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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Besakih Temple (Pura Besakih)

Besakih Temple
Freely translated as ‘Noble Mountain’, this stratovolcano is the highest point on Bali Island and one of the biggest volcanos in Indonesia. Its deep and grand crater despite rarely belching out smoke and ash, when it actually does erupt (last in 1963) it killed more than 1000 people and totally wiped out some of villages nearby. However that particular incident brought to pass a great phenomenon - its lava flows did not destroy the mother temple of Besakih, which was sitting at the slope of Mount Agung, causing firmer faith in the devotees and an increased number of visitors to the sacred place. Gunung Agung is considered a holy place as the Balinese believe that this is where the Gods reside and they think of this site as the Palace of the Gods. From the top of this mountain, you can even see the peak of Mount Rinjani over at the Lombok Island.

located in slope of Mount Agung about 1000 meters above sea level. This is the first temple built in Bali or well known with Mother Temple built by the javanese priest Sri Danghyang Dwijendra who traveled to Bali in 8th century. Besakih Temple has big complex of temple included the family temple who add by another Javanese priest Danghyang Nirartha in 16th century. The main temple courtyard is Penataran Agung has a triple throne called Padmasana Tiga with separate seats of the trinity gods Brahma, Wisnu and Siwa.

If you love hiking, conquering this mountain is a must. There are three ways to climb the mountain, from the south, south-east and west. The most common route is the one from the west side, starting from the Besakih temple where many local guides can help you with the path. It’s a long hike (about 2000 vertical meters, total one way distance is almost 5 km), so you better start very early in the morning, and equip yourself with the proper footwear as you will find many loose soil and rock along the way. Prepare also your rain gear, flashlight (as you will mostly be in dark forests), and your own mineral water. The only source of water is a well and it is considered too sacred for casual usage like these.

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