Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery is a Buddhist religious site located in the North of Bali. We visited the monastery on our recent trip to Bali, and the idea of this article is to share any information we think you might need ahead of your visit.
Set on the hillside of Banjar in the North of Bali, Brahma Vihara Arama is the biggest Buddhist monastery on the island. It opened its doors in 1970 and has since served as a sacred pilgrimage site and a place of enlightenment. Features of the complex include meditation rooms, libraries, various statues, and lush gardens.
Boasting awe-inspiring architecture, sensational views, and peaceful settings, we consider the monastery to be one of the top things to do in the North of Bali. It’s also somewhat of a hidden gem relative to other temples in Bali, so it’s definitely worth checking it out if you’re in the area.
In this guide, we advise everything you need to know ahead of visiting Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery. Including entrance fees, how to get there, what to expect & more.
Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery Bali – A 2020 Guide
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How to Get to Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery in Bali
Getting to Brahma Vihara Arama isn’t difficult; however, located at the very North of the island, you may wish to consider staying locally. The nearest tourist town is Lovina, and from there, the monastery is a mere 20-minute drive away. To travel from Canggu or Ubud, you can expect your journey time to be anywhere from 2-3 hours.
*There is a lot of cool things to do in the North of Bali. We suggest spending 2-3 days in Lovina and using that time to explore the surrounding areas. The North is far quieter than other tourists hubs in Bali. It’s an ideal location for those who like to venture off the beaten path.
By far, the easiest way to get around in Bali is by scooter. They are available to rent all over the island, and the price is around 60,000 IDR per day. The roads in Bali are, for the most part, in excellent condition and provide some scenic drives. You’ll need to wear a helmet and carry your international driver’s license if you want to drive a scooter in Bali.
Alternatively, you can use a local driver or Grab Taxi. The latter tends to be the cheaper option if you plan on going from A to B. However, if you want a driver for the whole day, you should negotiate with a local transport company.
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If you follow the pinned location on the map below, the route will lead you up the mountain road to the monastery. You’ll see the stupa set amid the landscapes as you drive up the hill and it makes for quite a striking view. Look out for the parking area on your right-hand side as you approach.
Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery Map Location
Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery Entrance Fee
- Entrance Fee: 20,000 IDR/Pax
- Parking: 20,000 IDR/Pax
Things to Know Before Visiting
Here are some other things you might need to know ahead of visiting Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery:
The temple is open to visitors from 8 am – 6 pm.
Baring in mind the monastery is a sacred site, you are required to cover your shoulders and legs below the knee to enter the complex. You can bring a sarong of your own; otherwise, they provide them free of charge in the ticket office.
Best Time to Visit
As already mentioned, Brahma Vihara Arama is still somewhat of a hidden gem in Bali. So I highly doubt you’ll find the monastery to be busy at any time during the day. To give you an idea, we visited at peak time during the mid-afternoon, and we were pretty much the only people there.
That is unless it’s a holy Buddhist day such as Asada or Vesak. During this time, the monastery is popular among Buddhist pilgrims and is likely to be busy.
While we prefer to explore Bali independently, if you have limited time, you may want to consider a guided tour of the island. This fully customisable tour with Get Your Guide comes highly recommended and allows you to plan out your own itinerary. Joined by a certified guide, you’ll get to explore all the sights with somebody who knows Bali like the back of their hand.
Check the latest prices for the Full Day Customised Tour with a Guide here.
We suggest allowing 1-2 hours to explore the monastery complex.
With the incredible vistas, sculpted gardens, and beautiful architecture, photographers are sure to be in their element. While you are permitted to take photos in most areas of the complex, there are some things worth noting before getting too snap-happy.
- – Keep shoulders and knees covered, even when posing for photos.
- – Avoid taking photos of monks unless permitted to do so.
- – Be respectful of others meditating or relaxing around the complex grounds.
- – Drones are not allowed within the complex.
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Our Experience at Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery
Exploring the North of Bali, I imagined it to be what the rest of Bali was like 30-40 years ago. While there is tourist infrastructure in place and several famous sights, it feels considerably less flashy than other parts of the island. We loved cruising the picturesque roads, looking for hidden gems and enjoying the views.
We discovered Brahma Vihara Monastery on route to the Banjar Hot Springs. After spotting it on the map, we decided to take a little detour and check it out. Considering we’d never heard of it, we didn’t really expect much; however, upon spotting the sprawling complex in the hills, we knew our journey had been worthwhile.
We parked up our bikes, paid the entrance fee, and allowed the ladies in the ticket office to fit our sarongs. Upon entering the complex, the unusual architecture was the first thing to catch our eye. While there are several Buddhist depictions and statues, there is an element of traditional Balinese architecture. The result is a seamless and beautiful combination.
There are several levels to the complex, and we took our time to explore each one. It’s worth noting that there are several sets of stairs involved, so it may be tricky with a pram or for those less able.
Although we didn’t meditate, we agreed that the monastery had an incredibly calming effect on us. We spent quite some time in the upper-level gardens, soaking in the tranquillity and admiring the views.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the monastery is the replication of Borobudur Temple. Located in Java, Indonesia, Borobudur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest Buddhist Temple in the world. We were also surprised to find a similar design to the Instagram-Famous Bali Gateway to Heaven, only without the crowds!
All things considered, we really enjoyed our visit to Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery. So if your Bali itinerary leads you to the North, be sure to check it out for a unique and cultural experience.
Where to Stay in Lovina
If you are yet to arrive in Lovina, here are some recommendations suitable for all budgets. For more places to stay in Lovina, you can check the latest rates here.
Budget – Hotel Shri Ganesh – For those on a tight budget, Hotel Shri Ganesh provides incredible value for money in the tranquil area of Lovina. Within walking distance of the beach, it’s the perfect base to explore the surrounding area. Facilities of the hotel include an outdoor pool, cosy accommodation, and wifi throughout the property. Not to mention, a delicious breakfast included in the price.
Mid-Range – Mayo Resort – When we visited North Bali, we were fortunate to stay at the luxurious Mayo Resort. Situated a little further west than Lovina, it’s the ideal location if you want to escape the hustle & bustle. Boasting a beachfront location and excellent facilities, we loved that we could spend all day at the hotel and not get bored. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, on-sight restaurant, and wifi throughout the property.
Luxury – Lovina Beach Club & Resort – For those with the dollar, Lovina Beach Club & Resort is one of few 5* options in this area of Bali. You can expect nothing less than world-class service at the beachfront property, which boasts an outdoor swimming pool, whirlpool, fitness centre, and onsite spa.
It should go without saying; however, when enjoying your time here, it’s important to be mindful of yourself and the environment.
There are many small steps you can take to becoming a responsible traveller. In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind when visiting the waterfalls in Bali.
- Be careful with any rubbish that it doesn’t fly away. Keep it secure until you can dispose of it properly.
- Do not leave anything at the waterfall, or take anything away – unless you’ve purchased it from a local supplier.
- Pay attention to warning signs and take care along the trail. There are no staff minding the area.
More on North Bali
Are you planning a trip to Bali? Don’t forget to check out these other articles to help with your trip planning!
- 10 Day Bali Itinerary
- Gay in Bali – LGBT+ Travel Guide
- Top Things to do in North Bali
- Sekumpul and Fiji Waterfalls in Bali
- Aling Aling Waterfall in Bali
- Gitgit waterfall in Bali
- Extending your Visa in North Bali
Well, that concludes Our guide to Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery Bali. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here!
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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