Pura Lempuyang Luhur in Bunutan, Indonesia
Pura Lempuyang Luhur is a complex of temples that speckles a trail leading to the top of Mount Lempuyang, a holy mountain. A total of seven temples dot the mountain’s slopes. At the lowest temple, a fantastic "gateway to heaven" greets visitors. Looking through the gate on a clear day reveals Mount Agung framed within its sides.
From this lowest temple, three beautiful nāga-lined staircases lead up to the main complex, which has been dubbed the "six sanctuaries of the world" and are considered the most sacred places of worship on Bali. Pura Lempuyang Luhur is one of the oldest and holiest sites on the island and is thought to predate most Hindu temples there. Yet, because of its remote location tucked away on the island’s eastern end, the complex sees few foreign visitors.
Adventurous (and reasonably fit) travelers may hike up to the top temple, which is a four hour round-trip in total. Along the way, visitors will pass six other temples and can see beautiful vistas before finally arriving at Pura Lempuyang Luhur. Locals believe one must never complain on the way up. If one complains, they will not make it to the top.
Pura Lempuyang Luhur, the highest temple, is the crown jewel of the complex (and also its namesake). It sits atop the mountain’s peak, which is believed to be its most sacred spot. Those who make it to the top are rewarded with a peaceful sanctuary and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.