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Discover Balinese Temples – What to see while in Bali?

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Discover Balinese Temples! Bali, the Island of the Gods is known from its mystical temples. There is no other place in the world with rites, ceremonies and religious culture as rich as the one in Bali. Historical events and location of the island made it possible for Bali to become a mainstay for Balinese form of Hinduism. It is said, that there are more than one thousand temples located on the island and all of them have different functions and are as well dedicated to different gods. There are water temples, protection – directional temples, cremation temples, family temples located in every Balinese compound and many many more. Especially for you, we’ve prepared a list of few, the most beautiful and most important Balinese Temples. Check them all while visiting Bali!

Discover Balinese Temples

Pura Besakih – Balinese Temples

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Pura Besakih  also known as the “Mother Temple”, is Bali’s most important temple xomplex perched along the slopes of Bali highest volcano, Mount Agung. The complex comprises more than 20 temples with countless little shrines scattered throughout the grounds. Badly damaged by the 1917 earthquake, the Mother Temple was miraculously spared by the 1963 eruption of Mount Agung as the lava flow stopped just before it reached the complex. Pura Besakih is also one of the 9 the most important directional temples in Bali.

Pura Besakih three main temples are dedicated to the Hindu Trinity:

– Pura Batu Madeg: Wisnu

– Pura Penataran Agung: Siwa

– Pura Kiduling Kreteg: Brahma

Pura Kehen – Balinese Temples

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The Bangli kingdom was founded by a Klungkung prince in the 18th century, and is now one of the eight regencies of Bali. Pura Kehen, the state temple of Bangli is considered Bali’s second most important temple after the Mother Temple of Besakih. The temple is reached by a long flight og stairs aligned on each side by sculptures of characters from the Ramayana. Like most Balinese Temples, Pura Kehen is built on eight terraces that make up three courtyards. In the most sacred courtyard, there is a multi-roofed shrine (Meru) with 11 tiers dedicated to Siwa, and three-throned shrin devoted to the Hindu Trinity: Brahma, Wisnu and Siwa.

Pura Tirta Empul – Balinese Temples

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Pura Tirta Empul is a temple built in the 10th century around a holy spring, which serves as the source of the Pakerisan river. According to the legend, Hindu god Indra fought against the demon king Mayadanawa who wanted to avenge the death of his wife. Mayadanawa created a pool of poisoned water from which Indra’s soliders drank. To save his soldiers, Indra pierced the ground with his spear and spring water came gushing out.

The magical powers of the spring water revived Indra’s soldiers who turned the situation around and killed the evil king. The blood of Mayadanawa flowed into the Peranu river. For more than 1700 years, no one was allowed to drink, swim or use the contaminated waters in any way – including for agriculture. The ban was only lifted in 1920s. Today people stand in line for a long time just to get a chance to bathe in the holy water.

Pura Ulun Danau Batur – Balinese Temples

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Originally located at the foot of Mount Batur, one of Bali’s volcanoes, Pura Ulun Danau Batur is a temple dedicated to the lake goddes, Dewi Danu, thus one of the most important temples of Bali. The temple survived the eruption of Mount Batur in 1917, but not in 192, when the lava flow covered the entire area except the highest shrine devoted to Dewi Danu. The local population relocated the structure to a higher ground and rebuilt it shrine by shrine as it is today on the rim of the volcano.

Pura Ulun Danau Beratan – Balinese Temples

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Like Pura Ulun Danau Batur, Pura Ulun Danau Bratan is a very famous and important water temple dedicated to the lake goddes Dewi Danu. Located on the shores of Lake Bratan, the temple was built in 1663 by the King of Mengwi and has become one of Bali’s most recognizable temples.

Goa Lawah – Balinese Temples

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Goa Lawah is also known as the bat temple and filled with thousands of fruit bats which are being worshipped by the locals. According to the legend, the cave is so deep that it extends through the mountain all the way to Pura Besakih.

Goa Gajah – Balinese Temples

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Goa Gajah, Buddhism Sanctuary is also known as the – Elephant Cave and it’s believed to date back from the 11th century. It is said that name of the temple comes from passing nearby Petanu River, that was once known as Elephant River or from the face over the cave entrance which looks like an elephant.  Goa Gajah Temple is located 6 km out of central Ubud, on the western edge of Bedulu Village. We recommend you to stay there for around one hour and discover relic-filled courtyard, bathing pools and fountains; enter a central meditation cave and observe the rock-wall carvings.

Based on: “Leap&Hop Bali” by Isabelle Demenge

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