The Sacred Monkey Sanctuary is home to 300-600 spirited long tailed macaques that live in three distinct troupes. The dense forest, one of Bali’s most revered for its Taksu, or spiritual power, encompasses 115 different species of trees, and none more impressive than the colossal Banyon Tree that leads to The Holy Bathing Temple. Actually, the tree and its hanging root system is so large it shelters an ornately carved Naga or Dragon Bridge that spans a deep gorge cutting through the heart of the forest.
There are many additional noteworthy facets of the Monkey Sanctuary. There are three principle temples, the oldest dating back to the 14th century, hundreds of moss covered expressive sculptures, grand trees and plants, and even a primate cemetery.
The mysteries surrounding the monkey cemetery are compelling. It is known that scores of the monkeys pass away each year, but only a small percentage of their bodies are actually recovered. No one is quite sure what happens or where they go. Numerous studies have been conducted with no definitive results. For the departed monkeys that are recovered, the human caretakers thoughtfully create a carved headstone reflecting their personality, their name and year of expiry.