Places of Interest in Besakih Temple, Bali

Over a thousand years old, Besakih Temple is known as the "Mother
Temple of Bali" Perched on the slopes of Mount Agung, at a lofty 1,000
meters (3,000 feet). Besakih is the biggest and holiest of all the
Balinese temples. Bali's mother temple stands against a stupendous
mountain backdrop on the southeastern slopes of Mount Agung. Named after
the Dragon God believed to inhabit the mountain, it's said to be the
only temple where a Hindu of any caste can worship.


Eighteen separate sanctuaries belonging to different regencies
and caste groups surround the three main temples dedicated to Shiva,
Brahma and Vishnu. To the Balinese, visiting the temple sanctuaries is a
special pilgrimage. The mountain top setting gives it an almost
mystical quality.
The largest on the island, this massive complex of 35 small temples
attracts staggering numbers each year, being the main point of
pilgrimage for Balinese Hindus. Steps ascend through split gates to the
main courtyard where the Trinity shrines, dedicated to Shiva, Brahma,
and Vishnu, are wrapped in cloth and decorated with flower offerings.
There are number of temples but many of their inner courtyards are
closed to visitors. Tracing its origins to prehistoric times, the
complex was untouched by the great 1963 eruption of Mount Agung, which
wiped out surrounding villages. The complex also houses the oldest
remaining gamelan instrument in Bali called selonding. The temple
ceremony (odalan) falls on the 10th month of the Balinese calendar, in
April. If traveling, try to reach Pura Besakih before 9am, when many
tourist buses start to arrive, so that we can take in the lovely temple
in the quiet Balinese morning.



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