Stairway to heaven

Some of Hinduism’s most important sacred sites are on Bali. If you don’t mind long treks and steep steps, oriental splendor awaits you – and possibly even enlightenment.

Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang temple on Bali
© GlebStock/Shutterstock

Slumbering on Bali’s eastern tip lies Agung, the volcano that to Hindus represents the center of the universe. A little further to the south, the Pura Luhur Lempuyan temple site is a popular tourist destination. The 1700-step climb to the top leads up broad stairways and terraces and past tall, lava-stone walls and white bell towers. Along the way, you will come upon the Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang temple with its split portal pointing straight at the sacred volcano – as though from here, believers could step into another world.