Pura Bedugul or Pura Ulun Danu Bratan to give the temple complex its full name, in Bedugul Bali is a complex of four temples encompassing nine smaller ones. Although statues of Shiva and Parvati, Vishnu, Brahma, the goddess Lakshmi are worshipped here the complex is dedicated to Devi Batari Ulun Danu the Balinese goddess of water, rivers and lakes. It is second in importance only to Pura Besakih, the mother temple. This mid 17th century temple is very important to rice farmers in Bali because it is the main temple of the ‘subak’ irrigation system on the island. The temple stands on the lake that provides irrigation water to the rest of Bali. It is the main temple of the various types of temples that are found all the way down irrigation systems. The smallest are in individual family rice fields.
The temple is considered one of the most beautiful in Bali. That includes its stunning setting on the shore of Lake Bratan, with views over the water and of misty mountains. While most of the temple complex is on the mainland, a part of it, with the famous 11 storey ‘meru’ or pagoda is on a tiny island giving the impression of floating on water. This part of the temple is one of the most photographed and the image has appeared on everything from promotional posters of Bali to postage stamps. The pagoda is only reachable by boat or at low tide and is accessed only for ceremonial purposes. Apparently there is only one crowded spot from which the perfect image of the pagoda can be captured. The gardens around the complex with manicured lawns, flowers and tropical plants also add much to the beauty of the area.
Celebrations and ceremonies are held at the temple complex regularly to ensure supplies of irrigation water, prosperity of the area and the harmonious balance between nature and the environment around the lake. According to many the best time of day to visit the area is early in the morning when not many visitors are around, not only to see the mist lifting off the lake but to experience serenity.
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Umanga Kahandawaarachchi is a passionate travel writer who writes under the pen name, Maggie Tulliver. Her field of writing covers a wide array of content and articles related to travel and hospitality industry. Google+