Lying in the misty green uplands of Bali is one of the most famous forests in the world: the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary of Ubud. Home to 600 Balinese monkeys and more than 12 hectares of native flora, the forest is one of the gems of Indonesia.
The History Of The Monkey Forest
You will find the Sacred Monkey Forest in the quaint village of Padangtegal, located in Bali’s marvelous uplands. Although tourists come from all over the world to walk through the mystical forest and interact with the monkeys, the grounds hold much spiritual importance for the residents of Padangtegal.
Within the forest are three temples reserved for Balinese traditions and prayer: the Main Temple, the Cremation Temple, and the Holy Spring Temple. Visitors are welcome to admire the magnificent structures, which have been standing since the 14th century.
In the Main Temple, locals worship the god Shiva. The second temple is known as the Cremation Temple, where locals pray to Lord Brahma Prajapati. In the third temple, the Holy Spring Temple, worshippers pray to the goddess Gangga. There is a sacred pool located outside this temple, where it is said to be good luck to toss your coins into the water.
Around the forest, you will notice several monkey statues that are also of spiritual significance to the Balinese people. They represent the energy surrounding the temples and their powers. Although the temples are fascinating landmarks and hold much importance to the residents of Padangtegal, most foreigners come to the forest hoping to get up close and personal with some of the 600 Balinese long-tailed macaques that call the woodland home. Nature-lovers will also be thrilled to learn that the forest is home to 186 species of trees, some of them standing for more than a century.
Aside from being a sacred and spiritual place for the village people, the Monkey Forest is a great asset to the local tourism industry. The forest also acts as a conservation and education center, where the wildlife is protected.
Between the flourishing shady trees, the historic temples, the troops of curious monkeys and the abundance of fresh air, the Monkey Forest of Ubud remains one of the most popular locations on the island of Bali.