This 15th-century temple is still a functioning place of worship, where you can observe Hindus burning incense, making offerings and taking part in ceremonies.
Petitenget Temple is a tiny, centuries-old Hindu place of worship located next to Petitenget Beach on the west coast of Bali. It has an interesting history. The name “Petitenget” means “haunted coven”, which has to do with the tale of the reason for temple’s creation in the 15th century. Legend has it that locals had observed that people who went into the jungle became ill and believed this was due to a dark spirit named Bhuti Ijo. The local priest’s answer to this problem was to advise them to construct a shrine, and Petitenget Temple was duly built. Thankfully, the area in which the temple is located is no longer dark and mysterious; it is now a peaceful place with magnificent views and scenery. The best time of day to visit is at dusk, when the area is particularly beautiful.
The temple still functions as a place of worship, regularly holding vibrant religious ceremonies, some of which even take place on the beach. Depending on which day you visit, you might be able to observe one of the beach-side ceremonies taking place. Otherwise, you are very likely to see the locals burning incense and offering food wrapped up in banana leaves.
Situated in an area that used to be a jungle, the temple is surrounded by slightly overgrowing vines, ferns and other creeping plant life. Relish in the humid, tropical environment around the temple while exploring its exterior. Keep an eye out for the doors and pagoda which are embellished with elaborate, wood-carved reliefs, as well as the small sculptures and tall stone shrine in the courtyard.
Petitenget Temple is located southwest of the capital of Bali, Denpasar, and is only 15 minutes by car from Ngurah Rai International Airport. There are a number of different ways of getting there—rent a motorbike or a car, hop in a taxi or a “bemo” (cheaper, shared taxi) or walk north along the coast from Seminyak Beach. There is a guarded car park nearby for those who have come by car or motorbike. Visitors to the temple should dress appropriately, covering their knees and shoulders.