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.