Keep your eyes open as you walk down the streets of Ubud, Bali. Tucked in between all those trendy cafes and shops, you’ll find wooden doorways — sometimes plain, sometimes intricately carved — built into brick and stone archway gates.
Take a peek and you’ll find these doorways serve as portals to other worlds of green and tranquility. Walk inside and you’ll find altars dotted with offerings or perhaps a carved Ganesh adorned with flowers (my favorite Ganesh statues are those where his feet come together in a yoga pose).
At first glance, you might find yourself wondering if you’ve stepped into a Balinese Hindu temple complex.
In fact, these peaceful garden sanctuaries are often just family courtyards. As the father of our homestay explained, they usually feature a temple for the gods (where daily offerings and prayers take place), a temple for the people (where birth, marriage, and death ceremonies take place) and a home where multiple generations of family live.
Spirit and life, side by side.
Open up the panorama below for your own peek inside.