Ulun Danu temple is one of the most popular tour visit when a sight seeing tour is organized to visit Bedugul Mountain resort or Singaraja tour. The location is on the west bank of lake Beratan. The name Ulun Danu, literally means ” the beginning of the lake” But this might not to claim that the site is the beginning of a lake. It tends to indicate that everything that exists around the lake will have the orientation to the temple site, and cleanliness around the area must be continuously kept.
The whole complex is consist of 4 units each dedicated to spirit of Lingga Petak, and shrines to worship god. It looks that the temple symbolizes the nature of surrounding as the respects of nature greatness, since the location is surrounded by peaks of Bali mountain chain such as the east is Mt. Mangu, to the south is Mt. Teratai Bang, and to the west is Mt. Pohan.
Current pavilions, shrines and basements at the site looks to have been newly renovated and no historical facts can be used to trace the history of the temple. The only source to disclose the history of the temple is a chronicle of Mengwi kingdom, a manuscript now available in transliteration from Balinese characters to Latin at Bali Museum, in Denpasar. It is written that I Gusti Agung Putu was defeated during the battle and became war detainment of Tabanan kingdom. The vassal of Marga implored the king to bring I Gusti Agung Putu to Marga village, and from here he set the strategy to gain back his lost land. He went up to Mount Mangu peak to meditate and request the inspiration. Returning from that he went back to Marga and built his palace at Balahayu ( now : Blayu village ).
During the war between kingdom of Tabanan and Penebel, the brother of I Gusti Agung Putu succeeded in helping Tabanan to win the battle. With this victory king of Tabanan gave I Gusti Agung Putu the vassal area of Marga. This young warrior continued to subdue his rival. To his success he built the temple dedicated for praying to the God giving the power to the peak of Mount Mangu. It is mentioned that the construction of Taman Ayun temple is just after the construction of Ulun Danu temple. While the date of construction of Taman Ayun is recorded with chronogram reads ” Sad Bhuta Yaksa Deva ” = Caka 1556 or 1634 AD. We can use this date as the approximation of the construction of Ulun Danu temple.