Attractions in Ubud
Ubud is the cultural capital of Bali offers a lot to satisfy its visitors ranging from Balinese dancing and gamelan music to art galleries, carving workshops and Hindu Temples, the island’s cultural capital has plethora to suit every nature seeking tourists.
Monkey Forest Sanctuary
This is not the only place in Bali where monkeys are treated as sacred beings, but definitely the most visited one. Situated at the southern end of Monkey Forest Road, this is central Ubud’s most popular attraction and a real child pleaser. It is a lush forest featuring an inspiring Hindu temple but the main attraction is a large population of mischievous macaque monkeys.
Keep a close eye on all belongings as these cheeky primates are expert thieves! Stock up on bananas at one of the grocery stores in town as the sellers at the main gates charge grossly inflated prices. Due to its vicinity to Ubud, at only 2km, it is easily reachable on foot. (Monkey Forest Road, open daily 08:00 to 16:00, admission rp30,000)
Elephant Cave ( Goa Gajah)
Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave is located in the southwest of Bedugul Village, next to Yeh Pulu Relief, 6 km around from Ubud. Known only to local villagers and the bats during centuries of neglect,the cave was revealed to the public in 1923. The bathing place was discovered and restored only in 1954 during archaeological investigations done by Mr. Krijgsman. It become filled in and temple build upon it, which have to be moved to its present site. The spring and pond there have given the temple its name “pura taman”
Carved into the stone above the cave entrance is a massive face with bugling eyes and high arched eye brown. The eyes glance towards the west or the left as you face the cave. The large eras ornaments do not necessarily indicate a female face, for male royalty also wear such ornaments. This figure represents Boma (some tiems also called Kala or Sanskrit:kittimukha) and it is probably the earliest representation of this figure in Bali.
Pura Tirta Empul (holy waters)
One of the more mesmerizing spectacles in Bali can be found at Pura Tirtha Empul, built in the 10th century. Here, enclosed inside the walls of the temple, is a holy spring, which marks the source of the Pakerisan River. It boils up through black sand in a hypnotizing way. No bubbles are released, and the surface of the water stays relatively still. Many Balinese travel to bath in these waters for their curative powers. They believe Indra, a Hindu God that pierced the earth at this location to create the holy waters, built the spring. Indra wanted to revive his soldiers that had been poisoned by the demon king Mayadanawa.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
One of the most spectacular rice field terraces is Tegallalang area, just about 15 minutes drive outside of Ubud. Surrounding gorge full of rice fields has over the years attracted many photographers who captured its images on film and photos. Overtime Tegallalang rice fields became an attraction in itself.
Even though a lot of rice fields surrounding Ubud have been converted, terrace rice fields still remain the most popular feature of Bali landscapes. Most of them have been created around 9th century and engineered by the Balinese themselves using water coming from the mountains. The result are step, garden like terraces designed on hillsides and mountain edges with irrigation channels that keep them wet all year round. This spectacular terraces is in Jalan Raya Tegallalang, Ceking, North Ubud and about 15 minutes drive from central Ubud.
Tegalalang countryside is located at 5 km northern part of Ubud Village and own the magnificent view of rice terrace. The rice terrace is designed very beautiful with exquisite hollowing rice field and precisely located on the hill bank. In this place, you will see the Balinese farmer do their rice field in oblique area complete with its system irrigation. You will enjoy the beautiful panorama of valley with rice terrace and coconut trees ornament it. Tegalalang Rice Terrace is one of the tourist icon in Ubud Bali and many visited by tourists every day.
Gunung Kawi (meaning ‘carving in the mount’) is a 10th century Hindu temple complex located in Gianyar regency. To explore the entire site, descend the 300-step stone stairway leading to a beautiful valley where you will find ten seven-metre-high memorials carved into the rock face.
Four can be found on the west side and five on the east side of the river, while to the south across the valley lies another. According to legend, these ruined temples are the memorial shrines of the king’s concubines and his family. These days, Gunung Kawi sanctuary is still used for ritual ceremonies and locals gather periodically to offer the usual gifts and to pay homage to God, the ancient king, and his family. Gunung Kawi is located at Tampaksiring north east of Ubud.
Bali Zoo protects some of Indonesia’s finest species, as well as other countries’ exotic animals including Siamangs, a gigantic crocodile, Komodo dragon (the largest lizard in the world, growing to an average length of two-three metres), deer, kangaroos, reptiles, tigers, primates and various kinds of birds such as Bali starlings, peacocks, cassowaries and cockatoos.
The Zoo will take you on a virtual jungle tour to take a closer look at the animals and admire the lush tropical flora and gorgeous setting. For an unforgettable experience, make sure you arm yourself with a camera before you head out, to capture an amazing moment while you and your family feed, ride and cuddle the animals, with no additional charge.
Puri Saren ( Ubud Palace)
Puri Saren is an Ubud King Palace where it is used as a governance center in the empire era. You can see the beautiful houses building that are designed with Balinese traditional style and full of wood carving decorates it. The luxury Entrance Gate (Candi Bentar) and dressy ancient house building are decorated by the fertile tropical garden. This Palace is right located in the hearth of Ubud Village and aposite to the Traditional Art Market.
Antonio Blanco Studio
A short distance west of the town center, in a splendid tropical garden, is the house and studio of one of the best known painters on Bali, Antonio María Blanco. Blanco, arguably the most famous and successful artist to ever live in Bali, built his magnificent studio on top of a mountain overlooking the Campuan River The pictures displayed in the house – many of them for sale – give an excellent overview of Blanco’s varied artistic activity. The house, which was presented to the artist by the son of a Balinese prince, is now the headquarters of the Blanco Art Foundation.
Bali Bird Park
Entering the Bali Bird Park mean stepping into a world of the most exquisite and unique species of birds that some of us Westerners have only seen in colorful textbooks and albums.The park is divided into parts of Indonesia, where each has a recreated habitat with natural plants and species of birds characteristic for those regions. Expect to see endangered species of birds from Bali – the Bali Sterling, exotic birds of Papua, fantastic Javan Hawk and Serpent Eagles, parrots, flamingoes, storks, pelicans and arrays of others. In the East Indonesia section you can meet not only birds, but also the extraordinary Komodo Dragon, a direct descendant of the dinosaur, rarely seen in captivity. The park, is in Singapadu, Gianyar, Bali, 15-20 minutes drive from central Ubud.
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