Pura Besakih, Bali – Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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PURA BESAKIH TEMPLE COMPLEX
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The complex is situated on the south-west flanks of the sacred volcano Gunung Agung, which was considered by local Hindus to be the seat of the gods and the centre of the universe. Pura Besakih consists of more than 200 different buildings. While there is much to see I would recommend that the five places below should be on your must-see list.
First is Split Gate. To get to the first of five temple districts which are separated by lava-rock walls, visitors must climb a wide staircase and walk through the Split Gate (candi bentar). To the left and right of the gate is a bell tower (kulkul). It is possible to see the courtyard from here, but it is not open to non-Hindus.
Second is the Main Courtyard. The second temple district, accessed via a covered gate, features the honorary seat and a bale (pavilion) in which village elders gathered and where Gamelan orchestras would perform during festivals. The courtyard is dominated by two enormous merus (tower shrines).
Third is the Honorary seat. This is the most significant relic of the entire complex of Besakih and it is the lotus throne (sanggar agung). Its three seats serve as the honorary seat for supreme god Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in his manifestation as the Hindu trinity Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva during the Bhatara Turun Kabeh ceremony.
Forth is the Inner courtyards. There are several bales (pavilions) on the higher terraces that are reserved just for priestly rituals, as well as several merus for various gods, ancestors and spirits.
Fifth is the Temple treasures. These are items such as treasured old wooden inscriptions and are kept in the sacred Kehen Temple.
Pura Besakih is just the tip of Bali’s temple iceberg and there is so much more to see on this island. You can explore into the bat ladened Goa Lawah, go to the relic fill courtyard of Goa Gajah or the tall pagoda-topped temples of Ulun Danu Beratan. If you are up to the challenge and feeling really fit then conquer the marked trail up to the summit of Agung. Once there you can really appreciate why Bali is the ‘Island of the Gods’.
The local languages are Balinese and Indonesian but English is fairly common in the tourist areas. The timezone is GMT+8 and no visas are required by UK nationals for stays of up to 30 days. Currency is the Indonesian rupiah (IDR), which is currently around IDR 20, 000 to the UK£. It’s generally recommended that you be up to date with all vaccinations before you travel here.
The final section in part 3 is something I mentioned in part 1. I have never met such a high concentration of scammers and con artists in any one location before so read this before you go.
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Page added on: 29 October 2018
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