Pura Besakih

( Besakih Temple )

Besakih Temple (Balinese: ᬧᬸᬭ​ᬩᭂᬲᬓᬶᬄ) is a pura complex in the village of Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung in eastern Bali, Indonesia. It is the most important, largest, and holiest temple of Balinese Hinduism, 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. The temple is built on six levels, terraced up the slope. The entrance is marked by a candi bentar (split gateway), and beyond it, the Kori Agung is the gateway to the second courtyard.

 A puja ceremony at the Besakih Temple.

The precise origins of the temple are unclear but its importance as a holy site almost certainly dates from prehistoric times. The stone bases of Pura Penataran Agung and several other temples resemble megalithic stepped pyramids, which date back at least 2,000 years.

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 powerful Gelgel dynasty.[1]

^ Cite error: The named reference Lonely Planet 2009, p 215 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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