Pura Besakih, one of
the most sacred sites in Bali is perched high on the slopes of
Bali's Mount Agung and is widely referred to as the 'Mother
Temple' of Hinduism in Bali. The name of 'Pura Besakih' is
probably derived from the snake Basuki that features in Hindu
The temple has a car park at the entrance, where tourists can hire
a guide from among several Balinese of all ages who offer their
services as guides. These people can speak broken English and know
only the main facts about the temple. If you do hire a guide, then
negotiate the price in advance (about 10,000 rupiahs).
On an ordinary day, one might not find this terrace temple built
mainly of dark-colored lava stone impressive. However, if one
visits Pura Besakih temple during the time of the annual temple
festival, one cannot help but marvel at the place.
During the annual
temple festival of Pura Besakih, tens of thousands of Hindus from
all over the island and from farther a field throng to the temple,
which is elaborately decorated at the time of its annual
"birthday" festival (the odalan festival). Though there are more
colorful and more elaborately decorated temples on Bali, but to
the Hindus none is so important as the Pura Besakih, the 'Mother
of All Temples'.
In addition to the Odalan Festival, the Pura Besakih also serves
as the prestigious venue of Bali's most important temple festival,
the Eka Dasa Rudra, which is celebrated every hundred years. The
Eka Dasa Rudra festival last took place in 1979.
The temple of Pura Besakih lies in a luxuriant tropical landscape,
located at the foot of Gunung Agung, which forms a magnificent
backdrop. The setting looks particularly stunning in the clear
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