Petitenget Temple

See a more traditional side of Bali and visit this 15th-century place of worship, where Hindus still come to make offerings during special ceremonies.

Petitenget Temple is an old Hindu structure, situated on Petitenget Beach. Visit the tiny temple for a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of Kuta. Slightly overgrown with ferns and vines, the centuries-old stone structure is still a functioning temple for local villagers, who call it Pura Petitenget.

Enjoy the tropic environment of Petitenget, which is situated in a former jungle. Listen to the sound of birdsong when you step through the gate and take in the small sculptures and tall stone shrine in the courtyard. Notice the intricate reliefs in the woodcarvings of the doors and pagoda. The bulging eyes of the surrounding warrior-like statues are great for photos.

Every day locals offer food wrapped in banana leaves and burn incense here. If you are lucky you may witness a colorful beachside ceremony.

The name, Peti (Coven) Tenget (Haunted), relates to the legend of the temple’s creation, which dates back to the 15th century. The locals believed that a spirit, Bhuti Ijo, inhabited the dark jungle. Villagers had noticed that anyone who visited these woods became sick, so the priest told them to build a shrine for the betel box Bhuti Ijo carried. Pura Petitenget was duly built and is now a serene place, which no longer has an eerie feel, but still has legendary views. Visit at sunset when the site is especially picturesque.

This temple is located in the Badung Regency in Kerobokan. Petitenget Beach is connected to the sands of Seminyak to the south. The next beaches down are Legian and Kuta.

Petitenget Temple is southwest of Denpasar, about a 15-minute drive from the airport if traffic is light. To get there, rent a motorbike or taxi or jump in a “bemo,” the cheaper, shared taxis. You can also follow the water’s edge north from Seminyak Beach. There is a guarded parking lot just outside the temple. If you want to stay in this quieter part of Bali, book accommodation in one of the nearby resorts or hotels. As when visiting any temple in Indonesia, wear appropriate clothing to cover your knees and shoulders.