One of the most amazing, challenging, and perhaps sacred spiritual places I have ever visited is the Lempuyang Temple also known as the Temple of a Thousand Steps in the Karasagem District of Bali, Indonesia. It is a series of 6 temples dangled around Lempuyang Mountain culminating with the 7th and most auspicious temple on the top of the mountain called, Lempuyang Luhur. Here is the majestic dragon staircase of the first temple.
Lempuyang Temple also known as the Temple of a Thousand Steps because to get to the top, you must climb 1,700 steep steps to reach the 7th temple. This is the ultimate spiritual excursion. It will take determination, sometimes a little courage to take this journey. A couple of bottles of water is key. You will also need: a sarong, comfortable walking shoes, a walking stick, and a wash cloth or handkerchief (if you sweat like me...)
One of the things you have to look forward to in visiting Lempuyang Temple is beautiful panoramic views of the countryside and the monolithic and sacred Agung Mountain. These view are absolutely breathtaking. It makes you really appreciate the beauty of nature. It's awe-inspiring...really.
These beautiful stone structures are called candi bentars. They are typical gateways found in many Balinese temples. It is aimed at forming a dramatic entrance to the temple. This one is from Lempuyang Temple and is called "Gateway of Heaven," as it looks as if you are literally climbing to heaven.
While on our journey up the mountain, we encountered some long tailed gray macaque right before we reached the seventh temple. These infamous primates can be found in different places along the trail but are usually found between the 4th and 7th temples. You are advised to get a stick to shoo them away as they can sometimes get a little aggressive if you have food.
Following the rules of engagement with the monkeys will ensure that your experience is good. 1. Don't feed the monkeys. 2. Don't carry anything in your hands except for a stick. 3. Don't have any loose possessions which the monkeys can easily grab. 4. Don't look the older males directly in their eyes. Its a sign of challenge to the alpha males and may provoke an attack. 5. Don't taunt them or try to pet them. Our experience was quite pleasant. No incidents.
The Lempuyang Temple complex consists of seven temples which dot the Lempuyang mountain side culminating with the most auspicious and remote temple on the top called Pura Lempuyang Luhur. The map above lists all the temples on the mountain. Fortunately for those who don't want to take the trek to the top, the first temple will suit your needs. The first temple called Pura Penataran Agung is the largest and most elaborate of al the temples on the mountain.
Check out the video below of my visit to Lempuyang Temple