Gates of Heaven : Most Instagrammable Place in Bali

One of Bali’s oldest and most well-known temples is Lempuyang Temple, also known locally as Pura Luhur Lempuyang. It is also thought to have existed before Bali’s six holiest temples and the majority of Hindu temples on the island.

You’ve certainly seen photos of this location on Instagram, where the gate and clouds appear to be floating above water in a beautiful mirror-like reflection known as the “Gates of Heaven.” I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there is no pool of water. All of those reflection images were staged using a pocket mirror. A clever local sits here all day and takes the identical photo of each person who who pays and is willing to wait for at least an hour as there is a long queue to get this intagrammable spot picture.

The gate is also referred to in the west as “The Gates of Heaven,” and the entire setting is quite lovely. Approximately two hours from Ubud and two and a half hours from Canggu, the gates and its temple are situated in the eastern highlands of Mount Lempuyang.

Although the complex contains 7 distinct locations or temples, most visitors only throng to the “Gates of Heaven.”

The above photograph shows the temple bang opppsoite of the famous “gate” and the stairs take you up to the temple. The other temples are also quite lovely, so it is absolutely worthwhile to see them as well. You must ascend 1,700 steps to reach the mountaintop location of the steepest one. We did go and offered prayers and must say it was worth it.

Little bit of History

As per wikipedia, the establishment of places of worship around Mount Lempuyang is believed to predate the majority of Hindu temples on the island of Bali.The puras of Mount Lempuyang, represented by Pura Lempuyang Luhur, the highest temple in the area, is grouped one complex of pura which represents the Pura Sad Kahyangan Luhur Lempuyang. The temple groups are considered as part of the Sad Kahyangan Jagad, or the “six sanctuaries of the world”, the six holiest places of worship on Bali. According to Balinese beliefs, they are the pivotal points of the island and are meant to provide spiritual balance to Bali.The temple groups of Mount Lempuyang is also one of the group of temples in Bali known as Pura Kahyangan Padma Bhuwana. Each of the temple in the Pura Kahyangan Padma Bhuwana marked each of the eight cardinal directions. Pura Lempuyang Luhur represents the direction of east (purwa) and the color white. This direction is associated with the domain of Balinese the god Iswara.

Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang was restored in 2001.

Points to Note before visting Lampuyang Temple:

1. Many people are unaware that the grounds are home to 7 temples, although there are. Pura Lempuyang Temple in Bali’s full loop takes about four hours.

2. The first temple is accessible by foot and has a well-known photo point.

3. You must wear modest attire! For women, this involves covering their shoulders and wearing long pants or a skirt. Sarongs can be rented at the temple.

4. Drones are not allowed.

5. No PDA around any temples in Bali.

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Tanah Lot – A Blissful Coastal Temple in Bali

Bali excels in every category, whether it’s the beautiful bluish blue ocean, the massive Hindu temples, or the sheer untouched virginity of the countryside. Tourists who visit throughout the year have the time of their lives and are relaxed beyond their wildest dreams. Variety is the spice of life, and Bali has a plethora of tourist attractions and getaway locations where one can recharge after months of strenuous work and strain.

It will take many blogs to cover my trip to Bali this June. So I plan to take it slow and introduce you to the place, one attraction at a time.

Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot, also known as Pura Tanah Lot Temple, is a well-known and sacred Hindu temple in Bali. As a popular tourist destination, Bali attracts a large number of enthusiasts and adventure seekers who make it a point to visit this location each year. This holy temple is well-known for its beautiful sunset views and even more soothing cold breezes that flow throughout the beach.  This beautiful temple is situated about 20 kilometres southwest of Kuta in the Beraban town of the Tabanan Regency. This location may be reached in around an hour and a half if you’re travelling from Kuta. It takes around an hour to get there from Bali’s Ubud.

Three temples make up the Tanah Lot complex, which is situated on a massive offshore rock on the beach. The main Tanah Lot temple is one of the three, while the other two serve as a spiritual stand-in when it is closed due to high tide because they are inaccessible. The ‘guardian’ sea snakes that live in the cracks around the Tirta Pabersihan fountain can be seen at low tide by crossing to the base of the rock. It is one of Bali’s main attractions and welcomes everyone, regardless of caste or creed.

