Bali Stupa

Bramavihara-Arama Temple, Banjar, Bali, Indonesia

The stupa at the top of the Bramavihara-Arama Temple, near Banjar, Bali
Bramavihara-Arama Temple Stupa HDR

Our driver and B&B owner Jette were insistent when we left the Rumah Cantik B&B, where we were staying in nearby Lovina Beach: In the northern part of Bali: One really should visit the “hot springs temple.” I was predisposed to the spiritual destination anyway; Bali retains its intriguing mix of Hindi and Buddhist roots even though Indonesia is among the most populated muslim countries in the world. We had already visited one of Bali’s famous Hindu temples (the lake shrine at Candikuning). The Bramavihara-Arama Buddhist Temple is the religious site to visit in northern Bali; so, we went.

We arrived at the temple late in the late afternoon of a day spent driving the highlands of central and northern Bali. Getting out of the car, we could see the temple rising above us. We entered through a greeting center and gate not much wider than a normal house, where we found stairs leading up to the monastery and temple above.

Up the stairs we found a fountain and small courtyard area. Three more flights of steps led up from the courtyard, making a set of stairs at each of the four sides of the central fountain. On one side, a balcony overlooked the road and surrounding hills, with a sort of pulpit or calling tower up a flight of stairs. Stairs on the other sides lead up to temple buildings.

We climbed. I was determined to get to the top of the temple. I wandered through temple grounds and lawns on several levels, pausing along the way to rest and meditate in pretty, cool, and calming shrines. Each time, I emerged to continue upwards. Finally, I emerged at an enormous open space, with wide lawns and seating steps set amongst manicured gardens, leading across a broad stepped field to this massive stone stupa. Large signs in multiple languages asked visitors to respect the quiet and people meditating or worshiping in this majestic serenity.

The spiritualist in me reveled in the quiet majesty; I sat briefly to let it gently seep into my soul. Then I remembered Nancy, somewhere in the grounds below me; it was time to be moving. When I rose I found myself alone. There was no-one around to be disturbed; my camera’s staccato clacking briefly shattered the peace.

Dramatic low rain clouds were moving in from Bali’s central mountains, creating a dramatic curtain of low cloud over a scene that was nonetheless still quite bright. The dramatic scene and lighting was perfect for a high dynamic range series.

(High dynamic range exposure composed of nine bracketed exposures covering a range of -4 to +4 EV; Nikon D700 with NIkkor 28-300mm zoom lens at 28mm, ISO 200, average exposure at f/13 at 1/125 sec.)

Bali Stupa is a post from: the Photo Tourist

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