Besakih temple is a hindu holy place as well as being the largest and oldest shrine which located on the northeast side from bali paradise island. Besakih temple also often referred as center (mother) of all sacred area that existed in the island of gods.
Regarding the existence from Besakih temple territory, situated right on the slopes of Mount Agung (one of the highest volcano with an altitude of 3.142 meters above the sea level located in Karangasem East Bali), and this mountain last erupted in 1963. Beside Agung volcano, there is also Batur volcano in Kintamani area.
Talking about Besakih temple, this holy region is closely related with the holy journey ("Tirta Yatra") of a Hindu priest from India who lived in Java island, namely: "Rsi Markandeya" or often called "Bhatara Giri Rawang".
Before Besakih temple stands as now, where previously the region is a wild jungle and inhabited by many wild animals found in this place, later be explained Rsi Markandeya finally come with thousands of his followers to clean of this Besakih area, as he got a spirit call from the god.
He is also one of hindu holy priest who laid first stone in the construction of Besakih temple by planting "Panca Datu" (five precious metals), such as: Gold, Silver, Copper, Brass and Iron, which become symbol the balance of universe and all of these precious metals are planted in the area of Basukian temple.
While the construction of this Besakih temple reflects the epitome of "Catur Dewa Lokapala" with the presence of "Lord Shiva" in the middle, so becomes "Panca Dewata" (power symbol of main cardinal directions) as nature's balance.
Overall five (5) of these wind directions in more detail subdivided into eleven (11) sides of "Eka Dasa Rudra" (ie: Iswara, Maheswara, Brahma, Rudra, Mahadeva, Sangkara, Vishnu, Shambu, Shiva, Sadashiva and Paramashiva).
Besakih Temple also a sacred place which is a mix of original concepts from Indonesian culture with megalithikum tradition and Hindu concept that became symbol of "Tri Lokha" (3 tiers world spiritually), namely: Bhur, Bwah, Swah (Bottom, Middle and Upper world).
Panca Dewata temple at Besakih, ie:
- East side there is Gelap temple (Iswara)
- West side there is Ulun Kulkul temple (Mahadeva)
- North side there is Batumadeg temple (Vishnu)
- South side there is Kiduling Kreteg temple (Brahma)
- While in the Middle is Besakih temple (Shiva)
Moreover, Pura Besakih also a legacy of Megalithic era, with variety of "Artifacts" and "Menhir" (upright stones) which existed in Kiduling Kreteg temple, as symbol the power of universe. And the existence of Besakih temple is a fusion of classical tradition that strongly influenced from the reign of Majapahit kingdom in the 13th century AD until 15th century AD.
In its development, almost all the kings that ever reigned Bali island recorded has also been doing worship at Besakih temple, such as:
- King of ancient Bali, named: "Sri Kesari Warmadewa" also recorded has built "Merajan Slonding Temple", based on "Blanjong Monument (Sanur)" in the year Saka 913.
- During the reign of King "Airlangga", has recorded a Hindu priest named "Mpu Bharadah" also came to Besakih according to "Batumadeg Inscription" in the year Saka 929 (1007 AD).
- King "Sri Kresna Kepakisan" also sent a whole 'Aryan' (caste ksatrya) to conduct of worship at Besakih temple in the year 1352 AD.
- King of Gelgel, namely: "Dalem Ketut Ngulesir", "Dalem Batur Ngulesir", "Dalem Batur Ening" and his successors to hold prayers at Besakih temple.
- King of Klungkung "I Dewa Agung Jambe" and all the kings around Bali also doing the same thing in Besakih temple.
Besakih temple is a very spacious sacred place with variety grandeur from the existence of hindus temple in it. Regarding to the main temple function and its status as "Penyungsungan Jagat" which means: a sacred area used for worship by all Hindus in Bali, and Besakih temple was built in the 8th century AD.
While in the central yard from Besakih temple there are also "Padma Tiga" (3 holy shrines), which became symbol omnipotence of God that worshiped in the form of "Tri Purusa", ie:
- Shiva controls Bhur Loka
- Sada Shiva controls Bwah Loka
- Parama Shiva controls Swah Loka
Regarding the meaning of Besakih itself, comes from uric word: "Basuki / Basukiar / Wasuki / Basukih" which means: "Save / Holy". This sacred area is one of the historical site that built in the 8th century by a holy hindu priest, namely: " Rsi Markandeya", while the location of Besakih temple is located in Besakih village - Rendang sub-district - Karangasem regency - Northeast side of Bali (in bali language: "Ersanya).
The mileage to get to Besakih temple can be reached about 2 hours by all kinds of vehicles (Cars, Buses or Motorcycles) from Denpasar city. While the price of entrance fee ticket will be charged at IDR. 60,000 rates quoted per person and must be paid at the front gate before heading to Besakih temple.
Until now the existence of Besakih temple frequented by large number of tourists from local tourists, domestic and foreigners from all over the world when enjoying bali holiday tour packages.
For further explanation and how to organize travel trip to Besakih temple, please "Contact Us" at Sorga Bali Tours (Online organizer for holidays, Adventure packages and Tour service activities).
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