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Pura Besakih Bali temple

Pura Besakih Bali temple 8

Pura Besakih Bali temple

Pura Besakih Bali temple is the mother of all Bali temples, the holiest and the biggest. Located 3000 feet up the southern flank of Gunung (Mount) Agung, there are 50 different temples here.

Have you been to Pura Besakih Bali temple and like to share your thoughts about Bali’s mother temple? Leave your comment at the bottom of this page.

Pura Besakih Bali temple is by far the most impressive temple complex in Bali.

Pura Besakih Bali temple crowd 2

Cremated loved ones ashes are carried on the head

After leaving the carpark one has to run the gauntlet of dozens of women running around pushing to sell over priced sarongs (essential garb here like every other Bali temple).

Bringing your own sarong will save you much time haggling, unless of course you find the haggling and dealing with strong, desperate and pushy Balinese women charming!

There are also snacks and drinks available here too, as well as other handicrafts, all overpriced but the vendors do need to live too!

The Pura Besakih Bali temple complex is massive and very busy. It narrowly missed destruction in the wake of lava flow from Gunung Agung’s eruption in the 1960s.

Pura Besakih Bali temple 5

There are so many of these temples in this complex

I recently visited Pura Besakih on a day of ceremony for those who had died and been cremated, and there were thousands of Balinese there, many with ashes in urns carried on their heads.

Here you will find all kinds of ‘spiritual’ characters, almost as many as at a new age fair!

Usually tourist groups have a guide with them so if you are on your own one of the ‘guardians of the temple’ will attach themselves to you,whether you like it or not, to explain the significance of the various temples and heir relative positioning.

As I was there on an important ceremony day there were parts I was not allowed to enter so that was helpful.

I was informed that in one complex, the temples were arranged in descending order from priests, business, family then at the bottom, farmers.

Scroll to the bottom of this page for many more photos of the Pura Besakih Bali temple complex.

Pura Besakih Bali temple 1a

The stairway to heaven perhaps?

My guide was a bit shocked when I suggested it ought to be the other way around, as farmers keep everyone alive, and actually do something other than put their hands out!

For this they will accept a donation at the end. I gave 15k which was acceptable though clearly he wanted more. he said here was no government funding for the temples, though when I said that everyone (1-2000 a day!) who came paid 30k each he went quiet. Possibly because that may simply go into the pockets of the locals and the priests.

Expansive views of the southern coast and the Ubud area are available from the top, if the weather is good!

Pura Besakih Bali temple view

The view from the top are stunning

It can take up to two and a half hours to drive to here from the southern tourist area, and you will want to spend an hour or two here, so allow plenty of time. It is a bit tiring climbing steps too, and those with wonky hips of knees may want to stay near the bottom.

See Bali Fun Day Tours on this site.

See also Pura Uluwatu, the Bedugal temple complex, the Kintamani temple complex and Temples in Bali on this site.

By Mark O’Brien, August 2015

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