How not to shoot 360º in a holy temple

When you go to Bali everybody tells you about the beautiful temples you are gonna see there. Let's start with saying, those people are right. Beautiful temples everywhere. Before they build a house, they first build a temple. Besides that every village has at least 3 temples for their main gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and then there are the many special ‘theme’ temples all over Bali. From the outside they all do really look beautiful. Most of the time a lot better than the houses to be honest. Just to give an impression of how important the temples are here on Bali.

But off course, as a 360º photographer, you want to see a temple from the inside as well. Get inside the TinyPlanet. And that’s the part where I got a bit disappointed. You would think seeing a temple from the inside shouldn’t be that hard. I can tell you, this was not the case. To start, you are not allowed into the family and village temples, because ,....well,..entrance is only aloud if you live in that village and/or if you are a Hindu. But that, I can respect.

The part where I got a lot more disappointed was when we went on a day-trip to the famous Tanah Lot Temple. They told us this was a temple that non-Hindu’s could enter as well. So there we went. After passing about 4000 souvenir shops we arrived at the temple. Build on a big rock in the ocean. Beautiful. What an amazing amount of effort it must have cost to build that temple there. So there we stood, in what I thought was the line to get into the temple. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case.

We stood in line for a very long time before getting holy rice on our foreheads and cleaned ourselves with holy water. Only to find out after that the temple was closed today for visitors because of a ceremony. Enter crying emoticon here.

Hmmm. bad luck for us I thought. But, later that day I found out that these ceremonies take place pretty much every day. So that made it not a matter of bad luck, it was an example of bad communication was my first response! Just imagine trying to pull a trick like that in my home country the Netherlands. People would start a riot for not being let in, if they paid for it. They would scream for their money back.

Luckily in Bali that is not the case. The people there didn’t seem to mind and went on with making their pictures of the temple from a distance. Reluctantly I did the same. Hoping this was not the end of the the story,.. of getting me and my 360 camera inside a Hindu Temple.

And of course this story doesn’t end bad. Off course you can visit a Hindu temple on Bali if you’re not a Hindu. Otherwise it wouldn't be Bali. For me the island where they invented the term “hospitality. The only thing we had to do was make a little more effort,.. in another temple. The Holy Water Temple to be exact. But I did save that part for the next 360º story :)


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