Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery is a Buddhist religious site located in the North of Bali. In this guide, we advise everything you need to know ahead of visiting, including entrance fees, how to get there, what to expect & more.
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.
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.
Amongst the realm of Hindu temples prevalent on the island, Brahma Vihara Arama is a Bali hidden gem. So if you find yourself in the area, be sure to check it out.
Let’s get to it. Here’s a complete guide to visiting Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery in Bali.
Where is Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery in Bali
Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery is located in the Northern area of Bali.
It isn’t difficult to get to; however, it’s quite a drive from the typical tourist hubs so you may wish to consider staying locally.
The nearest tourist town is Lovina. 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.
The easiest way to get around in Bali is by scooter. They are available to rent all over the island, for around 60,000 IDR ($4) per day.
You’ll need to wear a helmet and carry your international driver’s license if you want to drive a scooter in Bali.
Alternatively, you can use a local driver or Grab Taxi. The latter tends to be the cheaper option when going from A to B.
However, it’s most cost-effective to hire a driver for the entire day and cover a few different sites in the area.
Things to Know Before Visiting Brahma Vihara Arama
Here are some other things you might need to know ahead of visiting Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery:
Brahma Vihara Arama Entrance Fee
- Entrance Fee: 20,000 IDR (2$)
- Parking: 20,000 IDR (2$)
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 at the ticket office.
Best Time to Visit
As I say, 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.
While Brahma Vihara Arama isn’t exactly a Bali Instagram hotspot, with the incredible vistas, sculpted gardens, and beautiful architecture, photographers will be in their element.
You are permitted to take photos in most areas of the complex; however, there are some things worth noting first.
- – 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.
What to Expect 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 attractions, 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, spotting the 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 the 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 North Bali
Use the map below to search and compare all accommodations in the nearby area.
Enjoy Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery!
That concludes our visitor’s guide to Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery. I hope you’ve found it helpful and that you’re looking forward to your trip!
We love hearing from you! If you have any questions or feel that we’ve missed anything, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can drop us a message or leave us a comment in the comment section.
Planning a trip to North Bali? Check out our other articles to help plan your trip.
- 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
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Stay adventurous and happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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