The Jakarta Post
Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang in Karangasem, Bali has been a must-visit place for tourists to strike a pose at its Instagram-worthy gate. (Shutterstock/Suriyan Dangintawat)
Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang in Karangasem, Bali has been a popular place to strike a pose at its Instagram-worthy gate in front of a pristine pool of water that reflects the sky above it. So beautiful, the spot has been dubbed the “gates of heaven”.
However, upon arrival visitors may find no pristine pool of water reflecting the sky, unless they count a small puddle.
Fortune magazine editor Polina Marinova tweeted that her expectations were shattered when she found out that the sprawling pool of water in front of the gates was merely created by a sheet of glass used along a smartphone camera to take dramatic photos.
Proof that Instagram influencers have ruined everything👇— Polina Marinova (@polina_marinova) July 4, 2019
My hopes & dreams were shattered when I found out the “water” at the Gates of Heaven is actually just a piece of glass under an iPhone 😭 pic.twitter.com/oiahI5VCIo
Marinova also posted a behind-the-scene picture of how photos of people at the temple gates are taken, in which a Balinese man squatted to get the perfect angle, while balancing a mirror under the lens of a smartphone camera with which he took the photos.
The tweet, posted on Wednesday, has garnered over 8,000 retweets, around 13,000 likes and triggered more than 350 replies at the time of writing, discussing the pros and cons of the trick.
Among the reply, an account @ashwinvx posted a picture of him visiting the site, saying that there was actually a small puddle of water.
There is a tiny water puddle 😉 pic.twitter.com/V4augnBvOP— Ashwin kumar (@ashwinvx) July 4, 2019
Many commenters blamed Instagram influencers for contributing to the over-exposure of the ancient prayer site, while others blame locals for commercializing their own culture.
A Balinese man with account name @ngurahsaka, however, lamented that tourists often had unrealistic expectations of how Bali should be and that he often had to wait for tourists to take pictures before entering the place of worship.
emang enggak ada mbk, tpi kalo hujan pasti tergenang disana,— Bli Saka (@ngurahsaka) July 4, 2019
masak itu kolam, wong itu pintu satu2nya msuk kao mau sembahyang,
kadang terganggu juga, umat mau sembahyang, disuruh nunggu orang ngambil gambar, hadeh
Pura Lempuyang is located within the slope of Mount Lempuyang in Karangasem, Bali. It is considered one of the most highly regarded temples in Bali. The temple is one of the Sad Kahyangan (six sanctuaries of the world), which are the six holiest places of worship in Bali.
Nestled at a height of around 1,175 meters above sea level, the temple is reachable by climbing a steep staircase of more than 1,700 steps. Visitors can enjoy the surrounding cool forests, hordes of grey long-tailed macaques and several other temples along the way up. (mut)
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