Ubud is one of the most visited places not just in Bali but in all of Indonesia. It became more popular when Ubud become a quest of love for Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. For me, Ubud is the center for arts and culture in Bali. I noticed that each activity in here is associated with spirituality, cultures and traditions, proximity to nature and the relationship between human beings. The everyday activities I’ve witnessed in Ubud, defines them. There are galleries and museums that showcase the artistic sides of Balinese. Everyday, there are dance performances known as” legong” in one venue or another by various groups which are exquisitely executed.
The road that goes south from the Ubud Palace leads right into the Monkey Forest or locally known as Mandala Wisata Wenara Wana. In Sanskrit, Wenara means “monkey” and Wana means “forest”. This place and the monkeys here are considered as sacred by the Balinese since they are linked to Hanuman, the ape-like character in the Hindu epic, Ramayana.
The monkeys within the Sacred Monkey Forest is commonly called long-tailed macaques. Upon entering the forest you can buy bananas, papayas, and other food to feed the monkeys. Be careful when walking down the roads, monkeys are quite used to tourists and are known for stealing bags, sunglasses, sometimes even cameras.
Although the monkeys are fun to watch, the main feature of this forest are the three main temples inside. There are 3 holy temples in the forest: the Pura Dalem Agung temple, The Utama Mandala, and the Pura Prajapati (the funeral or cremation temple). There are also two graveyards in the forest. To enter in to these temples, everyone is required to wear a sarong.
The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a nature reserve, a place to see a Hindu Temple and a home to approximately 340 macaque monkeys. Considered by the Balinese as sacred, Monkey Forrest is a symbol of harmonious coexistence of humans with nature.