Fun and interesting details regarding the history of the Tanah Lot Temple can be found in its legends. It is stated that in the latter half of the 15th century, a high Hindu priest from the Majapahit Kingdom in East Java travelled to Bali to propagate Hinduism and related ideas. He built a shrine to honour the Sea God Varuna, and despite objections from the village leader, he successfully used sea snakes to secure the rock where he meditated. That is how the eponymous temple in Bali, Tanah Lot, got its name, which means “land in the sea.” The priest is said to have gained Nirvana, or enlightenment, at this holy location.

 

The tranquil Tanah Lot temple site was properly protected and repaired thanks to assistance from the Japanese government, despite a serious erosion threat. As a result, the magnificent temple continues to welcome visitors today. On the approach to the temple, you’ll pass by a number of tropical gardens and rest areas where gift shops, art galleries, and sculptures are on show. Traditional drinks and sumptuous  snacks using coconuts are available here.

Pro Tip :

When you see the scene in all its splendour, the Tanah Lot Temple sunset view speaks for itself. In order to avoid the crowds, try to make this sight your final stop for the day and come well before nightfall.

 

Pseudonyms

Did you know there is no Agatha Christie? Mary Westmacott is the real person.

Since ancient times, authors have concealed their true identities behind fictitious bylines by utilising pseudonyms. When their personal name would not have been regarded seriously at the time, some people want their work to be. For them, it is a matter of stigma. Others picked a nom de plume because they yearned to break out of the mould and adopt a new character because their writings were categorised or assigned to a particular genre.

Every tale relating to the decision and utilisation of a pen name is fascinating, even if there are numerous reasons why an author could adopt a name that is different from their own. Although the majority of these aliases are already well-known, there are still plenty that will surprise or interest you to learn.

Agatha Christie is well-known and adored for her unmistakable ability to craft intriguing mystery tales with a twist and a cast of well-known characters, including Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.

But Agatha Christie chose to work under a pen name while she was a well-known mystery writer for a very straightforward reason. She intended to produce books about other topics, but she was aware that her admirers would always want her to write mysteries. Since Christie only published six books under the name Mary Westmacott, she had the opportunity to delve deeply into the field of human psychology, which is something that conventional Christie fans might not have anticipated from her own-name stories.

The pseudonym itself was picked with care. Agatha’s middle name was Mary, and the Westmacott surname was a common one. Surprisingly, it took close to 20 years for admirers to realise that Mary Westmacott and Agatha Christie were related. We have a lot more regard for what a skilled writer she was now that we know that these vivid and intuitive novels were written by the same person who wrote the Poirot volumes.

Here’s a list of authors who wrote under alias. Let’s talk about the stories behind their pseudonyms. Feel free to add to the list –

  1. Robert Galbraith – J.K. Rowling
  2. Mrs. Silence Dogood – Benjamin Franklin
  3. James Tiptree, Jr. – Alice Bradley Sheldon
  4. Flora Fairfield – Louisa May Alcott

The greatest writing pseudonym of all time is William Shakespeare. Although it would take an entire blog to write just a intro about him.

Whirlpool of Binge Watching

I am sure you have heard this classic Eagles song “Hotel California

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door,
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before,
‘Relax,’ said the night man,
‘We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!’

It’s often more challenging to get back into your regular routine after a nice vacation or a prolonged stay in bed due to illness. The same is true for binge watching also. You are trapped.

A lesser-known fact – You may come across Internet posts challenging you to binge-watch your favorite TV show or channel. Best of all, if you are chosen and complete the challenge, you will be paid. In 2019, Internet Service Partners ran a competition in which one person could win $1,000 for watching 24 Hallmark Christmas movies in 12 days. The winner was required to submit a personal critique on each film and keep her social media followers updated throughout the experience.

Even though these contests are brilliant marketing strategies used by the businesses, the question now is “Should we support encouraging people to spend even more time in front of their television sets?” According to Healthline, watching more than three hours of television per day may eventually cause memory loss and language damage. OTT platforms have really changed the way people watch TV.

Gone are the days of satellite TV channels. At least they were time bound. The majority of homes have multiple televisions for viewing purposes. Everyone in the house may watch different shows without interfering with each other thanks to the numerous gadgets and shared streaming accounts. Being addicted to your devices in a crowded house makes it simple to isolate yourself. Good for introverts like me, but not good generally.

The K-Dramas are definitely most addictive. I think they are produced with a mere intent of tricking people into binge watching them. Put on a Korean light comedy with a dash of romance on Netflix and there goes your weekend in a blink.

It’s a never-ending circle. You begin with an episode. You are halfway through a series after five hours have passed without your realizing it. You never thought you’d find yourself this deep in the whirlpool called Netflix, but here you are.

