When you are on a vacation in Bali, the Ubud Monkey Forest tops the list of the must visit places in your itinerary. Activities to do in Ubud Monkey Forest are limited to not just witnessing the famous monkeys of this area but also visiting the 3 sacred Balinese Hindu Temples. The Ubud Monkey Forest is a great place to reconnect with not only nature and wildlife but is also one of the most sacred places in Indonesia. This place also immerses you in the Balinese culture and helps you connect with the divine power by worshipping at temples dedicated to various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The real name of the Ubud Monkey Forest is mandala Wisata Wenara Wana, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. The forest houses three famous Hindu temples - Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, Pura Beji Padang Tegal and Pura Prajapati Padangtegal which date back to the 14th century. More than 115 species of trees are found here which are an important part of the holy ceremonies that take place in the temples. The Ubud Monkey Forest, as suggested in the name, is famous for inhabiting more than 600 Balinese long tailed monkeys. This beautiful forest is one of the best tourist spots. Spend a few hours with the various activities to do in Ubud Forest in the lap of mother nature, away from the hustle bustle.
The Balinese Long-tailed monkey, also commonly known as Macaque are the type of monkeys that live in The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. The Ubud Monkey Forest is home to 1059 monkeys in total which live in 7 separate groups – Central group, Temple group, Selatan group, Cemetery Group, Michelin group, East group and New Forest Group. Each group consists of about 100-120 monkeys. Interaction with these long tailed monkeys is one of the famous activities to do in Ubud Monkey Forest. These macaques are fed their favourite food three times a day, which mainly consists of sweet potato in combination with banana, papaya leaf, corn, cucumber, coconut, and other local fruits.
The Ubud Monkey Forest is home to 115 different types of species of trees. A variety of these trees are used in Balinese spiritual practices as they are considered holy. Some of the famous trees of this forest are – the Majegan, used exclusively for building shrines, the Berigin – whose leaves are used in cremation ceremonies and the Pule Bandak, a tree that embodies the spirit of the forest and is used to make powerful masks. What makes this place special is that the trees are not killed to make them, rather the Priest asks the permission of the tree spirit to cut a small piece of its wood. This is why the spirit of the tree is said to remain embodied in the mask. Spotting these famous trees is a one of the fun things to do in Ubud Monkey Forest that helps to reconnect with nature
You can find the Pura Beji Padang Tegal temple nestled in the Sacred Monkey Forest, This temple is also known as the Holy Spring Temple and is a sacred site for worshipping The Goddess of Gangga. People believe that bathing in the holy springs of this temple purifies the soul, blesses the person and helps one get rid away of their sins
Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal is popularly known as the Great Temple of Shiva. As this name suggests, it is dedicated to worshipping God Shiva. Shiva here is found in the form of Hyang Widhi along with the ancient idol of Goddess Durga. It is also famously believed that the southwest location of this temple in the Pakraman village Padangtegal is not just a coincidence, rather it represents the direction of wind is controlled by God Rudra who is an aspect of Shiva
The Pura Prajapati Padangtegal temple gets its name from the Balinese belief that the souls of the people who have been buried here are protected and controlled by God. This temple is also known as the Cremation Temple. The local communities worship God here in the form of Brahma Prajapati. Prajapati means ruler of the soul. This temple also holds an important connection with the Balinese Cemetery which belongs to the people who lived in Padangtegal village. According to Balinese tradition, this cemetery is temporarily used to bury the corpse until the moment of Mass Cremation ceremony
When on the lookout for things to do in Ubud Monkey Forest, the various statues located in the lobby area are a must-watch. The Statue of Goddess Sri is situated on the west side of the lobby of Monkey Forest Ubud. The statue of the Goddess is found holding paddy as she offers her blessing to the world, assuring fertility and welcomes visitors to the Monkey Forest. The statue is accompanied by angels in the shape of Apsari which are manifested by the three statues of a fountain on the north side of Yoni Pool.
The Cave Called Durgama is dedicated to worship Durga Devi. This cave has sculptures and reliefs embodied in its walls along with a lingga statue which represents Lord Shiva and Durga Devi in her rage expression. The entrance of the cave is adorned by the reliefs from Tantri Kamandaka which is a story of animals. This cave also accommodates the statues of Jro Gde and Jro Luh, the male and female tall barong that are made in the shape of square
The Goddess of Durga, also known as Dhurga Devi or the Mother of Universe has mounts here in the shape of lion and tiger. The statue of the tiger is placed on the north side of the lobby of Ubud Monkey Forest. It is believed that Dhurga Devi mounted the tiger at the same place to slay the evil Mahishasura.
Candi Terbelah symbolises a mountain crafted with a variety of flora and fauna. The most famous amongst which are the owl – known as the messenger of death and snakes – representing reptiles and other deadly beasts
You can find the aspect of four brotherhoods in the form of statues at the entrance of the lobby in the form of boar and Komodo. The four statues famously represent the beast who is said to welcome a soul when they enter the eternal realm and begin the journey of their afterlife. It is believed that this is followed by the soul’s passage through titi ugal agil, the vibrating bridge until they face batau terbelah, or the Candy Terbelah
The Monkey Forest is home to 3 temples – the Pura Dalem to worship Lord Shiva, the Holy Water Temple and the Cremation Temple. Out of the many things to do in Ubud Monkey Forest is spotting the various kinds of trees and monkeys of this area
The Ubud monkey forest and its temples were built in the 14th century making it older than its home country, Indonesia
The visitors can enter the temple and pray, but only in the Balinese traditional means and by wearing Balinese praying attire
The type of monkeys found here are Balinese long-tailed Macaques also scientifically known as Macaca fascicularis. Spotting these monkeys and interacting with them is one of the famous things to do in Ubud Monkey Forest
The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary date back to 600-700 years ago and was built in the 14th century
There are more than 600 monkeys which live in 7 groups at the Cremation temple, Central Point, East Part of the main temple, at the north east area, at the main temple area, and at the new forest area
Yes, it is safe to interact with the monkeys as long as the visitors follow the guidelines and do not touch and play with the monkeys
The main attraction and one of the best things to do in Ubud Monkey Forest is visiting the 3 temples – the Beji Temple, the Dalem Temple and the Prajapati Temple. This forest is also well known for the variety of trees and monkeys that are found here
The Ubud Monkey Forest is an iconic preserved green area in Bali, famous for the three sacred Balinese Hindu temples Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, Pura Beji Padang Tegal and Pura Prajapati Padangtegal. The other activities to do in Ubud Monkey Forest is interacting with the Balinese long tailed monkeys