Attraction Pura Besakih Desa Besakih, Kecamatan Rendang Karangasem Bali Indonesia Published on: 13-11-2015
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Why Pura Besakih is special ?
An active volcano, Mount Agung last erupted in March 1963. The lava flows narrowly missed the Mother Temple of Besakih on the mountain's slopes, which the Balinese regarded as a miraculous sign from the gods.
Built before 1000 AD, Besakih Temple was originally a terraced temple dedicated to the dragon god Besakih who is believed to inhabit the sacred mountain.
In the 15th century, Besakih became the state temple of the Geigel-Kiungkung dynasty, whose rulers built several small temples to honor their deified kin. It remains a state temple today, run and funded by the provincial and national governments.
What to explore at Pura Besakih?
The great Mount Agung rises to an altitude of 3,148 meters (10,308 feet) in eastern Bali. Perched on its slopes about 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) in altitude is the holy Besakih Temple, Mother Temple of Bali.
Besakih is said to be the only temple where a Hindu of any caste can worship. Surrounding three main temples dedicated to Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu are 18 separate sanctuaries belonging to different regencies and caste groups.
Stairs ascend through a monumental split gate to the courtyard of the main temple, Pura Panataran Agung, where the central shrine dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu is wrapped in cloth and decorated with flower offerings.
Two other important temples further up the slope join with the Pura Panataran Agung to symbolize the Hindu trinity: the Pura Panataran Agung in the center flies white banners for Shiva, Pura Kiduling Kreteg to the right flies red banners for Brahma; and Pura Batu Mddeg, on the left, has black banners for Vishnu.
There are many other temples to explore at Besakih, but many of their inner courtyards are reserved for worship and closed to visitors.
How to get to Pura Besakih?
This temple is very easy to find, as most people know it as one of the best tourist destinations in Bali. There are several starting points that you may choose to take:
From Kuta, it takes about 2 hours to get here. Simply head east towards Sanur, then follow the fast coastal route, which is connected to the Kusamba Bypass at Tohpati. Then go north until you find the road sign to Besakih, and after a few kilometers from this point turn north.
If you are staying around Klungkung, then Besakih is about 20 kilometers north of the town center. Take the Bemo – the small public buses– that will take you to Besakih from Klungkung. Bemos are most frequent in the morning, and it is recommended to change bemos at Rendang, halfway between Klungkung and Besakih.
If you come from the north of Denpasar, it is about 25 kilometers to reach Besakih by car. However, if you stay in the eastern part of Bali such as at Tirta Gangga, Candidasa, or Amed, you can reach Besakih by taking a smaller inland road from Karangasem. This will lead you to the crossroad between Besakih and Klungkung at Rendang, and then turn right to reach Besakih Temple.
During your hour-long drive, you will enjoy beautiful views traveling through forests, villages, and rice fields. If you are willing to make a short stop in one of the villages, you will see how the locals live, and learn a bit about their unique houses.
- Heaven on Earth
- The biggest temple in Bali!
- Big Temple in the mountains of Bali
- Fantastic Temple and Culture of Bali
- An impressive temple
Pura Besakih Desa Besakih, Kecamatan Rendang Karangasem Bali Indonesia
Tips for you
The Pura Besakih is the number one Temple of Bali, the Mother Temple of all Temples. Situated at 950 m above sea level at the slopes of the Gunung Agung, this is the center of religious life on Bali. This is a very extensive complex consisting of 3 main temples, 30 annex temples, in total about 200 buildings. As we did a private daytour with our own guide we were not harassed. Beware to check the weather for the day. We left sunny Sanur but when we arrived in the afternoon not only the Gunung Agung but even the upper temple complex were covered in dark clouds. So an early morning visit is recommended!