When I was a student, my teacher told me that the tourist called Bali as A Thousand Temple Island. Why, I asked him. Because there were many temples in Bali, that was his answered. Well, that is only a parable. In fact, based on a record, there are more than 12,611 temples around Bali island, excludes the family temple. The royal family of Bali made their own temples for their own religious activities.
A law in this island says that every village must have minimum 3 temples, so you can see the affect of the law today. Many temples in Bali are hundreds years old and you will feel something mystical if you visit them. Remember to have a dress code for entering the temples and always be respectful while there.
Here is some of most popular temples :
Located in in the village of Besakih on the south slopes of Mount Agung, the principal volcano in eastern Bali. The Mother Temple of Besakih is the most important, the largest and holiest temple of Agama Hindu Dharma in Bali. Ancient story says that the Pura Besakih was built by Rsi Markandya and followers around the 11th century. At that time, Rsi Markandya wanted to open the forest to be a place to live. However, because many of his followers died due to illness, so to save his followers, Rsi Markandya build Sanggar Basuki, a place of worship of God as a savior. Besakih The name is taken from the word “Basuki” which means “savior”.
Pura Tanah Lot
Located in Tabanan, about 20 km from Denpasar. The temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. Pura Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 15th century Priest Nirartha during his travel along the south coast of Bali. Tanah Lot Temple is one of seven seas temples around Balinese coast. At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes, which was created from Nirata’s scarf, are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu
One of Balinese Sea Temple at Uluwatu on Bali. It was built in the 11th century. Pura Luhur Uluwatu is located on on top of a steep rock platform and a high and jutting into the sea, at an altitude of 97 meters above sea level, in Pecatu village, Kuta South District of Badung Regency of Bali. This temple was originally used to be a place of worship a holy priest named professor Kuturan 11th century and later also used to worship the holy priest Dang Hyang Nirartha, who came to Bali in late 1550.
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
This temple complex is located on the northwest edge of Lake Beratan in the mountains near Bedugul in the altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level, The complex was built in 1633 and used for ceremonial offerings to Dewi Danu, the goddess of water, lakes and rivers. Lake Beratan is one of the important lake in terms of irrigation.
Pura Tirta Empul
Pura Tirta Empul and its baths are located in rural areas Manukaya, Tampaksiring District, Gianyar Regency. The establishment of this temple is expected in the year 960 AD at the time of King Chandra Bhayasingha of Warmadewa Dynasty. The Tirta Empul water flows into the river Pakerisan. Along the river there are some ancient relics. On the western this temple there Tampaksiring Palace which is the presidential palace that was built during President Sukarno.
Pura Taman Ayun
Located in the village of Mengwi, Badung district, approximately 18 km northwest of Denpasar and is one of the most beautiful temple in Bali. Built in 1634 by King of Mengwi, I Gusti Agung Putu, then restored in 1937. This temple is dedicated to the royal ancestors and for the gods which are housed in another temple in Bali. Pura Taman Ayun is the Mother of Temple for the Kingdom Mengwi.
Pura Penataran Sasih
A place of worship the beginning of life on earth. Pura Penataran Sasih is estimated exist before the entry of Hinduism to Bali, which is equivalent to the Dong Son era in China, about 300 years BC. Meanwhile, the Hinduism go to Bali is expected around the 8th century. One of the ancient relics is Bulan Pejeng, a 186.5 cm diameter bronze kettledrum.
Pura Penataran Sasih also famous for the sacred dances Sang Hyang Jaran dance which are performed when a big ceremony and performed by four dancers. The dancers will be present some time before the show and occurs suddenly at the direction of sesuhunan. That person will suddenly karauhan (trance). People which are karauhan could have been people from outside the area Pejeng.
Pura Goa Gajah
Goa Gajah means Elephant Cave, located in the Village Bedulu, Blahbatuh District, Gianyar regency, about 27 km from Denpasar. Goa Gajah comes from the word Lwa Gajah, a word which are appears in the Lontar (Manuscript) Negarakertagama compiled by Mpu Prapanca in the year 1365 AD. Built at about the 11 th century AD, when King Sri Astasura Ratna Bumi Banten powered. This cave used as a hermitage, as evidenced by the existence of niches in the cave. There are also seven swimming baths with an angel statue which are was holding the holy water.
Pura Goa Lawah
Pura Goa Lawah in the Village District Pesinggahan Dawan, Klungkung is the center of worship of God as Lord of the Sea. In Lontar Usana Bali and Lontar Babad Pasek Lawah state that Pura Goa Lawah was built as the initiative of Mpu Kuturan in 11 century AD and restored to extended in the 15 century AD. Lontar Usana Bali also stated that the Mpu Kuturan made a manuscript “Babading Dharma Wawu Anyeneng” which it recorded on the establishment of several temples in Bali, including Pura Goa Lawah in the Saka year or 1007 AD.
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