Monday, December 14, 2009

This Ubud's for you!

Ubud is a little town in the middle of Bali surrounded by tropical jungle and beautiful rice terraces. We just spent two days here checking stuff out, and in between long bouts of getting lost, we managed to find some pretty cool stuff.

Our first stop in Ubud was the sacred monkey sanctuary.The sanctuary is basically a jungle with 3 holy Hindu temples and about 300 Balinese Macaque monkeys living on the premise.


Although they have three temples, the only one that I got some good pictures of was the Bathing Temple. The temple was tucked way back down some paths in the jungle and had some pretty awesome old statues

Nick and I felt like we were in an Indiana Jones movie!

The second thing we saw while we were in Ub ud was Goa Gajah(The Elephant Cave) which was discovered in the 1920's and had both Buddhist and Hindu holy sites inside.

The first is a cave – the Elephant Cave – which is an old Hindu holy site.

And why is it called the Elephant Cave? Well, we didn’t have a guide, so I can’t be sure, but I bet it has something to do with this Ganesha, the Hindu elephant god, who lives inside the cave.

Even though the place is called Elephant Cave, the elephant cave was definitely not the coolest thing they have going on there.

If you walk further back, you can see this awesome landscaped forest with stairs, carvings, bridges, and a lotus pond. It was absolutely beautiful.

After we walked past the Buddhist shrine and made a little offering,

we continued down the path, wondering where it would lead. We walked for maybe about 10 minutes (picking up a 13-year old “guide” along the way) when we came to a beautiful river and this little bridge

Our final big stop in Ubud was Gunung Kawi, a group of stone candi (shrines) carved into cliffs lining the Pakrisan River in the 11th century.

A contrast to the last two places that we had been, these monuments weren’t surrounded by wild jungle, but by beautiful, cultivated rice terraces.

If you looked at one side of the mountain, you would see rice terraces, or just a cliff, but on the other side you can find hidden ancient shrines. There were 3 or 4 different areas of these shrines, hidden throughout the property.

I have to say, it was very impressive!

After two full days in Ubud, it was off to discover more of Bali, but that will have to wait for another blog post!

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