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Culture and Art

Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple Complex (Bali Island): features of composition and decoration

Ratko Marina Valerievna

ORCID: 0000-0002-9278-2155

PhD in Pedagogy

Art Historian, Associate Professor, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

119 Lenin Street, Melitopol, Zaporozhye region, 272319, Russia

Other publications by this author










Abstract: This article is devoted to the study of the ancient Balinese temple Pura Luhur Uluwatu, which belongs to the circle of the six most revered sanctuaries of the island (Sad Kahyangan). The purpose of the article is to analyze the features of the spatial organization of the temple complex, the main types of structures on its territory, the motives of sculptural decoration. Based on the methodology of the regional approach, the author pays special attention to the study of the identity of this architectural ensemble as an example of the pura public temples of South Bali. In the course of the research, the methods of compositional analysis of the planning structure of the temple, morphological, iconographic and artistic analysis of decor motifs, full-scale study of the cult object and others were used. The scientific novelty of the article is that the architectural composition and plastic decoration of Pura Luhur Uluwatu are considered for the first time in the aspect of the relationship of regional-typological and local-individual characteristics. The study also concretizes the list of architectural forms within each spatial zone of the main sanctuary and its satellite temple Pura Dalem Jurit, clarifies their structural and functional characteristics, outlines a holistic picture of the decorative decoration. As a result of the conducted research, it was concluded that Pura Luhur Uluwatu is a striking example of the sacred architecture of the southern region of the island with typological features inherent in it: variability of planning development, closeness, economical use of temple space, free interpretation of individual decorative motifs. The uniqueness of the temple is manifested in its spectacular location on the edge of a sheer cliff protruding into the ocean, the elongated plan of the main sanctuary, the contours of which repeat the outlines of the southwestern protrusion of the Bukit Peninsula, the extreme minimalism of structures and the means of decorative design used, the simplicity of architectural forms. The creative imagination of local craftsmen was reflected in the original configuration of the entrance gates Candi Bentar and Candi Kurung, as well as in the articulation of individual decorative elements (kasar mascarons, kalasa vessels, etc.).


temple architecture, South Bali, regional architecture, public temple pura, Pura Luhur Uluwatu, temple complex, composition, forms of buildings, decorative motifs, typological features

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Introduction. Among the many islands of the Malay archipelago, Bali impresses with an amazing combination of picturesque landscapes, unique religious experience, colorful ceremonial processions and rituals, richness of artistic traditions based on the refined artistic taste of local residents. It is fair to say that the territory of this island is permeated with a special magical spirituality, which comes primarily from numerous temple buildings [1]. Ensembles, local fenced sanctuaries, altars and altars can be seen at the foot of mountains, among lakes and rice plantations, along the seashore, in forests, on the streets of villages and villages, in private houses, etc. At the same time, Balinese temples are not only sacred places, but also picturesque sights; their decor is often made so it is masterly that the line between craft and high art is being erased [3, p. 36].

In modern Balinese studies, there are different approaches to the systematization of temple structures. In general, the temples of the island are divided into public (pura) and private (sanggah). There are about six thousand public temples [6]. They, in turn, are differentiated into high-ranking shrines, which are the place of worship of all members of the Balinese community (Pura Kahyangan Jagat), and temples at the regional level (among which are places of worship of the former kingdoms of Pura P ana t aran, rural temples of the "Three Sanctuaries" Pura Kahyangan Tiga, clan temples Pura D adia, P ura W arga, etc.). Groups of temple buildings are also distinguished based on the features of the natural landscape (mountain temples Pura Bukit, cave temples Pura Goa, sea Pura Segara, etc.), the nature of the professional activities of parishioners (temples of Pura P asar markets, irrigation associations Pura Subak) [8, p. 41; 17, pp. 114, 129].The ordering of Bali's diverse temple universe can also be carried out in the context of a regional approach based on the allocation of five geographical zones of the island: Central Bali, East Bali, North Bali, West Bali and South Bali.

Within each area, temple structures are characterized by a set of common typological features that form a constant of regional temple architecture.

A striking representative of the temple architecture of the southern region of the island, one of its "wonders" is the temple complex Pura Luhur Uluwatu.

