Besakih Temple – Pura Besakih

Besakih Temple is located on the beautiful island of Bali, which belongs to Indonesia. It is considered one of the most important sanctuaries in Indonesia and is the mother temple of all temples located in Bali.

The temple is located in Jalan Raya Besakih, 80863 Karangasem in the east of the island.

What is Pura Besakih?

The temple is located on a still active volcano called Gunung Agung at an altitude of about 950 meters on an area of about three square kilometers. Founded the temple was probably founded around the 8th century AD.

In 1917, the previously named Volkan erupted and although approximately 1,600 people died as a result of the volcanic eruption, Pura Besakih was not damaged. The entire temple complex miraculously remained completely intact.

The temple city consists of three main shrines, about 30 secondary temples and more than 200 buildings. In addition to shrines, temple towers and pavilions, they also consist of a number of enclosed buildings.

Since 1995, the temple Pura Besakih is on the tentative list as a UNESCO World Heritage Site but has not yet been included.

The temple was originally much smaller, however, over the many years it was expanded again and again, so that eventually the temple city came into being.

What can you see in the temple city?

The temple is reached by a wide, steep stone staircase. People who do not belong to Hinduism are allowed to enter the inner part of the temple, but they have to stay on the outer edge.

Almost daily ceremonies take place in the temple. Here, for example, offerings are brought to the temple, prayers are said and the gods are honored.

Ceremony temple
Paco Pater, Salah Satu Upacara Besar Di Pura Agung Besakih, CC BY-SA 4.0

On the approximately one kilometer long way from the parking lot to the temple you will find some fruit and drink stands, but also souvenir stores for small souvenirs of the day.

The tour of the temple complex takes at least two hours. You can admire the temples and shrines and enjoy the beautiful view from the volcano.

The highest temple called Pura Pangu Bengan is open to all faiths, as long as you want to pray. Some areas, on the other hand, are closed to visitors to pay respect to the locals who pray.

Information for visitors

The temple is open to visitors daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission to the Pura Besakih temple complex costs approximately €1.10 per person. Wearing a special temple scarf, called a sarong in Indonesia, is mandatory.

ou can either borrow one at the entrance of the temple or buy one directly as a souvenir to take home.

Often you can book organized tours to the temples directly in the resorts. Alternatively, you can get to the temple by rental car or cab.

Things to know

If you want to take beautiful pictures, it is recommended to visit the temple city when the weather is nice. Alternatively, you can visit the temple early in the morning, when the volcano is not yet covered by clouds, which is unfortunately very often the case.

Pura Besakih
Stephanie Biechele, Besakih01, CC BY-SA 3.0

At the entrance of the temple is a donation book, in which name, nationality and donation amount can be entered. Donations are voluntary, but clearly desired by the local people.

Thejourney takes no more than 2 hours from most well-known resorts. From Ubud it takes 2 hours, from Candidasa only one hour. You should definitely find out about the journey beforehand and decide whether you want to take it on yourself.

For whom is Pura Besakih suitable?

Basically, the temple city can be interesting for anyone who can stand on their feet for a good two hours and is interested in Indonesian architecture.
Should you have small children with you, you definitely need to think about a stroller and lots of steep stairs.

If you are now curious about the sacred temples and shrines, they are definitely worth a visit on your next Bali trip.

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