HomeBlogs Besakih Temple Located on the western slope of Gunung Agung, and referred to as the
Mother Temple of Hindu Bali, Besakih Temple (Pura Besakih) sits in a
vast area, that offers breathtaking views of the scenery surrounding
this beautiful and artistic temple complex.
The temple of
Besakih is located in the village of Besakih, in the eastern part of
Bali. The name Besakih comes from the word “Basuki”, derived from the
word “Wasuki” which means Salvation in the classical Sanskrit language.
Whereas, in the Samudramanthana mythology, the same name “Besuki” in
fact refers to the Dragon-God “Naga Besukian”, who inhabited Gunung
Agung, the main volcano in Bali..
This grand temple complex
has been regarded as a holy place since ancient times. The first
recorded mention of its existence comes from an inscription dating back
to 1007 AD. It is known that since the 15th century, Besakih was
regarded as the central temple of Hinduism in Bali.
Temple, also known as Pura Penataran Agung, is Bali’s main place of
worship, a complex comprising twenty-two temples set on parallel
ridges. This complex expresses the essential belief of the Balinese
known as Tri Hita Kirana, meaning that life on earth must be lived and
kept in balance and harmony between man and God, man and society and
his fellow human beings, and man and his natural environment.
a full moon, Balinese and pilgrims throng to the temple. During the
festival of Odalan, the temple is most elaborately decorated. Odalan is
celebrated on every 210th day.
temple is very easy to find, as most people know it as one of the best
tourist destinations in Bali. There are several starting points that
you may choose to take:
From Kuta, it takes about 2 hours to get
here. Simply head east towards Sanur, then follow the fast coastal
route, which is connected to the Kusamba Bypass at Tohpati. Then go
north until you find the road sign to Besakih, and after a few
kilometers from this point turn north.
If you are staying around
Klungkung, then Besakih is about 20 kilometers north of the town
center. Take the Bemo – the small public buses– that will take you to
Besakih from Klungkung. Bemos are most frequent in the morning, and it
is recommended to change bemos at Rendang, halfway between Klungkung
If you come from the north of Denpasar, it is about
25 kilometers to reach Besakih by car. However, if you stay in the
eastern part of Bali such as at Tirta Gangga, Candidasa, or Amed, you
can reach Besakih by taking a smaller inland road from Karangasem. This
will lead you to the crossroad between Besakih and Klungkung at
Rendang, and then turn right to reach Besakih Temple.
your hour-long drive, you will enjoy beautiful views traveling through
forests, villages, and rice fields. If you are willing to make a short
stop in one of the villages, you will see how the locals live, and
learn a bit about their unique houses.
reach the temple complex, you have to stroll up a footpath for about
200 meters. On both sides of the path you will find beautiful views,
and feel the breeze on your way to the temples. Otherwise, you may
prefer to rent a motorbike offered by the locals.
is a remarkable and outstanding temple. Looking at the temple from a
distance, you can observe an impressive complex of pyramid-like
temples, extending up the mountain, with Gunung Agung providing a
dramatic backdrop. The setting looks particularly stunning in the clear
morning light, and gorgeous at sunset. This temple is also decorated
with Bali-style ornaments, doorstep temple, sacred stone idols, and
stone carvings. Before exploring this temple, you have to rent and
wear a sarong and sash at the main entrance of the temple to respect
the Balinese tradition, as Besakih Temple is a holy place of worship.
The Sarong and sash are special clothes Balinese wear when praying at
When you reach the complex, you will see the first
group of temples on your left. This is sacred temple dedicated to royal
ancestors is known as Pura Dalem Puri. Balinese store the ashes of the
dead after the cremation known as the Ngaben ceremony. From here, walk
up the flight of stairs that will lead you to Pura Penataran Agung.
locals believe that Pura Penataran Agung is the center of devotion to
the Gods. Next to the main temple are two other important temples.
These are Pura Kiduling Kreteg on its right and Pura Batu Madeg on its
left. The colors of the banners denote which God the temple is
dedicated to, the three representing the Hindu Trinity. The white
banner is dedicated to the temple of Shiva (Pura Penataran Agung), the
red banner is for the temple of Brahma (Pura Kiduling Kreteg), while
the black banner is for the temple of Vishnu (Pura Batu Mandeg). When
there are no festivals or events taking place here, visitors may be
allowed inside to look around the temples. This is the best spot to
If you wish to explore the more remote part of
the temple, head to Pura Pengubengan, which is situated some 2
kilometers at the northern end of the complex.
is easily reached from all parts of Bali. You can stay anywhere on the
island and visit the temple. All over Bali there is a range of
accommodation options, from super deluxe hotels to the more affordable
home stays. It is also possible to stay with the locals.
are many roadside stalls called warungs along the footpath before you
reach the gate of the temple complex. You need not worry about getting
ripped off, as prices are reasonable here.
can buy some unique souvenirs of Bali for your family members or loved
ones. Bali is best known for its unique hand-made crafts, paintings,
sculpture and carvings. There are also many vendors outside the temple
complex selling trinkets and handicrafts.
Besakih Temple is open to visitors all year round during the official
opening hours between 8 a.m. up to 5 p.m.. The entrance fee is 10,000
IDR; parking fee 1,000 IDR; camera use submission 1,000 IDR, and video
use 2,500 IDR. * If you who have not been to Besakih Temple before
you may want to engage a guide, who will help show you around the
temple. The guide fee is about 25 USD. Still, if you do not find it
necessary to hire a guide, you can walk around on your own. * Prepare yourself with a pair of comfortable shoes, sunglasses, a hat, and a light t-shirt. * It is recommended to invite a Balinese friend to accompany you or hire a driver to visit Besakih temple in the daytime. * Please feel free to report to the temple guards when you meet with any problems.