Kehen Temple, or Pura Kehen, is the state temple of the Balinese kingdom of Bangli. It is said to be a miniature version of Bali’s most significant temple, Pura Besakih, nearby. Like Besakih, it is built on an incline, is reached by stairs, and boasts thatched tiered shrines. Kehen Temple dates back at least to the 13th century.
There is a charge for adults to enter Kehen Temple, which includes the rental of a sarong for modesty. While you don’t need a guide to explore—take care to avoid the sacred sanctuaries—touring Pura Kehen with a guide offers a deeper understanding of the various statues and shrines. A few private tours visit Pura Kehen, typically alongside other Ubud and Central Bali temples, such as Tirta Empul Temple or the Mother Temple of Besakih (Pura Besakih).
Things to Know Before You Go
- Kehen Temple has much to offer history buffs and temple fans.
- Although sarongs are available to rent, take care to dress respectfully, covering your shoulders.
- Due to the steps, Kehen Temple is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Pura Kehen sits in the district of Cempaga, about one mile (two kilometers) north of Bangli town center. The best way to arrive is via private vehicle. Many travelers prefer to hire a private driver, join a tour, or book a private tour rather than navigate the steep, winding, unsigned, and often potholed roads around this part of Bali.
When to Get There
Few travelers visit Kehen Temple, which is open from morning to afternoon, seven days a week. Like other Balinese temples, Pura Kehen hosts ceremonies around the full moon and new moon. It is at its most attractive during the festivals of Kuningan and Galungan when it’s decked in ornamental bamboo decorations called penjor.
The Sacred Banyan Tree of Pura Kehen
The banyan tree, a type of fig, is sacred in Balinese belief, and you often see these giant plants decked out in traditional black-and-white checked cloths. The banyan tree at Kehen Temple is reportedly at least 400 years old, and there’s a little treehouse used as a monk’s cell high up in its branches.