Posted: June 11, 2022 | Last Update: 27. Feb 2023
Knocking on Heaven's Gate
"Gate of Heaven” is THE most iconic and most photographed landmark in all of Bali - especially with the epic backdrop of volcano Mount Agung and the amazing looking mirror photo-technique creating the most breathtaking pictures.
What many tourists don't realise: the Gate is only a lesser part of the Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang temple complex built at 600m on Lempuyang hill, and presents one of the six directional temples of Hinduism on the island.
How to get to Heaven's Gate?
Getting there is a little challenging if you thought you can easily walk there or that your driver/taxi would just be able to drop you off at the entrance
Your car will have to be parked at the foot of the hill and public shuttles take you almost to the temple. I say 'almost' because the last couple of hundred meters to the entrance are a steep-ish uphill climb (bear that in mind when choosing your footwear) unless you get a scooter shuttle.
Admission fees & dress code
The entrance fee to Lempuyang Temple is at the moment of my writing this, June 2022, IDR 100'000 (approx. US$ 6.50)
As is the case with all temples on Bali, the inner sanctum of the is not accessible to tourists. But even visiting the outer complex requires you to wear a sarong which you can borrow for free at the entrance (colour choice included) and, should your shoulders not be covered (I wore a tank top), you will get a shawl, too.
After having paid the entrance fee you are given a slip of paper with a number - that's your position in the queue.
Oh, did you think you could just walk up to the gate and snap your pictures? That is highly unlikely and there are going to be dozens of people, if not more, in the queue ahead of you.
Once it's finally your turn to take your Gate of Heaven photos, your number will be called. At that point, you can hand your phone to the helpers/photographers and get into position. Three to four position changes per person are the norm before your photo shoot time elapses and it's time for the next visitor.
Did you know the photographers on site take the reflection photos by using a simple hand held mirror under the phone's lens?
But don't worry too much about the wait time, because while waiting around you can pass your time by exploring the temple complex, which in itself is very beautiful and as much of a photo prop as the Gate of Heaven itself. Three flights of stairs, each with over 60 steps, lead up to the inner sanctum. The stairs are guarded by huge dragon statues, whose bodies undulate upstairs as banister, so be mindful not to offend the religious beliefs by sitting or leaning on them.
A Hidden Gem
When you are done taking your pictures, do not leave immediately.
Instead, go through the gate and a new surprise scenery will unfold before you: the lesser temple court. While it is not accessible, you do get a stunning view of it with Mount Agung as backdrop. The set very much reminded me of Nepal.
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Impressions of Gate of Heaven
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