Towering over a landscape filled with paddy fields, hills, streams and mountains at a height of 1000m Bali’s Mother Temple is a grand structure that dates back a thousand years. Tipped to be the island’s largest and holiest Hindu shrine this expansive temple complex contains an impressive 86 temples that include the Great Temple of State known as Pura Penataran Agung. Suspended on the slopes of Mount Agung Besakih Temple is best known for its artistic carvings, unique architectural features and as the hallowed site in which Balinese Hindu deity Hyang Rsi Markendya’s revelations were pronounced.
The name of the place of worship is derived from a dragon deity by the name of Naga Besukian who is believed to have lived on Mount Agung in centuries past. Divided in to three main temples devoted to the Hindu trinity the centrally situated Pura Penataran Agung is dedicated to Lord Shiva and adorned with white banners. The Pura Kiduling Kreteg compound is Brahma’s abode located to the right while the Vishnu shrine Pura Batu Madeg is located to the left with representative black banners decorating its flanks.
As a revered religious point of interest Besakih Temple is the venue of choice for over 70 religious ceremonies annually that are conducted on days decreed by the Balinese Hindu calendar. The best time to visit the temple complex is during the late evening hours or early morning as the locale is idyllically tranquil and peaceful at these times of the day.