passing through the second courtyard of which the walls are covered with old Chinese porcelain, you enter the jeroan. This is the most holy courtyard of a Balinese temples. Here the 11 roofed meru dominates the courtyard. This meru is dedicated to the god that protects the temple.

On both sides you will notice more tiny merus, in which mountain gods are able to rest when they visit the temple.


meru pura kehen bali
The highest meru at the temple


A throne located in the north part of the courtyard is less obvious, but nevertheless very interesting to see. This stone carved lotus throne is dedicated to the three Hindu gods Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu.

The carvings are really exceptional for a Balinese temple. The turtle and the snake wrapped around on the base of the shrine symbolise the underworld. The other carved figures represent Hindu figures, such as Shiva with his son Ganesha and Durga.

Don't forget to walk around the shrine to see all the remarkable carvings

throne pura kehen ubud bali
Beautiful carvings on the lotus throne


Pura Kehen is easily reached from Ubud as it is located just 40 minutes north. If you are doing a day trip to the eastern part of the island then you are very likely to pass it as well. You will have wonderful rice field views during your journey to the temple.

Home > Sights in East Bali > Pura Kehen

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