Besakih Temple – Mother of Temple in Bali

Besakih is The Mother Temple of Bali

As the location of Besakih temple is relatively high on Mount Agung, when the sun rises at dawn, the early morning sun hits the spiral tops of the towering shrines of Besakih temple. This scenery is exotically beautiful.
Besakih temple (“Pura Besakih” in Balinese) is a temple complex in the village of Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung in eastern part of Bali, Indonesia. It is the most significant, sacred, and the greatest temple of Hindu religion in Bali, and one of a series of Balinese temples. Situated in nearly 1000 meters up the slopes of Mount Agung(“Gunung Agung” in Balinese), it is an extensive complex of 23 separate but related temples with the largest and most important being “Pura Penataran Agung”. The temple was built on six levels, terraced up the slopes. The entrance was formed by a “Candi Bentar” (split gateway), and beyond it is the “Kori Agung” is the gateway to the second courtyard of the temple.

Besakih Temple

The exact origins of the temple are not accurately obvious but it almost certainly that it was built in prehistoric times. The stone bases of Pura Penataran Agung and several other temples resemble megalithic stepped pyramids, which date back at least 2000 years ago . It was certainly used as a Hindu place of worship from 1284 when the first Javanese conquerors settled in Bali. By the 15th century, Besakih had become a state temple of the Gelgel dynasty in Klungkung regency.

Pura Besakih is a temple complex made up of twenty-three temples that sit on parallel high land ridge. It has sort of layered terraces and flights of stairs which ascend to a number of courtyards and brick gateways that in turn lead up to the main spire or Meru structure, which is called Pura Penataran Agung. All this is aligned along a single pivot and designed to lead the spiritual person upward and closer to the mountain, Mount Agung, which is considered spiritually sacred.


The main sanctuary of the complex is the Pura Penataran Agung. The symbolic center of the main sanctuary area is the lotus throne or Padmasana, which is therefore the ritual focus of the complex entirely. It was approximately built in the seventeenth century.

A series of eruptions of Mount Agung in 1963, which killed more or less 1,700 people also endangered Pura Besakih. The lava flows missed the temple complex by only very few meters. That the temple is safe from the eruptions has been regarded by the Balinese people as miraculous, and a signal from the gods that they wished to show their power but not to destroy the temple the Balinese faithful had erected.

Besakih Temple in Bali


Each year there are at least seventy festivals carried out at the temple complex, since almost every shrine celebrates its anniversary annually. This cycle is based on the 210-day Balinese Pawukon calendar. The complex of Besakih temple had been nominated as a World Heritage Site since 1995. Visitors who join tour packages to eastern part of Bali, this temple complex can surely be an exotic destination.

Besakih Temple also one of the starting point of Volcano Sunrise Trek in Bali – Here is the detail : Mount Agung Sunrise Trek

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