Literary review. The identification of Bali with the "Island of the Eternal Fairy Tale", the "Island of Dreams" [2], unfortunately, distracts Russian researchers from studying its temple culture using the tools of scientific research. Therefore, the reflection of the problems of Pura Uluwatu is carried out mainly on the pages of tourist Internet sites [1], author's blogs and online magazines [6], guidebooks. Scattered information about the planning structure of the temple complex, individual buildings on its territory are contained in translated reference literature [3], illustrated popular cultural publications [5]. Considerable experience of scientific reflection of the island's iconic architecture has been gained in foreign Balinese studies. The issues of the history of the creation of Luhur Uluwatu, the relationship with the pantheon of the deities of Balinese Hinduism, the general compositional aspects of the temple, the details of the decorative design of its individual buildings are devoted to special sections of the monographic studies of J. Davison [8], F. Eiseman [11]. They are supplemented by the materials of essays on the history of culture of the island by A. Cotterell, the fundamental work "Art and Culture of Bali" by U. Ramseer [17], an essay on Hindu sacred architecture by Uday Dokras [9]. Of interest are also publications by Indonesian authors that deepen the understanding of the structure of the ensemble and its individual components, temple ceremonies [15, 18, 20], the iconographic repertoire of plastic decoration used in Balinese traditional architecture [13, 14]. Nevertheless, the integral architectural and artistic image of Pura Uluwatu was not the subject of special study.

The purpose of this study is to analyze the architectural and planning organization of the Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple complex, the main range of buildings on its territory, their decor; to identify regionaltypological and locally individual features in the composition and plastic decoration of the temple.

Materials and methods. The source base is mainly materials collected by the author in the course of field research on the territory of the Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple in October 2017 and in April 2019. Illustrations of temple buildings and their decor from photo albums, visual series of Balinese literature, Internet resources also served as empirical material.

To achieve the purpose of the study, the analytical and synthetic method of studying sources and literature, the method of compositional analysis of the architectural and planning structure of the temple, methods of morphological, iconographic and artistic analysis of decorative motifs, comparative study of architectural monuments were used. For the selection of factual material, the method of full-scale research of the cult object with photo and video recording of data was used.

Results and discussion. Pura Luhur Uluwatu is located in the South Kuta area (kabupaten/Badung District), near the village of Pekatu. It belongs to a group of sea temples that are located along the coast of the island and protect it from the dark forces of the water element. Pura Uluwatu rises on the southwestern tip of the Bukit Peninsula, on the edge of a 79-meter cliff washed by the waves of the Indian Ocean, which creates a fascinating impression. Actually, the name of the temple itself consists of two words: "ulu" top, edge, "vatu" stone. Thus, "Uluwatu" literally means "a temple on the edge of a stone" [5, p. 55].

Unlike other sea temples of the island (Tanah Lot, Pura Rambut Shiva), Pura Luhur Uluwatu is included in the big "nine" public temples of Bali (Pura Kahyangan Jagat), in the "six" key shrines of the island (Sad Kahyangan subgroup) and is considered one of its spiritual pillars.

The supreme patron of the temple is the main deity of Balinese Hinduism (or the religion of Agama Hindu Dharma) Sanghiyang Vidi Vasa in the manifestation of Shiva Rudra (Bhatara Rudra) a formidable destroyer who causes storms, storms and other cataclysms and at the same time appears as a great passionate god. It was Shiva Rudra who gave the Balinese the Doctrine of the Three Konas (Three Hits of Karan) and behind the compass-rose Nawa-Sanga controls the south-western orientation of the island [8, p. 64]. According to the ideas of the non-duality of dark and light, pure and impure, gifts are brought to Rudra in this temple to protect the island from bad weather, disasters and imbued with the magical energy of the deity. Local fishermen make a pilgrimage to this place to pray to the goddess of the sea Devi Laut [7, p. 399].

According to experts of Balinese Hinduism, Pura Uluwatu is also organically connected with three large temples of Bali Pura Besakih, Pura Batur, Pura Andakasa and for this reason concentrates and radiates the spiritual power of Trimurti (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva), which explains the special respect for him of all the inhabitants of the "earthly paradise" [15, p. 391; 16].

The history of the temple complex is an interweaving of the legendary and the real. According to legend, Pura Uluwatu is a ship turned into stone, which was once washed ashore by a huge wave during a storm. The study of the Longar chronicles Kasuma Dewa and Padma Bhuwana indicates that the temple was founded presumably in the XI century. by the Javanese priest Mpu Kuturan (also known as Mri Rajaketra) [16]. In the lontar Kasuma Dewa, we are talking about the fact that in this area there was a religious building with a "winged gate", which belonged to the circle of "great shrines of the island" [cit. for: 16].

In the XVII century . Pura Uluwatu was rebuilt and acquired a modern look thanks to another key figure in the history of Bali the priest and reformer Dang Hyang Nirartha (deified under the name Betara Sakti Wawu Rauh). On the site of a small shrine, he built altars and pagodas of meru [8, p. 64]. It was in this temple, according to legend, that Nirartha built the first padmasana throne in Bali (which has not survived to our time) and achieved enlightenment. When this happened, the word Luhur was added to the name of the temple, which comes from the word ngeluhur and means "ascent", achievement of moksha [11, p. 266]. For this reason, Pura Luhur Uluwatu also belongs to the subgroup of "Temples of Saints" (Pura Dang Kahyangan) [6].

By the end of the nineteenth century . Luhur Uluwatu was the main shrine of the Kingdom of Mengwi, and with its partition in the 1890s it came under the guardianship of the kingdom of Badung (now Badung District). Only the ministers of worship and the rulers of these centers of statehood on the island were allowed to visit the temple [7, p. 399]. At the moment, it is under the patronage of the court of the former Raja of South Bali (Puri Jerokuta court), which is located in the provincial capital, Denpasar, and is a place of worship ("treasure") of all the inhabitants of the island. The temple is open to visitors, except for big holidays. At the same time, the entrance to its "holy of holies" (jeroan) is prohibited for tourists and foreigners, which complicates the study of structures on this territory.

Pura Luhur Uluwatu in a broad sense is a complex that, in addition to the main temple on the rock, includes satellite sanctuaries directly adjacent to it, as well as "related" temples of the Prasanak circle (or Jajar Kemini) located in the range of 5 km: Pura Dalem Kulat, Pura P a rerepan, Pura Karang Boma, Pura Dalem Selonding, Pura Pangeleburan, Pura Batu Metandal, Pura Goa [18]. However, unlike the temple ensembles of the mountainous area of Bali, the complexity of Pura Uluwatu is conditional, and its main temple is a vivid example of intimacy, picturesqueness, harmonious unity with the natural environment, as well as the use of a minimum of architectural and decorative means, which is characteristic of the sacred structures of the south of the island.

Pura Luhur Uluwatu is built of coral stone (batu bukit), quite dense and strong, so the degree of preservation of most of its sculptural decoration is higher in comparison with the plastic decoration of temple structures made of soft gray sedimentary rock paras ukir or black volcanic tuff. At the same time, as rightly noted by J. Davison, it is problematic to establish the exact date of the creation of the decorative design of the temple, since throughout the long history of its existence it has been updated and rebuilt [8, p. 64]. At the end of the XIX century. part of the main sanctuary disappeared without a trace in the depths of the sea due to the collapse of the tip of the sheer cliff. In 1949, the temple was reconstructed, but access to it proved difficult until 1983, when an approach was added that made it easier to climb the steep mountainous slope. The last restoration work in the temple was carried out after the destruction of its main shrine (Meru pagoda) and individual parts from a lightning strike in 1999; they were accompanied by a large-scale consecration of the territory [9, p. 436].

Pura Uluwatu is unique in its planning development, organically integrated into the surrounding landscape. Its narrow, horizontally elongated architectural composition echoes the contours of the rocky tip of the Bukit Peninsula, like a ship protruding "nose" towards the oceanic space (Fig. 1).

Fig.1. Pura Luhur Uluwatu. View from the cliff. Source: https://kebudayaan .kemdikbud.go.id/bpcbbali/situs-pura-luhur-uluwatu/

Around the temple there is an extensive forest and park area ("cultivated jungle"), represented by densely planted tropical trees with twisting crowns, shrubs, flowering plants. Among the abundance of flora, Pura Uluwatu does not sound like a dense drawling chord (like most of the island's leading temple ensembles), but a lost, tiny, but expressive accent. On the adjacent territory there are also viewing platforms, an amphitheater for kechak dance performances, auxiliary pavilions and altars, administrative buildings attached in the modern period. The total area of the land belonging to the temple is 5000 m2 [18].

The monumental sculptural group installed on the crossed arches, depicting one of the heroes of the Ramayana, the rakshasa giant Kumbhakarna (brother of the demon king Ravana), furiously devouring monkeys, contrasts with the idyll of the surrounding landscape. The use of monumental plasticity in the ensemble of a Balinese temple is atypical for the architectural tradition of the island, however, in the iconographic aspect in this case is motivated by the fact that the green zone of Pura Uluwatu is a "forest of monkeys" (densely populated and aggressive here), and the performed kechak dance is a "monkey dance" [12, p. 57].

Long flights of stairs with wide steps and observation pavilions-gazebos lead to the temple from both sides (from the north and south). They snake along the high steep embankment of the zone, delimited from the edge of the slope by a reinforced stone balustrade. On the east side, a smooth ascent of 67 steps leads to the main entrance.

The structure of Luhur Uluwatu traditionally follows a threepart model of the Universe and, according to the Tri Mandala principle, consists of three linearly arranged zones (or walled courtyards) - Nista Mandala, Madya Mandala, Utama Mandala[9, p. 421].At the same time, the peculiarity of its spatial orientation is that it faces southwest, that is, "to the sea" (kelod), and not to the northeast of the island, "to the mountain" (kaja), which is due to the clear southwest geographical vector of the Bukit Peninsula cliff itself. (Note that in Bali, the kaja direction is usually associated with the sacred mountain Gunung Agung.) This means that the inner courtyard of the temple jeroan is located in the kelod-kauh sector, and the outer one jaba sisi is in the kaja-kangin sector. Since the contours of the eastern part of Java are visible from the cliff over the horizon, it can be assumed that the mountains of the neighboring island were the sacred landmark during the construction of the temple.

Pura Luhur Uluwatu also has a minimal number of buildings. On the territory of the first zone Nistya Mandala (the outer courtyard of j aba s isi) architectural forms of secular purpose, canopies-pavilions of the bale were built:

bale Kul-Kul;

bale Murda;

bale Gong;

bale Asta Psi;

bale Weragan.

There are also paired stone canopies-altars tugu (or apit lawang) for the guardian spirits of the temple territory (taksu).

The second zone Madya Mandala (the middle courtyard of j aba t engan) is represented by the bale gong pavilion, a square-plan bale canopy and a reservoir with spring water.

The third zone Utama Mandala (courtyard of j eroan) includes buildings of both cult and accompanying significance:

Mery Tumpang Tiga;

Pelinggih Repelik (tajuk);

Pelinggih Prasada;

bale Rawedaan.

The temple territory is surrounded by a low, powerful penyengker wall, laid out of roughly processed stone blocks. On both sides of it, in some areas, there are fortified viewing passages with a view from the cliff to the ocean, where you can go down the steps from the first area of the temple.

The entrance to the first and second courtyards is marked with the "split" gates of candi bentar, which have the outlines of bird wings unusual for this type of architectural structures. Balinese call this style bersayap, which means "winged" [11, p. 267].

The passages to the first zone look like massive pylons. They grow out of the solid wall, cutting through it with steps. Unlike the typology of "split" gates that has developed in Bali, with frequent deep profiling of the horizontal plane and abundant geometric decoration, the surface of the walls of these chandi bentar is almost flat, marked symmetrically on both halves by shallow vertical projections in the middle register, framed at the top by a relief ribbon of a jagged pattern and a frieze belt separated by deep slits. The design is crowned with small rounded curves resembling the wings of a bird spread out in flight.

The configuration of the gate leading to the second courtyard tends towards greater plastic expressiveness and decorative treatment. Vertical blocks laid out of gray coral rise up, seem to fly apart from the middle on the sides and form a distinct relief bend in the upper part. Thus, the silhouette of this gate is even more associated with the outstretched wings of the garuda bird (Fig. 2).

Fig.2. Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Chandi Bentar Gate. Nistya Mandala zone.

Source: https://womanadvice.ru/hram-uluvatu

The plane of the chandi bentar data walls is enlivened by a clear outline of rustication. In the middle belt, it is decorated with a barely protruding flat relief with motifs of large leaves gathered in bundles (Karang daun) and stylized small stones scattered on the surface (Karang batu), twisted into rounded curls of foliage (patra p ung gel). The same patterns adorn the middle register of the side architectural applications of the gate, and the corner pillars of the penyengker wall separating the first courtyard from the second. In the upper part of the main volume of chandi bentar there are decorative motifs that are practically not used in the lexicon of local sculptors small "tongues" of flame (api-apian) (in the main volume) and images of a stylized peacock with a luxurious tail twisted in a semicircle, similar to an incomplete large peony bud (in the adjacent side parts). A similar pattern is found in the ornamentation of batik from the island of Java, from where it was probably borrowed.

The central field of the wall on both sides of the gate also has an original decorative solution in the form of a lattice with sockets in square holes-sections, and at the top it is decorated with an ornament border with a specific pattern in the form of a ribbon with "hooks".

The "winged" style of bersayap is read in the architectural appearance of the auxiliary side exits from the temple zones and chandi bentar satellite temples on the territory of the ensemble. One of these shrines is located to the right of the main stairway to Pura Uluwatu. Its gates, built of white coral, blackened over time under the influence of atmospheric factors, are guarded by paired dwarapala statues the monkey brothers Sugriva and Subali. The architectonics of the gates (the presence of developed lateral parts, the division of the volume by horizontal profiles) and the nature of their geometric decor are similar to the canonical examples of this type of buildings formed in Central and Eastern Bali. The bersayap style is hinted at by the tops of the "split" passages in the upper case rejected on the sides. It should be noted another interesting element of architectural decoration in the upper segment of these gates. At the base of their "wings" are kalasha vessels (kalasa) containers with a short narrow neck, which are often used in ritual practice. Unlike the stylized miniature stupa towers adorning the tops of Javanese chandis, these decorative forms stand out for their naturalism and plasticity. It is noteworthy that in the decoration of Balinese temples (both in the south and other regions), the kalasa vessel motif is rare (Fig.3).

Fig.3. Pura Luhur Uluwatu. The sanctuary is at the entrance. Chandi Bentar Gate. Photo by M. Ratko, 2017

A characteristic feature of Pura Uluwatu, as already noted above, is to minimize the number of structures, as well as to simplify their design and decor.

In front of the entrance to the first courtyard of jaba sisi (length 13.25 m, width 12.43 m), a watchtower bale kul-kul is installed in the right corner. Its low, square, one-tiered stone base is decorated only with conventionally interpreted angular elephant macaroni Karang gajah (at the bottom of the base), geometric diamond-shaped patterns (centered on each side) and figures of winged lions singa (at the corners above). Four wooden pillars support the roof under a thick black straw covering made of ijuk sugar palm fibers. Inside, behind a low fence, there are three vertical pillars-logs (drums), the blows on which signal important events in the temple (the beginning of the ceremony or when the celestials descend from the mountains) [3, p. 27]. There is no decor on the wooden elements of the tower.

Next, on the right, is the bale murda a pavilion under a tiled roof for temporary accommodation of gifts. If you stick to the right side and move deeper, then in the gap between the wall of the middle courtyard and the outer bypass of the temple there is a lower level of jaba sisi a utility corner with a pavilion bale agung ("meeting place"), which is brought here because of the limited territory of the temple, bale waregan suci ("kitchen") and canopies for recreation.

To the left of jaba sisi adjoins a small square sanctuary built in the XVI century the temple of Pura Dalem Jurit, dedicated to the "devoted assistant, general and minister of the local deity Bhatara Mahajaya" ("guardian" of Mount Gunung Agung) Ida Ratu Bagus Jurit (Ida Ratu Bagus Jurit) [11, p. 270]. It should be noted that in this aspect Luhur Uluwatu is no exception similar compositional solutions of temple structures with additional sanctuaries in the main courtyards are often found in the sacred architecture of the island (except for Northern Bali). Access to this sanctuary is restricted.

Within the Pura Dalem Jurit, behind a protective wall with split passages, four altars were built on bases of white coral. Three of them pelinggih with singletiered roofs - are altars for the guardian spirits of Blessed Nirartha, and the fourth Meru Tumpang Kalih with a twotiered roof - was built in honor of Ida Ratu Bagus Jurit. The Meru Tumpang Kalih reliquary contains statuettes of pratima Brahma, Vishnu and the above-mentioned venerable saint, who, according to a local reference and information source, is the hypostasis of Shiva Rudra (in the form of Murti Puja) [18]. The pratima of this temple is taken out and dressed up in festive robes during the ceremony for his birthday (odalana Anggar Kasih Medangsiga, which is celebrated only one day once a year) [16]. It is significant that the wooden elements of the construction of the altars of Pura Dalem Jurit completely lack decor; on the bases it is represented only by a geometric pattern laid out of stone (Fig. 4).

Fig.4. Pura Luhur Uluwatu. The sanctuary of Pura Dalem Jurit. Altars of Pelinggih, Meru Tumpang Kalih. White coral, wood, straw ijuk. Photo by M. Ratko, 2017

In the south-western side of the sanctuary, a stone altar-throne in honor of Nirartha is installed near the wall, on a step-by-step ascent. This is a combined type of buildings that combines the features of the padma capah lotus throne (with one throne, without the image of the Bedavan Nala turtle at the base of the base) and the prasada altar, since it contains a shallow niche in the upper section of the "body" (badan), where the statue of Nirartha is presumably located, and ends with a pyramidal tower (kepala), similar to tiered superstructures of dravida-shikhara South Indian temples. This altar also has no decoration in relief. It is decorated only with stone vessels of kalash, placed along the edges of the rectangular base and the middle section of the "body".

The decorative accent of the Pura Dalem Jurit sanctuary is paired statues of guardians mounted on a platform on the sides of the altar. According to local researchers, these are images of Brahma (left) and Vishnu (right) [12, p.126; 15, p.392]. Such personification in general is not typical for the protective statues of the dwarapala circle, but in this case emphasizes the status of the temple and the place in the hierarchy of saints of the legendary patriarch of Balinese Indo-Buddhism. The stylistics of the execution of these figures is inspired by the East Javanese prototypes of the Majapahit period (1293-1520). They are distinguished by correct anatomical proportions, rough, but expressive plastic faces. The depicted are presented in festive sculptural vestments, their heads are decorated with elaborate crowns-makuta hairstyles with conical tops; in the left hand both characters hold ritual vessels kamandalu (kamandalu) oblong metal containers with a lid designed to store holy water tirt h a amerta [8, p. 65]. Vishnu's iconographic demarkant is a wheel held by him in his right hand, symbolizing a rotating fiery disk, but Brahma presses a mace to his right shoulder an attribute not characteristic of this deity. The statue of Brahma is wrapped in clothes of the iconic red color, and Vishnu, on the contrary, is dressed in a cloth of a non-attributive black tone for him. Such free treatment of the iconography of Hindu deities is an indicator of the uniqueness of the Balinese version of Hinduism and is characteristic of the sculptural plasticity of Bali in general and the south of the island in particular (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5. The Sanctuary of Pura Dalem Jurit. Statues of Brahma and Vishnu on a stone altar-throne. Source: https://www.life-in-travels.ru/uluwatu/

The second zone Madya Mandala (the middle courtyard of jaba tengan) has an elongated rectangular shape (length 35.54 m, width 9.20 m) and is represented by two buildings: the bale gong pavilion for the gamelan orchestra in the far right corner and the bale auxiliary canopy. On the left is a well with spring water, which is considered a "miracle from the temple of Uluwatu" [16]. It is used for the ritual of preparing the sacred water tirta amerta. This courtyard is usually closed to a wide range of visitors. Prayers take place here during festive ceremonies, to which Hindus from all over the island gather due to the honorary status of the temple. Dictated by this feature, the imperative of saving the temple territory, in our opinion, caused a departure from the compositional canon openness, unfilled space of jaba tengan.

The expressive architectural accent and the main decoration of the middle mandala of the temple is the Candi Kurung gate, which leads directly to the courtyard. Their shape is atypical for Balinese temple architecture the entrance to the "holy of holies" of the temple is usually marked by the Kori Agung gate with a characteristic completion in the form of a tower-mountain.The silhouette of the Chandi Kurung with one arched passage and three finial towers at the top - resembles the gate structures (gopuras) of the Khmer temples of the Angkor period (IXXIV centuries) [9, p. 317]. It is also possible to draw parallels with the gates of the late 16th century Muslim cemetery in Sendangduvur on the northeast coast of Java (Lamongan District) [4, p. 227].

Despite the rough rusticated masonry, the festive gates of Pura Uluwatu do not create the impression of massiveness and grandeur characteristic of their supposed Khmer prototypes. The semicircular (rather than wedge-shaped) arch has a smooth curved outline. The top of its arch ("lintel") is formed not by a keystone, but by two wide horizontal stone blocks. At the top of the arch rises a popular motif of sculptural plasticity in Bali the mascaron of Boma (K arang Boma), the son of Heaven (Vishnu) and Earth (Ibu Pertivi) [10, p. 22]. The image of this guardian of the main passages of the temple, the giver of good (Jagathita) is represented by a variant resembling the Javanese Kala one face with a high crown, without outstretched palms. However, Boma's eyes are typically Balinese bulging, but not intimidating, rather lustful, playful and friendly. The image of his face is framed by small curls of patra punggel ornament, and above it is a low stelelike completion with a bentale crown on top. The central architectural and decorative element of the Chandi Kurung is flanked by side finial turrets that resemble miniature Javanese chandis. The motif of these turrets is repeated at the ends of the corner pillars of the sections of the wall that adjoins the gate and separates the middle courtyard from the inner one (Fig. 6).

Fig.6. Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Chandi Kurung Gate. Madya Mandala zone.

Source: https://kebudayaan .kemdikbud.go.id/bpcbbali/situs-pura-luhur-uluwatu/

The gloomy ("minor") gray-brown structure of the Chandi Kurung, the enclosing wall and the side pillars are enlivened by rhythmic repetitions of horizontal stripes carved in coral stone decoration. It is formed by a strange interweaving of the curls of the karang batu ornament, patra punggel, the motifs of the one-eyed demon karang bentulu, as well as the flames of the ari-ari flame, similar in pattern to bunches of plant shoots. Near the arched opening, the ribbons of the ornament are completed with replicas of the half-faces of the naughty Boma, and on the corner projections of the gate, the silhouette of a simplified mascaron of a bird with a curved beak (karang goak) is guessed [18].

It should be noted that such a configuration of the ornamental relief on the surface of the gate wall is atypical for the decorative decoration of pura temples. And in this, in our opinion, the propensity for free experimentation with the vocabulary and composition of the ornament, which is remarkable for the masters of South Bali, was manifested due to the specifics of the mentality of the inhabitants of the seashore (openness to the outside world, love of freedom, fantasy), as well as the properties of coral stone, which does not allow cutting out the refined patterns of the canonical repertoire of the decor of religious buildings in Central Bali.

A manifestation of the plastic fantasies of the sculptors who decorated the Chandi Kurung are paired images of mascarons on the side walls, dressed in fancy high crown hats, their outlines resembling an inverted bell with offspring of fiery strands. These strange tomboys F. Eiseman calls kasars (translated from Indonesian. kasar language rough) [11, p. 269]. Their analogues are not found either in the temple decor of South Bali, or in the iconographic lexicon of the island as a whole.

The passages to both the second and third zones of the temple are guarded by paired statues of Ganesha elephants. Their figures seem to be frozen in dancing poses on pedestals, the tops of which are decorated, like the entrance gates, with motifs of K arang batu and plant curls. Harmonious in their proportions, with long loose curls (decorated with patra punggel pattern at the tips), dressed up in festive dance costumes (bracelets on legs and arms, belts with a cyclops buckle karang bentulu, wreaths and earrings) - they are considered masterpieces of South Balinese decorative sculpture. The special attention in the decorative program of Luhur Uluvatu to the image of the elephant-headed son of Shiva, the patron of wisdom, knowledge and overcoming obstacles, is explained by the fact that it was at this place that the founder of the local temple architecture, Nirartha, achieved enlightenment.

The third area of the temple is Utama Mandala (or jeroan courtyard) a place for sacred rituals and prayers of Hindu believers during religious ceremonies. It also has a rectangular elongated shape (28.30 m long and 8.20 m wide), is fenced around the perimeter with a wall and includes five buildings [12, p. 270]. A notable feature of the composition of the "holy of holies" Luhur Uluwatu is the absence of a lotus throne and the centric placement of key sacred structures the Meru altar and pelinggih altars.

The beginning of the courtyard is marked by a low fence a section of the alin-alin wall. Behind this special barrier for evil spirits, on a low platform there is a bale pawedaan a four-column pavilion-canopy under a black thatched roof with thin walls of bamboo shingles on three sides and a wide taban shelf mounted in the middle. Its role in this case is multifunctional the placement of sacrificial gifts, accessories for religious rituals, the coordination of the ceremony by the priest, a place to rest, which is due to the principle of saving the temple territory and the absence of "profile" pavilions within this zone.

To the left of bale pawedaan, if you move deeper, a stone altar of the prasada type is built, which is a direct replica of the Majapahit style in architecture, formed in the XV XVI centuries in Bali under the direct influence of the cultural heritage of the East Javanese kingdom [8, pp. 56-57]. This miniature chandi with a pyramidal tower-completion and a niche in the "body" (badan) for the placement of gifts serves to honor the legendary Nirartha, as well as the spirits of ancestors who arrived from Java.

Approximately 30 meters away from the pemeyosan pavilion, on high square platforms, there are paired pepelik (or tajuk) altars places for the spirits of deities who descend from the mountains to the ceremony and to place offerings. They flank the main shrine of the temple the three-tiered Meru pagoda (Meru Tumpang Tiga). This altar was built at the extreme central point of the courtyard of Pura Uluwatu in honor of its main deity Shiva Rudra.

All the above mentioned buildings have characteristic roofs made of ijuk black straw. Their decor is minimal. It is limited to simplified geometric patterns carved in white coral stone that adorn the upper belts of the basement bases, and a pair of anthropomorphic statues guarding the passage in moderation. The figures of these guards, carved in stone slabs, are stylistically similar to the sculptural sculptures of the deified representatives of the first royal dynasties of Bali from the Pura Puchak Penulisan temple, dating from the period of Ancient Balinese culture (X XIII centuries) [19, p. 35]. They are presented in frontal, emphatically frozen poses, the individual features of their faces are indistinguishable. The plasticity of the forms depicted is angular, weakly articulated (their armless torsos, limbs seem to cling to stone blocks). Another ancient relict statue (probably also Nirarthi) is installed behind the pagoda; its gaze is turned to the ocean.

The wooden details of the meru (as well as all the buildings of the jeroan courtyard) are completely devoid of ornaments. However, the stinginess of plastic means is compensated by its wellchosen proportions the ratio of the high base, the "body" and the roof of the tum p ang, the width of each tier of the pagoda covering and the thickness of the "body", etc. [20, p. 200 - 201]. The accentuated location of Meru Tumpang Tiga in the courtyard against the background of the boundless sea space, the picturesque contrast of the black shallowed roofs and the blue of the ocean with its refreshing breeze in general give it exceptional expressiveness.

Conclusion. Thus, Pura Uluwatu is one of the most picturesque temple complexes in Bali, a vivid example of organic synthesis with the diverse natural landscape of the Bukit Peninsula. In his compositional and decorative-plastic solution, he demonstrates a complex interweaving of various epochs and cultural influences. This tiny refuge for the spirits of gods and ancestors on top of a huge sheer cliff on the way from Kuta to Nusa Dua has typological features of the temple architecture of South Bali: intimacy, variability of planimetric solutions, economical use of temple space, a minimum of decorative means. And at the same time, this temple is characterized by a number of remarkable individual features, which are manifested in an unconventional spatial and geographical orientation, an elongated planning composition that echoes the contours of the cliff, the extreme minimalism of buildings and their plastic decoration, the original configuration of the entrance gate, as well as in the original interpretation of individual motifs of sculptural decor.