Besakih Temple or Mother Temple Bali (Pura Besakih Bali)
Bali's 9 Keys Directional Temples That Face A Variety Of Mountains, Lakes And Oceans
Besakih Temple Bali or Mother Temple Bali (Pura Luhur Besakih Bali)
Besakih Temple Bali (also named as Mother Temple Bali or Pura Besakih Bali) is located in the village of Besakih (Rendang Sub-district, Karangasem) right at the foot of Mount Agung, in the eastern domain of Bali.
As its name is already saying, it is the mother of all temples and not just one of Bali’s most important temples; it is the most important one in Bali! If you are now wondering, what is so special about Besakih Temple, we normally have to go a little bit deeper into the Balinese culture. I will try to explain it without making it boring:
Balinese believe, the higher a temple is located, the closer it is to god and the closer a temple is to god, the more sacred it is! Besakih Temple is located about 1.000 meters above sea level and finally it is the highest substantial public temple complex.
Besakih Temple dates back to about the 10th century (the same age as Tirta Empul Temple) and is actually a complex consisting of about 30 singular temples, with hundreds of shrines, dedicated to the helpers of the gods. When you have finally reached Pura Penataran Agung Besakih, the highest temple of the Mother Temple complex, you will be rewarded with unimaginable views and a fabulous, spiritual feeling.
Bali's 9 key directional temples are:
- Purah Besakih (Mother Temple), located on the western slopes of Gunung Agung in East Bali
- Pura Lempuyang (Lempuyang Temple), located on the slopes of Gunung Lempuyang, near Amlapura in East Bali
- Pura Luhur Batukaru (Batukaru Temple), located on the southern slopes of Gunung Batukaru in Central Bali
- Pura Luhur Uluwatu (Uluwatu Temple), located on the western end of the Bukit Peninsula
- Pura Ulun Danu Batur (Batur Temple), located at Kintamani in the Eastern Highlands
- Pura Goa Lawah (Bat Cave Temple), located on the main road near Padangbai in East Bali
- Pura Andakasa (Andakasa Temple), located on the summit of Mount Andakasa
- Pura Puncak Mangu (Puncak Mangu Temple), located on the top of Mount Catur, 2096 meter above the sea level
- Pura Pusering Jagat (Pusering Jagat Temple), located in the center of Bali, close to Gianyar city.
Additional Information 1: Mount Agung’s last activity dates back to 1963. A series of eruptions killed about 1000 people. The lava flows missed the Besakih Temple by mere meters. Balinese people believed and still believe that this is a sign that the gods wanted to show their power but did not want to destroy this unique and imposing Balinese structure.
Additional Information 2: Every shrine has its own anniversary and many of those “birthdays” are celebrated. The anniversaries follow the Balinese Calendar and the Ceremonies take place every 210 days.
Additional Information 3: Besakih is derived from the Sanskrit word Basuki which means ‘Congratulations'