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The Besakih Temple During the Largest Festival of the Year

By Marty Way

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The Besakih Temple is the largest and holiest temple in Bali and is known as ‘The Mother Temple.’ We were there on a day that coincides with the largest celebration of the year (the festival goes on for six days to enable Hindu worshippers from all over the island to participate). The lush gardens were manicured. Pagoda-like structures were decorated with fabric and streamers. Intricately carved stone gates and religious symbols were colourfully adorned with fabric and umbrellas. IMG_6630.jpegIMG_6641.jpeg

The faithful carry in large offerings to the Gods (flowers, food, incense). Because of the huge number of who show up here to pray, the offerings are also carried out at the end of the day. But this is family-affair; a celebration with parents, children, grandparents and relatives participating.
While the Temple may appear to be a cohesive, multi-tiered structure it is actually a collection of smaller temples, each dedicated to different deities and purposes. Therefore, a person from a particular village will commune with other people from their village at a particular temple within the Pura Besakih complex.IMG_6636.jpegIMG_6638.jpegIMG_6650.jpeg

The Temple is located on the lower aspect of Mount Agung, Bali’s highest and most sacred volcano. A hike to the top of the mountain takes six to eight hours and must now be done with a local guide and prior permission (there used to be public access to sacred Mt Agung but some profoundly disrespectful acts by foreigners, has closed access to foreigners).
So, we’re blessed to visit the Temple on one of the busiest days of the year during one of the most important annual festival. Even with thousands of people around the Temple has a calming reverse about it.

Posted by WayWayFar 03:06 Archived in Indonesia

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