Ulun Danu Beratan Temple of Bali is a significant temple complex which was built in the 17th century in Bedugul, central Bali. The deities of the temple are Hindu trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Lake Goddess Devi Dhanu is also worshipped here. The temple is in lake Baratan. Like many other famous temples of Bali such as Uluwatu and Tanah Lot, which are in the sea, this temple also has picturesque views. The smooth reflective surface of the lake, surrounding most of the temple’s base, creates a unique floating impression. The temple complex occupies a low-lying side of the lake. The floating effect is enhanced when the lake’s water levels are high. The misty Bedugul mountain range, surrounding the lake, complements the temple’s scenic backdrop.
The temple complex comprises four groups of shrines, including the well-known Lingga Petak shrine to its east. There are four gates facing each of the cardinal points. The temple gates have typical Balinese architectural features with the tiered roof on the shrines. Bhagwan Vishnu shrine has 11 tiers, Bhagwan Brahma shrine has seven tiers and Shiva shrine has three tiers. These tiers remind us of the Nepalese tiered roofs but these are definitely different.
The Balinese Hindus initiated a series of student and cultural exchange initiatives between Bali and Bharat. In 1958, a petition, which demanded the Indonesian Government to recognise Hindu Dharma was given by Balinese Hindus. This joint petition quoted the following Sanskrit mantra – ‘Om tat sat ekam evadvitiyam-Om’, thus is the essence of the all-pervading, infinite, undivided one.
Balinese Hinduism integrates many of the core beliefs of Hinduism with the arts and rituals of the Balinese people. Temple structures of Bali along with many other things are the testimony of this amalgamation. Study of temple structures can unfold the layers of depth of Hinduism of Bali.