Nestled within the verdant village of Besakih on the eastern corner of Bali, you will encounter the enchanting surrounds of the Mother Temple of Besakih, famed as the largest Hindu temple on the island. Saturated with a mystical allure, this unique structure occupies an expansive area on the slopes of Mount Agung, Bali’s active volcano that is no stranger to eruption. The volatile volcano did in fact blow its top in 1963, which resulted in around 1,700 casualties. The lava flow missed the temple by mere metres, an event heralded as miraculous by the Balinese people, who believe that this was a divine demonstration of power.
Besakih’s architectural design comprises 23 separate but connected temples seated on parallel ridges on the mountainside. Visitors will enjoy the graceful stepped terraces adorned with greenery and vibrant flora sure to soothe the mind, body and spirit. Embark upon the elegant flights of stairs that open to spacious courtyards that in turn lead up to the main temple of Pura Penataran Agung. The layout of the temple positions each of the minor temples on a singular axis, with its pinnacle at the Penataran Agung, considered the spiritual focal point of the complex. Symbolically speaking, the trek up to the main temple connotes the seeker’s path that culminates in enlightenment, or Ultimate Realization in Hindu belief.
Within Penataran Agung, pride of place belongs to the exquisite lotus throne, otherwise known as the “padmasana”, which dates back to the seventeenth century. It serves as both the ritual and spiritual centre of the site, the sanctum sanctorum that presides over the entire temple in meaning and significance. According to local belief, the padmasana represents the spiritual heart centre lying dormant in every being, before being woken and unfurling its delicate petals in enlightenment after one “completes” the spiritual path.
The temple’s scenic and serene location gracing the slopes of Mount Agung makes it the ideal getaway for those visitors looking for a welcome respite from the bustle of Bali’s cities. Its higher elevation means that the temperatures are persistently cool and calming and you are encouraged to breathe deep in order to fully soak up the salubrious surrounds of this spiritual locus.
After a peaceful day engaged in exploration of the tranquil Besakih Temple, retreat to an idyllic Kuta beach resort to continue your spiritual renewal and refreshment. You will find a welcome reception at Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, which is renowned for its world-class service and enchanting ambiance, which makes it an ideal resort in Kuta to discover your divine centre.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+