the old culture from balinese and all i know will show in this blog

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Bali Temples Guide

A guide to the most important temples in Bali
Besakih Temple (Mother Temple)

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. 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.

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 are number of temples but many of their inner courtyards are closed to visitors. If travelling on your own, try reach Pura Besakih before 9am, when many tourist buses start to arrive, so that you can take in the lovely temple in the quiet Balinese morning.

Tanah Lot Temple

The royal Taman Ayun temple was built by one of the last priests to come to Bali from Java in the 16th century. The temple stands on top of a huge rock, surrounded by the sea and is one of Bali's most important sea temples. Tanah Lot pays homage to the guardian spirits of the sea.

Ancient rituals pay homage to the guardian spirits of the sea. Poisonous sea snakes found in the caves at the base of the rocky island are believed to be guardians of the temple, standing virgil against evil spirits and intruders.

The best time to see Tanah Lot is in the late afternoon when the temple is in silhouette.


Pura Tirta Empul

Built around a sacred spring, Tampak Siring. An inscription dates the spring all the way back to 926AD; and there are fine carvings and Garudas on the courtyard buildings. The temple and its two bathing spots have been used by the Balinese for over a thousand years for good health and prosperity; as the spring water really does have the power to cure! Regular purification ceremonies also take place here.

Tampak Siring artists produce marvellous bone and ivory carvings. Both sites open daily. By public transport from Ubud, catch a bemo north to Tampaksiring from the junction in Bedulu, which is south-east of Ubud.

A little off the main road in Tampaksiring is Gunung Kawi with its group of large stone memorials cut into cliffs on either side of a picturesque river valley. It is believed to date from 11th century, one is of Bali's most impressive sights.

Ulu Danu

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