Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, or Pura Bratan, is a major Hindu Shaivite Shiva temple in Bali, Indonesia. The temple complex is on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul. The water from the lake serves the entire region in the outflow area; downstream there are many smaller water temples that are specific to each irrigation association (subak).
The temple complex
In Bali, Hindu temples are known as “Pura”, being designed as open-air worship places in walled compounds. The compound walls have a series of intricately decorated gates without doors for the devotee to enter. The design, plan and layout of the holy pura follows a square layout. A typical temple is laid out according to ancient Lontar texts with three courtyards separated by low walls pierced by ornate gateways. The outer courtyard is for secular pursuits, with pavilions used for meetings, resting performers and musicians at festivals. Food stalls are set up here during festivals. The middle courtyard is a transition zone between the human and divine sections; here offerings are prepared and temple paraphernalia are stored. The inner courtyard is the site of the shrines and religious ceremonies. The shrines are known as merus and are square structures with brick bases and multiple pagoda-style thatched roofs; the number of roofs reflects the status of the deity, but is always an odd number. Pura Ulun Danu Beratan is one of the nine ‘Kahyangan Jagat’ temples that are located across the Indonesian Hindu island Bali. The temple complex consists of five various shrines dedicated to other Hindu gods as well.
Built in 1633, this temple is used for offerings ceremony to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu, due to the importance of Lake Bratan as a main source of irrigation in central Bali. The 11-storey pelinggih meru in the complex is dedicated to Shiva and his consort Parvathi. Buddha’s statue is also enshrined in this temple. This temple is also called the “Bali temple on the Lake” because it looks as if it is floating when the Bratan river water rises.