Share your binge-watching tales in the comments section. What is your take on it? Which net series are you hooked on? For me it’s a K-Drama these days “Extraordinary Attorney Woo”

Interesting stories behind some popular Idioms

I must accept, I did not study as much in my school time as I do now when I sit with my kids. At that age, study was only about somehow mugging up syllabus and get good marks. The study pattern was also not that inclusive of going deep inot the subject. Coming straight to the point, I came across some idioms from my daughter’s textbook and it was then when I looked for how these idioms have centuries old tales to tell.

By definition, an idiom is a statement that cannot be comprehended literally; instead, you must understand its meaning, which rarely, if ever, seems to have any logical relationship to the exact words employed. After all, how precisely does “raining cats and dogs” logically translate to “it’s raining pretty hard”? There isn’t.

There is no clear written history benhind this one but I did find some interesting backstories to few idioms. Feel free to comment if you have something to add to these or to the ‘raining cats & dogs’

1. Take a Rain Check

Believe it or not, the phrase has its roots in athletics, notably baseball in the 1870s. Back then, the relevant teams would reissue tickets for the postponed game if a baseball game was rained out. Rain checks are the names given to these tickets. By the 1890s, the expression had started to be used less literally, leading to the eventual outcome that we today use take a rain check in a variety of scenarios that have absolutely nothing to do with baseball.

2. Pardon My French

Another extremely popular phrase that really doesn’t make any sense objectively is “pardon my French.” This expression is typically used in conjunction with a “Oh, pardon my French” comment after someone curses. Naturally, whatever was just said was probably not said in French; it was probably just spoken in plain old English. Why then should one be sorry for their French? Because the original speaker of the statement was actually speaking French at the time. It seems that throughout the 1800s, it was normal for educated people to smuggle in a few French phrases. However, those with less education would have only been able to speak English, thus they would not have understood a word that was being spoken. The expression became more common as a result. Nobody appears to know exactly how we transitioned from saying “Pardon my French” when speaking in true French to saying it when swearing.

3. Saved by the Bell

In contrast to the previous idioms, there are a few distinct theories as to how this one came into use. The phrase “saved by the bell” is said to have its origins in the 18th century. There was a lot of worry about the prospect that someone would be mistaken for dead and end up being buried alive at this time. As a result, a mechanism was created to address this issue (which, by all accounts, may have had some basis in reality). With this method, a string was tied to the finger of the supposed victim and the other end was attached to a bell placed outside the coffin. Then a guard was posted nearby. The concept was that, should it turn out that the deceased was not quite as dead as everyone thought, they could still be able to move, which would sound the bell and warn the guard. Even while this is an intriguing story, there is a notable absence of supporting evidence.

4. Bury the Hatchet

Bury the hatchet is a traditional Native American practise. The chiefs of two rival tribes would actually bury two battle axes as part of a peace ceremony. Since all of the testimonies we have are from colonists, it is possible that this custom is even older than the earliest documents, which date back to the late 1600s. The oldest Iroquois mythology, which describes how the Five Nations united and marked the new peace by burying their weapons under a tree, is the closest thing we have to a Native American narrative. They picked a tree, though, that grew above an underground river, and as a result, the weapons were washed away. However, it is unclear how old this tale is. In any case, the phrase, which was initially only employed in relation to this ritual, gradually spread to other contexts.

5. God Bless You

Similar to the expression “saved by the bell,” there are several alternative origin stories for the expression “bless you.” According to one version of the legend, sneezing somehow exposed you to attacks from bad spirits. Therefore, you were essentially attempting to shield the individual who sneezed by blessing them. According to a different legend, the ban was instituted by Pope Gregory I amid a bubonic plague outbreak, which sneezing was one of the symptoms of. The pope rather understandably felt that, given the mortality rates associated with the bubonic plague, any chance for extra divine help was not to be passed over, and therefore encouraged the practice of blessing people when they sneezed. Yet another story contends that the custom evolved in response to a pervasive belief that the heart briefly stops when you sneeze. According to this story, the reason you bless someone is either to congratulate them on surviving the sneeze or to enable their survival in the first place. So which story is true? Uh. Well. We…don’t actually know.

Bonus :

A Shot of Whiskey – A drink of whiskey and a.45 calibre cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents each in the old west. Cowhands would frequently give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink if they were short on cash. A “shot” of whiskey was later coined for this.