Besakih Temple is the largest temple complex in Bali. Comprised of 23 separate temples, it sits 1,000 meters above sea level in Karangasem. It’s a 13th century beauty that holds over 70 ceremonies a year (wow!). Because of its significance, it’s been nominated as a World Heritage Site since 1995.
The story says Markandeya, a Hindu monk, established the complex around 1284. While meditating on “God Mountain” (now Mount Dieng, Java), he received a revelation telling him to go toward Mount Agung, around where Besakih is located today. Once he arrived, he left an urn containing holy water and metals called “Pancadatu” (gold, silver, copper, iron and bronze). Markandeya and his followers completed the complex under the name, “Basuki” after the dragon deity “Naga Besukian” who was said to inhabit Mount Agung. The name later evolved to “Besakih”.
One of the temples, Penataran, is unique in construction. Its roof is the original architecture of Balinese ancestry. This design is said to draw us closer to God.
The landscape around Besakih is stunning. Mount Agung backdrops beautifully adorned temples, surrounded by lush jungle and flowers. The natural scenery truly represents the temple’s balance of Man, God and Nature.
When visiting Besakih, guests are required to wear traditional sarong, which can be bought on-site. They’re also required to have a guide, who can escort them on permitted grounds and share the story of the temple. To reach the entrance, guests can walk the short incline toward the entry. Or, join a scooter for a small fare. You may also be offered flowers to tuck behind your ear, a very traditional practice.
The best weather for visiting Besakih is in the morning. Afternoons and evenings usually become cloudy in this mountainous area.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also find trekking and rafting in the area. We’re happy to help make your trip complete!