The Great Besakih Balinese Mother Temple is a temple that plays a very important role for the Balinese people. Located on the slopes of Mount Agung, which is the highest mountain in Bali.

Beliefs The people of Bali, who are predominantly Hindu, believe that Besakih Temple is the stana of the gods who regulate and maintain the balance of nature.

This sacred area is not only a place of worship for Hindus, but is also a tourist spot

The attraction of Besakih Temple is truly enchanting. The architectural beauty of Besakih Temple, its location on the slopes of Mount Agung. The beauty of the natural panorama. The religious ceremonies held at Besakih Temple. And the history of the founding of Besakih Temple are interesting things for visitors to Besakih.

As the largest sacred area in Bali, Besakih Temple itself is a complex of several temples, there are around 19 temples in the Besakih Temple Complex.

The 19 temples have their respective functions. That is why Besakih Temple is the mother of temple because Besakih Temple is the center of activity for all temples in Bali.

Besakih Temple is located at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level and is on the western slope of Mount Agung.

Located in a holy village at a height area which was previously call Ulundang Basukih.

And turned into Besakih Village.

The word Besakih comes from Sanskrit which means wasuki or in Old Javanese basuki which means safe.

Besides that, the naming of Besakih Temple is also based on a Naga Basuki mythology as a counterweight to Mount Mandara.

Besakih Temple was built in 1284 by Rsi Markandeya who was a Hindu religious leader. Because he heard a supernatural voice while meditating in the Dieng Plateau.

Then Rsi Markandeya and his followers split the forest in Java to get to the island of Bali. In the past, the islands of Java and Bali were still one and not separated by the Bali Strait.

And the two islands that were not separated were namely Pulau Dawa which means Long Island.

Next, we will first discuss the history of Besakih Balinese Mother Temple.

The History of Besakih Temple

Starting the journey of Rsi Markandya, a yogi or Hindu Shiva Tatwa priest. Who came from South India in the early 8th century AD on Mount Dieng.

And it was on Mount Raung that he meditated and received a revelation in the form of a magical voice. And a beam of bright light that appeared in the East.

According to the revelation received by Rsi Markandeya. He came to Bali by crossing the Segara Rupek, namely the Bali Strait, with 400 followers.

The first trip headed towards Mount Toh Langkir and is now known as Mount Agung. And when he arrived at the slopes of Mount Agung which was still a wilderness.

The Rsi and his followers started clearing the forest to clear land for agriculture. But it failed because many followers suddenly got sick and died mysteriously.

And as a yogi and ascetic, he knew that there was a mysterious force or aura that controlled the island.

Then Rsi Markandeya returned to Mount Raung and did penance to ask the Creator for guidance.

So he got the idea to carry out the Yadnya ceremony. Before entering the forest on the slopes of Mount Agung.
So he returned to Dawa Island to explore the forest with 400 followers.

And before starting to explore the forest, he carried out ritual ceremonies such as mecaru. And planted the 5 metal elements or panca Datu including gold. Silver. Copper. Bronze. Iron, and accompanied by Mirah Adi (main gem).

Then the work of clearing the forest went smoothly. And this is the basis for Hindus to always carry out the yadnya ceremony.

Before opening new land, be it for houses. Rice fields or fields, and for temples to plant the five metal elements of Panca Datu.

After the forest encroachment was complete, when Rsi Markandeya was at the height of Mount Toh Langkir.

Then replace the name being “Bali” derived from the word “wali” (Palawan language from South India) which means sacred offerings.

And the area of Toh Langkir or Mount Agung developed into the name Besuki and became Besakih which means safe.

Meanwhile, the place where Rsi Markandeya performed the offering ceremony by planting 5 metal elements (Panca Datu) became Besakih Temple. – The Great Besakih Balinese Mother Temple

Starting with a pelinggih then a temple named Besukian was established, then the temple continued to grow so that it became the largest temple complex as it is now.

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The Names of the Temples in Besakih Balinese Mother Temple

The following are the names of the temples in Besakih Temple and their functions.

1. Pura Pesimpangan (Pesimpangan Temple)

Located about 2 km to the west of Penataran Agung Besakih Temple. The main sacred building or Pelinggih in Pesimpangan Temple is namely Gedong Limas Catu.

Gedong Limas Catu functions as the main shrine at Pesimpangan Temple.

It functions as a pesimpangan (tracing the meaning of the word Simpang which comes from Balinese which means stopping). Or temporary residence of Ida Batara in Besakih.

So, Pesimpangan Temple is a temporary stopover for Ida Batara. The symbol of God Almighty who is worshiped at Penataran Agung Besakih Temple.

2. Pura Dalem Puri (Dalem Puri Temple). – The Great Besakih Balinese Mother Temple

Previously this temple was named Pura Dalem Kedewatan. And it is in the south of Besakih Penataran Agung Temple.

