Bali is a land of mystique and beauty. The island is home to many temples, but none are as grand and important as Pura Besakih. It is located on the slopes of Mount Agung, Bali’s highest peak, and is considered the mother temple of Bali. Pura Besakih is a complex of temples that are dedicated to various deities in Hinduism. It is a spiritual pilgrimage destination for Balinese Hindus, and tourists flock here to experience the mystical aura and the breathtaking view of the mountains.
The History of Pura Besakih
Pura Besakih has a long and fascinating history. It dates back to the 8th century, when a Hindu priest named Rsi Markandya came to Bali and built a temple on the slopes of Mount Agung. Over the centuries, other temples were added to the complex, and it became the most important temple in Bali. The temple complex was destroyed several times by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, but it was always rebuilt with the help of the Balinese people.
The Architecture of Pura Besakih
The temple complex of Pura Besakih is a masterpiece of Balinese architecture. The complex consists of 23 temples, each with its unique design and purpose. The temples are built on different levels, and visitors can climb up to the highest temple, which is 1,000 meters above sea level. The intricate carvings and sculptures on the temples are stunning, and they depict scenes from Hindu mythology. The most impressive temple in the complex is the Pura Penataran Agung, which is the main temple and is dedicated to Shiva, the destroyer god in Hinduism.
The Significance of Pura Besakih
Pura Besakih is not just a temple complex; it is a symbol of the Balinese people’s devotion to their religion and culture. The temple complex represents the cosmology of Balinese Hinduism, and it is a source of spiritual energy for the people. Balinese Hindus believe that by visiting the temple and making offerings to the deities, they can purify themselves and achieve spiritual enlightenment. The complex is also a symbol of the struggle of the Balinese people to preserve their culture and traditions in the face of modernization and globalization.
The Festivals of Pura Besakih
Pura Besakih is a center of religious festivals and ceremonies. The most famous festival is the Odalan, which is celebrated every 210 days according to the Balinese calendar. During the festival, the temples are decorated with colorful offerings, and the priests perform rituals and dances to honor the deities. The festival attracts thousands of visitors from all over Bali and the world, and it is a time of great joy and celebration.
The Experience of Visiting Pura Besakih
Visiting Pura Besakih is an unforgettable experience. The temple complex is surrounded by lush greenery and majestic mountains, and the air is filled with the fragrance of incense and flowers. Visitors can explore the temples at their leisure, and they can watch the priests perform their rituals and dances. The view from the highest temple is breathtaking, and visitors can see the entire island of Bali from there. The experience of visiting Pura Besakih is not just a sightseeing trip; it is a spiritual and cultural journey that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Pura Besakih is a treasure of Bali’s cultural heritage and a testament to the Balinese people’s devotion to their religion. It is a place of beauty, mystery, and spirituality, and it is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the true essence of Bali. Visiting Pura Besakih is not just a tourist attraction; it is a pilgrimage that will enrich your soul and connect you to the divine.