Friday, September 12, 2014


One of the beautiful and exciting sacred sites to be found in Bali is Pura Lempuyang, which is located in the Eastern Bali, more precisely – in the village of Purahayu in the Abang District. 

The way in reaching and fully enjoying sites is not that easy since it is known that more than 1700 steps have to be made in order to reach the top of the site and it takes you about 2 hours  ( this site is also called “The temple of 1000 steps”). However, once you manage to get there, you definitely will not regret all the efforts, since the place is truly scenic and it holds variety of interesting values of Hindu religion.

At the bottom levels of the mountain you will find Pura Agung Lempuyang, Telaga Mas Temple, and Mas Temple. Walking further you will pass such sites as Lempuyang Madya Temple, Puncak Bisbis Temple, Agung Lempuyang Market and  then you will reach the highest and most notable temple Lempuyang Luhur Temple.

Not only you will be able to enjoy the incredible architecture and observe all the quite uncommon traditions related to the Hindu religion, but also, since the temple is located so high above the sea level, to gaze at the sunrise which will set over the mountains and the sea. Therefore the best time to visit the temple is quite early in the morning. 

There is variety of  rules and restrictions that have to be followed  and it is very important to have a respectful attitude towards the religion and the traditions in this sites.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Uluwatu Temple (Pura Uluwatu or also known as Pura Luhur) is one of Bali's nine key directional temples (Pura Kayangan Jagat). Though a small temple was claimed to have existed beforehand, based on inscriptions the structure was either instigated or significantly expanded by a Javanese sage, Empu Kuturan in the 11th Century. He was a Majapahit monk, who took also part in establishing several other temples on Bali. 

Another sage from East Java, Dang Hyang Nirartha is credited for constructing the padmasana shrines and is claimed to have attained Moksha at Uluwatu. Legends suggest that he reached the highest spiritual point of oneness with the gods by a strike of lightning and completely disappeared.

You can enter the temple area through two entrances that are split gates. They are surrounded by a couple of Ganesha sculptures (shaped like a human body with an elephant head). Behind the main shrine lies a Brahmin statue facing the Indian Ocean. Until the early 80ies it was rather difficult to get here.
Even more remarkable than the temple itself, which is not as impressive as some other major ones on Bali, is its location: Perched on a steep cliff 70 metres above the roaring Indian ocean waves. There are more steep headlands on either side and sunsets over Uluwatu are a sight to behold. There is also a very scenic cave underneath with rock formations leading onto a beach close to the temple. This is a popular spot for surfers.

You can watch a Balinese Dance Performance in the evenings and although it can be a bit crowded at times or feel a bit touristy, it's still a nice and special experience to come here. 
It takes about an hour to get from one end to other, which not many of the visitors do actually. But it's nice and you will be rewarded along the way with remarkable views.
You need to be properly dressed to enter. Sarongs and sashes are available free at the entrance.Guides, once famously mercenary, hassle visitors less than they used to, although they will offer to ""protect"" you from the monkeys, for a tip of course. Note that while you are free to walk around the temple grounds, the central courtyards are usually closed and can only be entered during special rituals.
Take your time, roam around, sit down at times and enjoy the spectacular views. The name: Ulu means head and Watu means rock. Some temples like Uluwatu are also called additionally "Luhur" which means something like heavenly, original, transcendent, ancestrial.

The temple is inhabited by large number of monkeys, who are extremely adept at snatching visitors' belonging, including bags, cameras and eyeglasses. Keep a very close grip on all your belongings and stow away your eyeglasses if at all possible. If you do have something taken, the monkeys can usually be induced to exchange it for some fruit. Needless to say, rewarding the monkeys like this only encourages them to steal more. Locals and even the temple priests will be happy to do the job for you, naturally in exchange for a tip (Rp 10,000-50,000). The monkey are believed to guard the temple from bad influences.

At every major temple entrance in Bali you will find one or more signboards (also in English) that inform you about rules, entrance fees and the most important things you need to know when entering the compound.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


The Mother Temple of Besakih, or Pura Besakih, in the village of Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung in eastern Bali, Indonesia, is the most important, the largest and holiest temple of Hindu religion in Bali,  and one of a series of Balinese temples. Perched nearly 1000 meters up the side of Gunung Agung, it is an extensive complex of 23 separate but related temples with the largest and most important being Pura Penataran Agung. This is built on six levels, terraced up the slope. This entrance is an imposing Candi Bentar (split gateway), and beyond it the even more impressive Kori Agung is the gateway to the second courtyard.

This Mother Temple is actually a complex made up of twenty-two temples that sit on parallel ridges. It has stepped 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 axis and designed to lead the spiritual person upward and closer to the mountain which is considered sacred.
The main sanctuary of the complex is the Pura Penataran Agung. The symbolic center of the main sanctuary is the lotus throne or padmasana, which is therefore the ritual focus of the entire complex. It dates to around the seventeenth century.
A series of eruptions of Mount Agung in 1963, which killed approximately 1,700 people, also threatened Pura Besakih. The lava flows missed the temple complex by mere meters. The saving of the temple is regarded by the Balinese people as miraculous, and a signal from the gods that they wished to demonstrate their power but not destroy the monument the Balinese faithful had erected.
Each year there are at least seventy festivals held at the complex, since almost every shrine celebrates a yearly anniversary. This cycle is based on the 210-day Balinese calendar year.
It had been nominated as a World Heritage Site as early as 1995, but remains unvested.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

About Bali

Bali is one of several islands in Indonesia country, famous with beautiful view and have 1000 pura'sThe history of Bali covers a period from the Paleolithic to the present, and is characterized by migrations of people and cultures from other parts of Asia. In the 16th century, the history of Bali started to be marked by Western influence with the arrival of Europeans, to become, after a long and difficult colonial period under the Dutch, an example of the preservation of traditional cultures and a key touristic destination.

