Pura Lempuyang Temple In Bali: Gates Of Heaven & Volcano View
The Pura Lempuyang Temple in Bali has become internet famous, thanks to the epic ‘Gates of Heaven’, which look like a picture frame for the sky and the Mount Agung volcano.
Aside from being one of the most prized Instagram photo spots in Bali, the Lempuyang Temple is also considered one of the island’s oldest and most revered temples.
It’s definitely worth a visit even if you aren’t an Instagrammer, and there’s more to see in this Bali temple than just the heaven’s gate.This travel guide will explain how to get there, and everything you need to know before you go!
Pura Lempuyang Temple
Lempuyang Temple sits on the steep slopes of Mount Lempuyang in Bali, with great views of the Mount Agung volcano in the distance, framed by a famous stone gate (dubbed the ‘Gates of Heaven’).
Sadly, the great view also means it draws crowds of tourists every day. There’s a queuing system now, and unless you get lucky, you may have to wait 1 hour or longer to get pictures taken at the gate here. It’s crazy.
If you’re seeking peace and quiet, the good news is that there are other temples in the Lempuyang complex (7 total) that you can visit by hiking further up the slope, and they aren’t crowded. They also have great views of the Agung volcano too, although not quite as iconic as the first gate.
If you do the full loop hike to all the temples it takes several hours, but the main temple with the famous gate and stairs is just a 5 minute walk from the parking area at Pura Lempuyang.
When I first visited Lempuyang as a solo traveler in 2017, it was completely empty except for a few locals. I was the only tourist! The social media effect has changed things rapidly.
We came back to Lempuyang during the 2020 Corona virus pandemic (when the Indonesia borders were closed and tourists were mostly gone from the country), and it was another rare opportunity to enjoy the temple without crowds.
Lempuyang is considered one of Bali’s most sacred Hindu temples, and I think it’s one of the most photogenic too. Even the stairs (above) are great for photos.
The Mirror Trick
You’ve probably seen pictures of this place on Instagram showing the gate and clouds with a perfect mirror-like reflection (the ‘Gates of Heaven’) over what seems to be water.
I hate to break it to you, but there is no pool of water here. Those reflection pics are all trick photos done with a pocket mirror. An ingenious local guy sits here all day and takes the same picture for everyone that comes through.
Still, that doesn’t make the photos look any less amazing, in my opinion! I say go for it, but consider giving the guy a little tip if he helps you take lots of nice photos.
Starting in 2022, a new shuttle bus system is being used at Lempuyang to help with crowding and traffic on the steep, winding roads.
The parking lot at the temple doesn’t have enough space to fit more cars, so this was the best solution, although it does add an extra cost to visit the temple sadly.
The shuttle via minibus costs 50k Rupiah for a round trip journey (i.e. 25k Rupiah each direction). It’s a short ride, only about 5 or 10 minutes.
Best Time To Visit
If you want the very best photos, you’ll want to come to Lempuyang before sunrise, when the Mount Agung volcano isn’t hidden by clouds yet.
There will already be lots of other tourists at that time, so you’ll need to arrive well before sunrise, probably around 5 or 5:30 AM. The Lempuyang Temple opens for visitors at 5:30 AM.
If you’re not so interested in photography and you’d rather just avoid the crowds and still get some good photos, then the best time to visit is in the afternoon, when most of the Instagram crowds have already left.
In the past, there was no entrance fee for Lempuyang Temple and you could just give a small donation of your choosing instead.
Starting in 2022, the entrance fee at Pura Lempuyang is now 55k Rupiah per person, which includes a sarong and the locals will also help you with taking photos at the iconic gate. Tips are optional, but might still be a good idea if the guy helps you take lots of nice photos.
Keep in mind, there’s also a new charge for using the shuttle bus to the parking area, which costs 50k Rupiah roundtrip. This is paid on top of the main entrance fee.
As you can see, the Lempuyang Temple is certainly not very cheap anymore by Bali standards, but I suppose that’s what happens when a place gets too crowded.
How To Get There
Lempuyang Temple is located in Karangasem, in the far eastern corner of Bali, Indonesia.
The best place to base yourself for this is the Amed coast, since it’s only a 30 minute drive to Lempuyang. If you start from touristy places like Ubud and Canggu in south Bali, it’s a full 2 hour drive to Lempuyang.
Keep in mind the last part of the road to Pura Lempuyang is steep and winding, so take it easy!
More Bali Temples
Looking for more information on the best temples in Bali, Indonesia?
Check out my Bali Temple Guide for a complete list with photos, maps, and more!
Bali Private Driver & Motorbike Rental
If you want to explore Bali in the comfort and safety of a private car with an English speaking driver, my top recommendation would be GetYourGuide.
Their price is 650k Rupiah ($45 USD) for a full day of driving and sightseeing in Bali (up to 10 hours) for 1-5 passengers. That's the total price for the whole car + driver + petrol! It's a great deal. They also offer affordable hotel transfers from the airport.
If you'd rather travel by motorbike, they have that too. Their scooter rentals start at 140k Rupiah (~$9) and include a helmet, rain coat, and free delivery in the south Bali area.
We've used GetYourGuide for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they're great! Highly recommended.
What To Wear To Temples In Bali
You’ll need to wear a sarong to enter most temples in Bali, including this one.
A sarong is a traditional skirt you tie around your waist, that can usually be rented on the spot for a small fee like 5,000 Rupiah (less than a dollar).
In this case, the sarong is included for free in the ticket price for the temple.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at Valomia Beachfront hotel on Amed Beach for 265k Rupiah (~$18 USD) per night and loved it. We got a clean double room with cold A/C, good WiFi, and a very comfy bed.
Best of all, the hotel is located directly on the beach near the good restaurants, massage places, etc. When you walk out the door, you're literally standing on the beach staring at a volcano!
Prices may fluctuate from time to time, so just keep an eye out for a good deal.
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