For Hindus who have finished holding the Pitra Yadnya Upakara, namely cremation and Memukur or Ngeroras usually come to this temple.

This temple is a place of worship for Goddess Parwati or Goddess Durgha.

And Pura Dalem Puri is also a symbol of God’s court towards the spirits of humans who have died heading to the afterlife or Para Loka.

Next to Pura Dalem Puri there is a field Namely Tegal Penangsaran. And is a symbol of Hell.

3. Pura Manik Mas (Manik Mas Temple)

Manik Mas Temple is to the west of Penataran Agung Besakih Temple. The sacred building in this temple namely Gedong Simpen.

Shaped like a small building with a palm roof and four pillars facing north instead of west. The person who resides in this temple is Ratu Mas Melilit.

Which symbolizes God as the creator of magma, namely the enormous fire in the bowels of the earth.

So we learn that God’s omnipotence is everywhere, including magma, because of God’s omnipotence.

In Hindu mythology describes magma in the form of a giant tortoise. whose name is Badawang Nala.
Badawang means big turtle and nala means fire.

Where solids and liquids entangle magma. And in Hindu mythology, this has the symbol of Naga Basuki (as the water god incarnate of Lord Vishnu) and Naga Ananta Bhoga (as the land god incarnate of Lord Brahma) wrapped around the badawang nala turtle.

4. Pura Bangun Sakti (Bangun Sakti Temple)

Located about 600 meters to Penataran Agung Besakih Temple. And is the stana of Sang Hyang Ananta Bhoga. – The Great Besakih Balinese Mother Temple

This temple functions as a medium for worshiping God as the god of solid soil which forms the skin of the earth.

Worship of God as Sang Hyang Ananta Bhoga which means motivating Hindus to always maintain the preservation of the land so that it is always good for life.

5. Pura Ulun Kulkul ( Ulun KulKul Temple)

Ulun Kulkul Temple is located west of Penataran Agung Besakih Temple.

Namely Ulun Kulkul Temple, because this temple is the headwaters of Kulkul (kentongan as a traditional communication tool) throughout Bali. .

The function of Ulun Kulkul Temple is the palace of God Mahadewa. In the form of the main Pelinggih call Pelinggih Gedong Sari.

6. Pura Merajan Selonding

PURA Merajan Slonding is to the north of Ulun Kulkul Temple. And is part of Raja Kesari Warma Dewa’s reign.

Namely Merajan Slonding because it functions as a place to store a traditional musical instrument namely Slonding.

Which is a type of sacred and quite old Balinese gamelan which is only performed during religious ceremonies at the temple.

7. Pura Goa ( Goa Temple) -The Great Besakih Balinese Mother Temple

Goa Raja Temple is the residence of Hyang Naga Basuki. Located north of Manik Mas Temple. There is a river and on the cliff there is a large cave to the east of Goa Raja Temple.

But the ruins of the landslide closed the surface of the cave.

8. Pura Banua Kawan (Banua Kawan Temple) – The Great Besakih Balinese Mother Temple

Banua Kawan Temple is located to the east and is the stana of Batari Sri who is the goddess of prosperity or the goddess who is generous and gives fortune.

As for worship at Banua Temple as a medium of worship to God to invoke spiritual strength so that people are able to manage the natural wealth created by God productively and efficiently.

9. Pura Merajan Kanginan ( Merajan Kanginan Temple)

Merajan Kanginan Temple is a family temple owned by Ida Manik Angkeran who devoted his whole life to Bhatara at Besakih Temple.

10. Pura Jenggala (Jenggala Temple)

Named Jenggala Temple or Hyang Haluh Temple and became Dalem Prajepati Temple. This temple is located to the west of Banua Kawan Temple.

This temple is the palace of Brahma Prajepati. There is a Pandita / Rsi statue and also a Garuda statue in the Jenggala Temple area.

The symbol of the Garuda statue depicts that Garuda is the God Garutma.

Which has a philosophical meaning that in order to achieve peace and tranquility in human life, one should free oneself from slavery in the world by suppressing lust and greed.

It doesn’t mean we live away from the world. It’s just that material/wealth in the world is not the main goal of life.

And the Receipt Statue teaches us to always understand the essence of life as human beings who have joys and sorrows.

And diligently regularly read sacred literature to gain self-enlightenment about the nature of life in this world.

With understanding, a person will be able to live life elegantly and not be easily swayed by the hustle and bustle of mortal life.

11. Pura Basukihan (Basukihan Temple)

Basukihan Temple is Puseh Jagat Temple. The one who resides in the Basukihan temple is Hyang Naga Basuki.

