Located in Banjar, about 5 kilometers west of Lovina in North Bali, is Banjar - home to two very interesting objects that should be included in a tour of the island’s north – the Brahma-Asrama Vihara Buddhist Monastery and the natural hot springs of Air Panas.
Brahma-Asrama Vihara Buddhist Monastery
The monastery is as an ashram
or place of residence for visiting monks and is presided over by a local Brahman priest
. Reverential and interested guests are always welcome.
The monastery runs a series to meditative retreats of ten days duration or shorter programs throughout the course of the year.
Air Panas – Hot Springs
In the same area is Air Panas
- a picturesque hot water spring where guest and local alike are welcome to luxuriate in the ponds that have an average temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
is accessed via paved pathways from a large parking area where moderately priced admission tickets are sold. The ponds are set in constructed pools set in a verdant jungle setting. Popular with local residents, particularly on certain holy days, there are numerous shops selling food, drink and souvenirs surrounding the site.
While locals trace the hot springs back several centuries, it was only during the Japanese occupation that the more formalized decorative pools were established. The source of the warm waters sits near an ancient banyan tree, an object of local worship protected by a security fence.
The Hot springs are comprised of three separate sections, each with a differnet elevation. The first pool is fed by hot water spouting from the mouths of eight dragons statues. The sulfur-rich waters, thought to be beneficial to health, are fed to the main pool via five dragon statues. A third pool is arguably the most popular with visitors with waters falling from 3.5-meter high fountains. Guest enjoy standing under the cascading warm waters, receiving a natural water massage in the process.
The three pools vary in depth between 1 and 2 meters.
Visitors wish to bathe at the springs are advised to wear swimming apparel and are forbidden from bringing soaps and shampoos inside the pool area.
Little publicized and off-the –beaten-path in terms of major tours of the island, both the monastery and hot springs can form a relaxing and wonderful morning or afternoon while touring the island's north.
[Explore Bali’s North with Bali Discovery Tours
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