Bali, the ‘Island of the Gods,’ is renowned for its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and intricate temples. Among these temples, Besakih Temple stands as the largest and perhaps the most spiritually significant. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the history, architecture, and cultural importance of Besakih Temple—Bali’s spiritual epicenter.
The Importance of Temples in Balinese Culture
In Bali, temples are not just religious structures; they are integral to the Balinese way of life. From ceremonies to community gatherings, temples serve as the spiritual and social hubs of each village. They embody Bali’s unique form of Hinduism, interwoven with local myths and ancestor worship.
Besakih Temple, also known as the ‘Mother Temple,’ is perched almost 1,000 meters high on the slopes of Mount Agung. Built in the 8th century, this sacred complex has withstood volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and the passage of time. It is not just a temple, but a complex of 23 temples, which makes it the largest in Bali.
Architecture and Design
The layout of Besakih Temple is a complex arrangement of shrines, staircases, and courtyards, adorned with intricate stone carvings and ornate decorations. It is built primarily out of volcanic rock and black sandstone. The seven-tiered meru (tower) dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva is one of its most striking features, symbolizing the seven layers of the universe in Balinese Hindu cosmology.
Besakih Temple is dedicated to the Hindu trinity: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Each main temple within the complex is dedicated to one of these deities. The temple hosts several annual ceremonies and festivals, the most notable being the month-long Panca Bali Krama festival, drawing pilgrims from across Indonesia.
How to Get There
Besakih Temple is located here in the Karangasem Regency and is roughly a 40-minute drive from hideout. Private tours and public transport options are available. The best times to visit are early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds and the heat.
What to Know Before You Go:
- Dress respectfully. Wearing a sarong and a sash is mandatory for both men and women.
- Expect to pay an entrance fee, which often includes a compulsory guide.
- It’s a good idea to carry some cash for offerings or donations.
Besakih Temple Entrance Fee
Entrance to Besakih Temple (Pura Besakih) requires an admission fee of 60,000 IDR per adult and 30,000 IDR per child. Tickets are available for purchase at the ticket counter located in the parking area near the temple’s entrance gate.
Besakih Temple is more than just a place of worship; it is the soul of Bali encapsulated in stone and ritual. Its significance in Balinese history and daily life is profound, offering a deep dive into the island’s spiritual and cultural richness. To truly absorb the essence of Bali, a visit to Besakih Temple is an experience you simply cannot miss.
While you’re making the pilgrimage to this extraordinary site, why not make your stay equally memorable? Consider spending your nights with us here at hideout Bali, an eco-friendly oasis that offers an authentic and luxurious Balinese experience. Nestled amidst natural beauty, our bamboo buildings provide the perfect setting to reflect on your spiritual journey to Besakih Temple.