Besakih Temple; the Biggest Hindu Temple in Bali
Besakih temple is the biggest Hindu temple in the island of Bali. Local people call the temple as Pura Besakih. Different from any other temples in Bali, Besakih brings beautiful view from its top where people can easily see and enjoy the panorama. Because of that reason, many tourists from all over the world visited the temple. Besakih is located in the countryside of Besakih, in the sub district of Rendang, Karangasem regency or at the eastern part of Bali. It stands in the southwest side bevel of Mt. Agung, which is the biggest mountain in the island. The temple was built there because the mountain is the holiest and the highest mount in the island.
Local people also call Besakih as the “mother temple” because of its size. Besakih is more than 900 meters up the slopes of the mountain and has been regarded as one of the holiest places since pre-historic times. It is said that the existence of Besakih was since 1007 A.D. or since the Gelgel dynasty of the 15th century. Up to today, the temple is still regarded as a central, holy Hindu temple for the entire island.
All the allegiances of the Balinese Hindu see Besakih temple as important place. Every regency in the island has temple within the over-all compound. However, there are only 3 three main temples, which are Penataran Agung temple that is dedicated to Sang Hyang Widi Wasa, Kiduling Kreteg temple that is dedicated to Brahma and the third is Batu Madeg temple, dedicated to Wisnu.
Balinese people visit the temple of Besakih for a special pilgrimage. There is Odalan or anniversary ceremony on each Hindu temple in Bali, including Besakih. On the full moon of the Balinese month or namely “Kedasa”, the entire compound of the temple of Besakih will celebrate the visit of their gods. There will be an enormous throng of pilgrims in the great temple.
The name of Besakih was taken from the word of Basuki. It is an ancient word from Sanskrit Wasuki, and then become an Ancient Java Language. The word Basuki means “congratulation”. The Samudramanthana mythology has mentioned that Basuki is a mystical dragon twines the Mount of Mandara. It seems that the mother temple of Besakih was built in a very old era far before the existence of Hinduism influences. According to local legend, Sri Kesari Warmadewa whom was an ancient king in Bali found the Merajan Selonding temple in area. The king also commanded his people to build the Blanjong Monument located in near the Sanur Village. Besakih Temple was specially built based on cosmos balance, based on the conception that the temple complex has to be arranged based on the right direction. Because of that, this temple can deputize nature as the symbol of the world balance.
If you are planning a Bali vacation, do not forget to include the mother temple of Besakih in your agenda. Here, you will find a unique experience that would never be gotten from any other destinations.