Besakih Temple (Pura Besakih)
Bali Island in Indonesia has always been on top of the list for many travelers all around the world. Famous for its balanced combination of rich culture, friendly people and exotic places, Bali offers the perfect ambiance of vacation. Bali has everything either for those who are looking for alive spots during the night, pristine beaches, exotic views, or deeply embedded culture and religion of its society. As one of the many places in Indonesia who’s still preserving its culture, Bali is dotted with many spots to celebrate its traditional ceremony or festival, mainly the temple or Pura.
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Among many temples in Bali, there are some places which are considered very sacred for Balinese people. One of them is Besakih Temple or Pura Besakih. Besakih Temple is situated on the southwestern slope of Mount Agung in Karangasem Regency, also a sacred mountain according to Hindu belief. Perched on the altitude of approximately 1000 meters or 3000 feet above sea level, Besakih is rising majestically on the mountain as the largest Hindu temple in Bali.
Besakih Temple is considered the holiest place in Bali and is figured as the Mother Temple of Bali. The grand Besakih Temple is much more appealing in terms of historical perspective. This holy temple could be dated back around 1000 years ago. There has been some mention about the existence of the grand temple complex dated back to 1007 AD and during the 15th century, Besakih has been regarded as the center for the Hinduism in Bali Island.
The name Besakih itself is also very interesting to be considered. The name Besakih is believed to be derived from Basuki or in classic Sanskrit language, Wasuki, meaning Salvation. The name Besuki also refers to the Dragon God “Naga Besukian”, a god in the form of a dragon who lives in Mount Agung according to Samudramanthana mythology.
The magnificent thing about this grand complex doesn’t stop at history. It also can be seen from the grandeur of the temple complex. The area of Pura Agung Besakih covers more than 12 kilometers square with the Mount Agung as the background. The major features of Besakih temple are the 3 main temples dedicated to Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiwa, the trinity in Hinduism in Penataran Besakih as the Pura Center. Each temple has its own banner. The center is the location for Shiva the Destroyer in Pura Penataran Agung with white banners, on the right Pura Kiduling Kreteg for Brahma the Creator with red banners, and to the left is Pura Batu Made for Vishnu with black banners. The sophisticated complex of the temple is also accompanied by the breathtaking view of the hills surrounding it and certainly the mighty Mount Agung.
Aside from the 3 main temples, there are 18 accompanied temples comprised of at least 80 other temples and some of them are located beautifully on six rising terraces set upon parallel ridges. For tourists who visit the temple, you can visit the smaller temples, because the main or inner courtyards are closed for pilgrims. Visiting Besakih Temple in Hindu beliefs are considered a pilgrim as this place is the center of many caste groups and primary place for ceremonial activities.
In this vast complex of the mythical temple, holy ceremonies are being held every year ranging from the anniversaries of each shrine and religious celebration based on 210 days Hindu calendar system. As in any other temples in Bali, visiting Besakih Temple requires proper clothes such as sarong, sash and a proper top. If you don’t bring your own sarong or sash, you can rent it in the area. During the day, the temple will be packed with visitors and pilgrims, therefore, for a more convenient visit, you might want to go to Besakih in the morning or the evening.
How to Get to Besakih Temple
As one of the prominent destinations in Bali, you can easily reach Besakih Temple via several routes. If you are from Kuta, Seminyak or Jimbaran it will take approximately 2 hours via Sanur that connects to Kusamba Bypass, after that go north until you find the road sign to Besakih by renting a car for a more convenient travel.
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