As I’m currently in Bali, I’d like to share some of the pictures I took wandering through Ubud.
The island of Bali is covered with scores of temples from large public structures ans sights to small village temples, and endless family residential temples. But also the Balinese homes have a traditional architecture, as they are built as a compound, surrounded by a thick stone wall and one or more gates. In the Balinese culture, gates are considered sacred as they act as portals that connect the physical world and the spiritual realm and also the living and the dead (ancestors).
In the past, these doors or gates were built for protection from wild animals and also unwanted intruders. Now, most importantly, the gates protect the residents from evil spirits.
A small screen wall is built directly behind the opening, screening off the interior and preventing evil spirits to enter the house compound. As a further safeguard a shrine is often built just in front of the wall, often with a statue of a Hindu God like Ganesha. Like the many offerings you see everywhere on the street you also find them here to make spirits pause and reconsider any intention of entering.
Furthermore, the gates are also regarded as a status symbol indicating the wealth, economic status or social rank of the family living on the compound, judging on their sizes, the materials and the complexity of the carvings.
Balinese Gates in Ubud
The gates which serve as entrances to a family compound are called Padurasksa and you can see them all over the island – from Nusa Dua to Lovina or from Canggu to Sanur and everywhere else.
Especially when walking around Ubud, you can spot a new gate with intricate carvings, symbols and ornaments every few meters.
I’ll show you some beautiful examples of the fascinating Balinese Gates in Ubud here: