The Monkey Forest Ubud is a wildlife sanctuary, well known for being the natural habitat of the Balinese long-tailed macaque. Located in the village of Padangtegal, in Ubud, the real name of this monkey forest is Mandala Wisata Wenara Wana. However, the place is more popularly known as the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, owing to the presence of the three Balinese Hindu temples that are located inside the sanctuary.
While enjoying the tranquil atmosphere of the forest, you will be able to spot the monkeys in their natural habitat, take a look into the Balinese religion and traditions at the temples and get a glimpse of their culture during their shows and performances held in the sanctuary.
The star attraction of this sanctuary is, of course, the monkeys who live here. This type of monkey is known as Macaque or Macaca fascicularis and the forest has around 600 of them, located in six distinct areas of the forest. You will be able to easily spot these funny creatures as they swing through canopies and munch on bananas.
Apart from the monkeys, the lush green forest has 186 species of plants and you can take a look at them as you walk around the various sections of the forest. You might make a stop to dip in the spring at Holy Spring Temple and pray at the antique temples with natural guarding sculptures.
The Monkey Forest Ubud is a wildlife reserve which has several points of interest. First of all, the entire area is filled with lush greenery with paved pathways where you can take a walk. The forest is full of monkeys whom you can spot in six distinct areas. Apart from this, the sanctuary also has three Balinese Hindu Temple that you can visit to take a look at Balinese customs and offer your prayer.
There is the Holy Spring bathing temple where you can take a dip to purify your soul. While visiting Monkey Forest Ubud Bali, you will also be able to enjoy Balinese traditional dance performances.
The Monkey Forest Ubud Bali is a wildlife reserve which is well known for its 600 monkeys who are living in this area. The type of monkeys which live in this area are known as Balinese long-tailed monkeys, called Macaque or Macaca fascicularis. The Long-tailed Macaques can be located in six distinct locations where they reside in groups in their own territories. You can spot them easily in the Cremation Temple, the East part of the main temple, Central Point, at the main temple area, the northeast area, and the new forest area.
Located near Tampaksiring in central Bali, in the village of Manukaya, is the Holy Spring Bathing Temple, where you can take a dip in the holy water or amrita, where you can wash your soul as per the Balinese Hindu custom. The temple has a bathing pond, where a hot spring regularly releases freshwater.
Devotees from around the world visit this temple to take a bath in the holy water for ceremonial purification of their souls and to ward off the evil from their bodies. Visitors admire the splendor of the site and also visit the Tirta Empul Temple, along with the Royal Presidential Palace to get some spectacular views.
Get a glimpse of the incredible Balinese traditional culture through the Barong Dance, one of the many art forms that are part of the Balinese people’s daily life. The spectacular dance form is related to spirituality and is often performed during religious rituals. The barong is a character of Balinese mythology who is considered the King of the Spirits who characterizes Virtue and is seen in the form of a lion.
The dance form, a reflection of life, represents the classic struggle between the barong and Good vs Evil. In this beautiful performance, two people, decked up in a thick coat of white fur along with gold jewels as well as mirrors, dance in unison to simulate a lion in action.
The temples of the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary Ubud were built in the 14th century during the reign of the Pejeng Dynasty and the beginning of the Gelgel Dynasty in Bali. The three temples are dedicated to three Hindu Gods, Shiva, Prajapati and Ganga, and the entire area is considered to be sacred by the local communities. All three temples play an important role in the spiritual life of the localities.
The Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, also known as Padangtegal Great Temple of Death, is the main temple in the Monkey Forest Ubud. It is located in the southwest area of the forest. The temple is dedicated to a god (known as Hyang Widhi), who is a personification form of Lord Shiva, the Transformer or The Recycler. This temple is the one where the main worship of the lord takes place. People visit this temple and offer their prayers to god. The sacred area of the temple is only open to those who are willing to wear proper Balinese praying attire and offer prayer here.
The Pura Beji, or Beji Temple, is located in the northwestern part of the park. This temple is used for worshiping Hyang Widhi who is in the personification form of the goddess Ganga. This is the temple where worshippers go for purification(known as piodalan) before conducting any ceremony. The temple is also known to be the place of ”melukat”, which means physical and spiritual cleansing.
The third temple located inside the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is the Pura Prajapati or Prajapati Temple. This temple is located in the northeast area of the forest and is used for worshiping Hyang Widhi in the personification of Prajapati. Lord Prajapati is known as the great creator deity who is also identified as Lord Brahma. The temple is adjacent to a cemetery which is temporarily used to store bodies while awaiting the day of the mass cremation held once every five years.
Location: The address of the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia. It is located at Jalan Wenara Wana,within the village of Padangtegal in Ubud, Bali.
Timings: The Monkey Forest Ubud Bali is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm
Best Time to Visit: The best time during which you will be able to make the most of your visit to Monkey Forest Ubud is during the dry season starting from the month of June and ending at the end of August. While visiting during this time, you will be able to take a look at the forest in its full glory and will also be able to explore the whole area without feeling the heat of the sun overhead.
An hour or two is sufficient to explore the Monkey Forest Ubud. You can spend the time well by opting for a guided tour or explore the whole area and walk around different sections of the sanctuary with lush green forest, tranquil river, Balinese Hindu temples and moss-covered stones.
While exploring, stop to spot the playful monkeys as they freely move in their distinct territories and create memories by taking some pictures with them. The sanctuary also hosts shows and performances such as the Barong Dance performance which will give you a glimpse of the Balinese tradition and culture.
The months of June, July and August are the best time to visit the Monkey Forest Ubud. During these months, the weather is dry and the forest is in its full glory. Also, while visiting the sanctuary during these months, you will be able to escape the heat of the summer season and will be able to explore the whole place even during the afternoon.
Yes, it is safe to take a few pictures of the monkeys in the forest. But remember to maintain a good distance from the animals when you take the picture. If need be, you can take the help of the Monkey Forest Staff as well.
The Ubud Monkey Forest is open to its visitors every day. It opens its gate in the morning at 9 am and closes in the evening at 6 pm.
The Monkey Forest Ubud has 600 monkeys of the type which is known as Balinese long-tailed monkeys, called Macaque or Macaca fascicularis. The monkeys reside in groups in six distinct territories - Cremation Temple, the East part of the main temple, Central Point, at the main temple area, the northeast area, and the new forest area.