Bali is full of Hindu temples that are unique in architecture and structure. The traditional Hindu religion in Bali is also unique and it is a real part of the Balinese daily life and culture. A visit of one of the thousands of Hindu temples is essential when visiting Bali. It is fascinating and gives an insight into the local culture. As the temples are holy places of worship, it is important to show respect and to observe certain rules during a temple visit.

1. Wear a sarong and sash

Above: local boys wearing an udeng on the head for a temple ceremony.

Inside a Hindu temple both men and women need to wear a sarong that covers the legs. These can often be hired at popular temples, together with the sash that should be worn around the waist.

If you visit several temples during your stay, it's a good idea to buy a sarong of your own. They are not very expensive and can be a nice souvenir of your Bali-trip.

If attending a ceremony, the rules are more strict: then you should wear the following:

Lacy blouse, sarong and sash for women
Sarong, over-sarong, decorative tissue on the head (called udeng) and white shirt for men.


2. Cover your upper body and upper arms

Tank tops and singlets, exposing bare shoulders, are not considered appropriate for a visit to a temple. Visitors are required to cover at least the shoulders and upper arms before entering a temple. If you wear a long sleeved shirt it is even better as it shows more respect.


3. Don't enter a temple if bleeding

If you have an open wound or injury you should not enter a temple.

Menstruating women and women who have given birth in the last 6 weeks are also not allowed to enter temples as are pregnant women.


4. Point your feet away from the alter

Feet are considered unclean in Bali, hence you should not point them to shrines or holy objects. In the temple, men will sit with their legs crossed and women kneel while praying.


5 Stand lower than the priest

It is considered disrespectful to have your head higher than the head of the priest, so be careful not to cause offense.


6. Make a donation

In temples you will not have to pay an admission fee for the visit. However a small donation is expected from visitors. There is no fixed amount, however Rp. 10,000 per person is a good guideline.


7. Respect the local culture

Use your common sense. Be quiet, calm and respectful. The Balinese welcome visitors of all religions and are happy to share their traditions and customs, so treat them and their traditions respectfully.


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