Today, contemporary Balinese style is known as one of the most popular Asian tropical architecture, much owed to the growth of tourism industry in Bali that create demands on Balinese-style houses, cottages, villas and hotels. Contemporary Balinese architecture combines traditional aesthetic principles, island's abundance of natural materials, famous artistry and craftmanship of its people, as well as international architecture influences, new techniques and trends.

Balinese architecture is a vernacular architecture tradition of Balinese people that inhabits volcanic island of Bali, Indonesia. The Balinese architecture is a centuries-old architectural tradition influenced by Balinese culture developed from Hindu influences through ancient Javanese intermediary, as well as pre-Hindu elements of native Balinese architecture.

Balinese architecture is developed from Balinese ways of life, their spatial organization, their communal-based social relationships, as well as philosophy and spirituality influenced its design; much owed to Balinese Hinduism. The philosophical and conceptual basis underlining development of Balinese traditional architecture includes several concepts such as :

  1. Tri Hita Karana: the concept of harmony and balance consists of three elements; atma (human), angga (nature), and khaya (gods). Tri Hita Karana prescribe three ways that a human beings must strive to nurture harmonious relationship with; fellow human beings, nature, and God.
  2. Tri Mandala: the rules of space division and zoning. Tri Mandala is spatial concept describing three parts of realms, from Nista Mandala — the outer and lower mundane less-sacred realm, Madya Mandala — the intermediate middle realm, to Utama Mandala — the inner and higher most important sacred realm. Sanga Mandala: also the rules of space division and zoning.
  3. The Sanga Mandala is the spatial concept concerning with directions that divide an area into nine parts according to eight main cardinal directions and central (zenith). These nine cardinal directions is connected to Hindu concept of Guardians of the directions, Dewata Nawa Sanga or nine guardian gods of directions that appear in Majapahit emblem Surya Majapahit. They are; Center: Shiva, East: Isvara, West: Mahadeva, North: Vishnu, South: Brahma, Northeast: Sambhu, Northwest: Sangkara, Southeast: Mahesora, and Southwest: Rudra.
  4. Tri Angga: the conception of hierarchy from microcosm, middle realm, and macrocosm. It is also connected to the next concept tri loka.
  5.  Tri Loka: also the conception of hierarchy between three realms bhur (Sanskrit:bhurloka) lower realm of animals and demons, bhuwah (Sanskrit:bhuvarloka) middle realm of human, and swah (Sanskrit:svarloka) upper realms of gods and deities.
  6. Asta Kosala Kosali: the eight guidelines for architectural designs, which includes the shapes of niyasa (symbols) in pelinggih (shrine), pepalih (stages), its measurement units, shapes and size, also dictate appropriate decorations.
  7. Arga Segara or Kaja Kelod: the sacred axis between. arga or kaja (mountain) and segara or kelod (sea). Mountain region are considered as parahyangan, the abode of hyang or gods, middle plain in between are the realm of human, and the sea as the realm of sea monster and demons.
Other than artistic and technical mastery, all Balinese architect (Balinese:Undagi) are required to master these Balinese philosophical concepts concerning form, architecture, and spatial organization.

Unlike European architecture, Balinese houses and puri (palaces) are not created as a single huge building, but rather a collection of numerous structures within walled enclosure each with a special functions; such as front open pavilion to receive guests, main bedroom, other bedrooms, pelinggihan or pemrajan is a small family shrine, living areas and kitchen. Kitchen and living areas that helds everyday mundane activities are usually separated from family shrine. Most of these pavilions are created in Balinese balé architecture, a thatched roof structure with or without walls similar to Javanese pendopo. The walled enclosure are connected with series of gates. Balinese architecture recognize two types of gates, the candi bentar split gate, and paduraksa or kori roofed gates.

In Balinese palace architecture, its size are bigger, the ornamentation is richer and more elaborately decorated than common Balinese houses. The balé gede is a pavilion of 12 columns, where the oldest male of the family sleeps, while wantilan is a rectangular wall-less public building, where people convene or hold cockfighting. The bale kulkul is an elevated towering structure, topped with small pavilion where the kulkul (Balinese slit drum) is placed. The kulkul would be sounded as the alarm during village, city or palace emergency, or a sign to congregate villagers. In Balinese villages there is a bale banjar, a communal public building where the villagers congregate.

Balinese gardens usually created in natural tropical style filled with tropical decorative plants in harmony with the environment. The garden design usually according to natural topography and hardly altered from its natural state. Some water gardens however are modelled in formal architecture layout, with ponds and fountains, such as Taman Ayun and Tirtagangga water garden. Bale kambang or literary means "floating pavilion", is a pavilion surrounded with pond usually filled with water lilies. Petirtaan is a bathing place, consists of series of ponds and fountains used for recreation as well as ritual purification bath. The example of petirtaan is Pura Tirta Empul.

Balinese temple usually contains a padmasana, the towering lotus throne of the highest god, Acintya (Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa), pelinggih meru, the multiple roofed tower, is similar in design to Chinese or Japanese pagodas. Other parts includes bale pawedan (vedic chanting pavilion), bale piyasan, bale pepelik, bale panggungan, bale murda, and gedong penyimpenan (storehouse of the temple's relics).

A Pura is a Balinese Hindu temple, and the place of worship for the adherents of Balinese Hinduism in Indonesia. Most of the puras are found on the island of Bali, as Hinduism is the predominant religion in the island; however many puras exist in other parts of Indonesia where there are significant numbers of Balinese people. Mother Temple of Besakih is the most important, the largest and holiest temple in Bali. A large number of puras have been built in Bali, leading it to gain the nickname "the Island of a Thousand Puras".