And it is estimated that in this temple is the place where Danghyang Markandeya planted Pedagingan Pancadatu (five types of metal with ceremonial equipment).

12. Pura Penataran Agung ( Penataran Agung Temple)

Penataran Agung Temple is the largest temple, has the most pelinggih buildings, the most types of ceremonies and is the center of all the temples in Besakih.

And is the place for Pesamuaning Batara Kabeh (symbolizing the place where all the Gods from God’s manifestation gather at the Great Pesamuaning Hall of Pura Besakih and unite to give gifts to their people to offer devotion to God Almighty / Ida Shang Hyang Widhi).

Penataran Agung Temple consists of 7 mandalas which symbolize Sapta Loka or the seven layers of nature and in each plot there are the most sophisticated buildings which have their respective functions.

13. Pura Batu Madeg ( Batu Madeg Temple) – The Great Besakih Balinese Mother Temple

Batu Madeg Temple is to the north of Penataran Agung Temple. The name of this temple comes from the presence of a standing stone.

Pura Batu Madeg is the palace of Ida Bhatara Sakti Batu Madeg or Bhatara Vishnu.

14. Pura Batu Kiduling Kreteg (Kreteg Kiduling Temple)

Pura Kiduling Kreteg or Pura Dangin Kreteg is the temple of God in his manifestation as Hyang Brahma.

15. Pura Gelap (Gelap Temple )

Dark Temple is at an altitude just north of the Penataran Agung temple.

And it is the stana of Hyang Iswara, namely the protector of the eastern direction of the universe who is also the god of light (Sunlight).

Without sunlight shining on the world, the earth would not have life. In this temple, devotees ask for peace of mind and prosperity in life.

The term ”dark” in the name of Pura Gelap does not come from Indonesian.

The word ”dark” in the name of Dark Temple comes from the Kawi language which means thunder or lightning with its dazzling white light. -The Great Besakih Balinese Mother Temple

16. Pura Pengubengan (Pengubengan Temple) -The Great Besakih Balinese Mother Temple

Pengubengan Temple is located at Penataran Agung Temple. As for those who reside at Pengubengan Temple, namely Sang Hyang Naga Taksaka who is believed to be the ruler of the upper world.

It is a place for ngubeng (spinning or pradaksina) during the ceremony. Which serves to ask the Gods to witness and bless the ceremony taking place at Besakih Temple.

17. Pura Batu Tirta (Batu Tirta Temple)

Here there is a source of tirtha or holy water which is used when there are great works at Besakih Temple or great works in Pekraman villages.

18. Pura Peninjoan (Peninjaoan Temple)

Peninjoan Temple is located on a small hill. It is said that Empu Kuturan visited the area of Besakih Village which is now home to the shrines at Penataran Agung Temple from this place.

And it is also in this place that Empu Kuturan carries out ascetic yoga samadhi when he goes to Besakih.

19. Pura Pedharman ( Pedharman Temple)

This temple, which is often called Padharman, is functionally used to worship ancestors from an existing lineage.

There are 17 pedharman temples in Besakih.

The following are some important things that you should pay attention to when traveling to Besakih Temple.

  1. Do not enter the main (utamaning) and middle (madya) courtyards of holy places or sacred places such as temples, pelinggih, except for the purpose of praying wearing traditional Balinese clothing or prayers and not currently menstruating (menstruation).
  2. Don’t climb sacred trees.
  3. Unbehavior that can tarnish holy and consecrated places, temples, pratima (sacred temple objects) and religious symbols, such as climbing sacred buildings and taking pictures in immodest clothing/without clothes.
  4. Do not throw rubbish carelessly and pollute springs, rivers and public places.
  5. Don’t use single-use plastic such as plastic bags, polysterina (styrofoam) and plastic straws.
  6. Don’t say harsh words, behave impolitely, make noise, or act aggressively towards state officials, government, local communities or fellow tourists directly or indirectly through social media, such as spreading hate speech and hoaxes.
  7. Not involved in illegal activities such as (flora and fauna, cultural artifacts, sacred objects) buying and selling illegal goods, including illegal drugs.
  8. Always Respect the customs, traditions, arts and culture, as well as the local wisdom of the Balinese people.
  9. Always wear polite, reasonable and appropriate clothing when visiting holy places, tourist attractions, public places and during activities in Bali.
  10. Always behave politely in sacred areas
  11. It is highly recommended to be accompanied by a tour guide who has a permit/licence (understanding natural conditions, customs, traditions, and local wisdom of the Balinese people) when visiting tourist attractions.
  12. Comply with all special provisions/rules that apply to each tourist attraction and tourist activity.

So, those are all the things that we can summarize for you about The Great Besakih Balinese Mother Temple

Hopefully this article can be helpful and useful for those of you who want to know about The Great Besakih Balinese Mother Temple.

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