Kehen Temple is an ancient Hindu temple complex that has unique architectural features. The temple courtyard is reachable from the roadside and up 38 flights of stairs. Carved sandstone statues depicting mythical animals and Balinese folklore figures adorn the staircases and the central vestibule. The temple’s walls are also ornate with porcelain plates, harking back to the historical relationship between the local Balinese kingdom and China.

You can reach Kehen Temple within a 45-minute drive from Ubud. The temple is located in the village of Cempaga, a cool upland region that’s also famous for fruit plantations, palm sugar cottage industries, and scenic rural countryside. The primaeval aura of this 11th-century temple is further augmented by the overgrowth of centuries-old banyan trees around the walls of the complex.

Kehen Temple in Bali - one of the highlights of 26 Must-See Temples in Bali (Read all about Bali here)

photo by Balou46 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Highlights of Kehen Temple

Within the inner courtyard of Kehen Temple are a collection of stone shrines built with multi-tiered thatched roofs and arranged in a typical layout similar to any other large temple complex in Bali. You can visit the temple in the daytime, and obligatory sashes and waistcloths are available at the rental kiosk across the road (usually with temple ‘donations’).

photo by Xiquinho Silva (CC BY 2.0) modified

The best time to visit is when the temple is highly decorated, usually during its anniversary as you also get to see Balinese dances. Kehen Temple's anniversary celebration falls on the same day as the Pagerwesi Wednesday on the 210-day Balinese pawukon calendar.

photo by Xiquinho Silva (CC BY 2.0) modified

Kehen Temple in Bali

Location: Jalan Sriwijaya No.8, Cempaga, Bangli, Bali 80613, Indonesia

Open: Daily from 9am to 5pm

Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller