The “Gates of Heaven” in Bali Is Not What It Seems To Be From Photos From Influencers

  • The Pura Lempuyang Luhur, or more popularly called the Gates of Heaven, is a tourist spot in Bali, Indonesia
  • Instagram influencers have been posting pics of themselves at the Gates of Heaven with what appears to be a reflective pool of water underneath them
  • Visitors of the site later found out that there there was a secret behind the said pictures

Bali, Indonesia – Bali is a huge tourist destination in Indonesia, averaging at around 5 million visitors per year. Bali has also hit the headlines recently as a law was passed back in June wherein they have finally banned the use of singe-use plastic bags, straws, and styrofoam in the whole island.

Declaration that Bali is now plastic free. Image credit: @byebyeplasticbags/Instagram

Perhaps one of the famous locations in Bali is the Pura Lempuyang Luhur. It is one of the oldest Hindu temples in the island and is actually a complex of temples. Located along the slopes of Mount Lempuyang, the temple is 1,175m above sea level.

Gates of Heaven is not what it seems to be
Image credit:

One of the sections of the temple is called the “Gates of Heaven.” It consists of two pillars that appear to be a gateway to another location in the temple complex. Tourists would have their photos taken while they are posed between the pillars.

Recently, posts in Instagram became popular with people having their picture taken at the Gates of Heaven and a reflection can be seen on what appears to be a clear and calm lake. The hashtag #GatesofHeaven would produce over 15,000 hits if you are to search for it.

Gates of Heaven is not what it seems to be
Image credit: @bonz_voyage/Instagram
Gates of Heaven is not what it seems to be
Image credit: @silvanamay/Instagram

New visitors of the temple go to the site, expecting to see the pillars and to find the great lake near it, but it turns out, there was no lake after all.

From a Tweet made by Polina Marinova, she showed that it was all a camera trick. For a donation to the temple that would cost you around $1 or $2, they’ll take a photo of you at the Gates of Heaven, and they’ll be using a mirror and a camera phone to create the illusion of the lake.

Gates of Heaven is not what it seems to be
Image credit: @polina_marinova/Twitter

You’ll only be able to get a few poses, as you’ll only be allowed to have 5 poses, and the queue to get a picture can be very long.

Gates of Heaven is not what it seems to be
The photographer with the “trick” behind the illusion. Image credit: @polina_marinova/Twitter

Polina was initially disappointed as she was expecting the lake, but she was impressed because of the creativity of the shots.

Whether there is a lake or not, the shots are still quite impressive, and you’ll also learn more about the religious history of Bali by visiting the temples.


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Also read: Ban of Single Use Plastic Bags Now Implemented in Bali, Indonesia




Written by Drew Tetangco

An anime lover and an avid toy collector. He transforms into a wordsmith by night.

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