There are over 20,000 Hindu temples in Bali. Some of the major ones are open for the public, especially tourists. A visit to one of the thousands of temples is essential when visiting Bali as it will give you an insight into the authentic Balinese Hindus culture. Balinese are more than happy to welcome you to visit their temples, but you need to remember that temples are religious and sacred places. So, there are some rules you need to be aware of before visiting it.
Like many worshipping places, dress modestly is an easy way to show respect 👚 Both men and women are required to wear a sarong that covers legs until below the knee. The shoulder and upper arms are also needed to be covered – it means that no tank tops, singlets, bikini, and crop top. If you don’t have a sarong, don’t worry! Locals usually rented it or are included in the ticket price at most temples.
Pic cr: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
Avoid pointing your feet to the altar
Feet are considered as an unclean part of the body in most Asian cultures, including Bali 🦶 For this reason, men sit with their legs crossed and women kneel while in prayer.
Pic cr: travelbyinterest.com
Avoid the temple if you are bleeding and pregnant
Due to ancient beliefs, menstruating women and women who had just given birth are not allowed to enter the temple 🩸 Even though most Balinese are respectful of others’ privacy, don’t be surprised if a local ask you directly whether you’re menstruating or not. Men and women with open wounds are also not allowed to enter temples. Additionally, women who are more than six or seven months pregnant should not enter the temples.
Pic cr: thejakartapost.com
Avoid using drone
There are absolutely no rules and regulations against carrying a drone into Bali but, when it’s done at temples, it usually distracting tourists and also locals while in prayer with their buzzing sound. Just use a regular video camera to capture the magnificent Balinese culture 📹
Pic cr: travel.resourcemagonline.com
Stand lower than the priest (Mangku)
The priest or Mangku will be sitting at an altar during prayers. Don’t try to sit next to him or stand higher than him as it is considered offensive and disrespectful by Balinese 🙅
Pic cr: ritzcarlton.com
Respect the local culture
Remember that you’re in a holy place and use your common sense 🙏 Don’t interrupt any religious processions, don’t step on offerings in the streets, and act calmly and don’t lose your temper.
Pic cr: clickprophotographers.com
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Pic cr: thisiscoco.com
Meneguzzi, J. (2019). Your essential guide to Bali temple etiquette. Retrieved from https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/bali-temple-etiquette/
Bali – Balinese Traditional Clothing and Etiquette. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.marariversafarilodge.com/bali-balinese-traditional-clothing-and-etiquette/
Pic was taken by our guide Suandi on our ‘Mt. Batur to Ubud’ trip