Pura Luhur Uluwatu is a Balinese sea temple in Bali. Built in the 11th century, it is one of nine directional temples meant to protect Bali from evil spirits. It is located in Pecatu village, Kuta South District of Badung Regency of Bali. The temple is regarded as one of the sad kahyangan and is dedicated to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in his manifestation as Rudra.
History and etymology
The temple (pura in Balinese) is built at the edge (ulu) of a 70 meter high cliff or rock (watu) projecting into the sea.In folklore, this rock is said to be part of Dewi Danu’s petrified barque
Though a small temple was claimed to have existed earlier, the structure was significantly expanded by a Javanese sage, Empu Kuturan in the 11th Century. Another sage from East Java, Dang Hyang Nirartha is credited for constructing the padmasana shrines and it is said that he attained moksha here, an event called ngeluhur (“to go up”) locally. This has resulted in the temple’s epithet Luhur.
The temple is inhabited by monkeys, who are notorious for snatching visitors’ belongings. They can usually be persuaded into trading the items for fruit, although this only encourages them to steal more.