The revered Hindu shrine known as the Mother Temple of Bali, known as Pura Besakih in the local tongue, has the distinction of being the most significant, the largest and the most venerated of the many Hindu temples on the Indonesian island of Bali. It is located at the hamlet of Besakih on the southern slopes of the massive Mount Agung, the major volcano on the island of Bali.
The revered Mother Temple is in fact a compound made up of a collection of temples numbering 22, which are located on a set of parallel ridges. The visitor will encounter a number of terraces and stairways, leading up to a collection of gateways and courtyards, which in turn ascend to the principal spire, known as the Meru edifice. This elaborate main shrine is known as the Pura Penataran Agung, which translates as the “Great State Temple”. This immense and imposing structure is the focus of religious activity at the temple compound. The most venerated focus of worship is the Padmasana, or Lotus Throne. This object of worship is thought to date to the 17th century. The visitor will see an immense courtyard where there are three principal shrines, each dedicated to one deity of the Hindu Trinity, the major deities Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu. The visitor will notice that intriguingly each of the gods is symbolized by a colour; white symbolizes Shiva, red is used to signify Brahma, and black is used for Vishnu.
Many other interesting shrines of secondary importance may be seen at the Mother Temple, such as the Temple of Palace Ancestors. This shrine is devoted to deceased members of the family. Numerous other temples are dedicated to the other gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon, each of which draws its own devotees. Since nearly every one of the secondary shrines celebrates an annual anniversary, there naturally will be at least 70 different festivals at the Mother Temple complex that are colourful and vibrant extravaganzas of the Hindu faith.
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