Pura Luhur Batukaru Temple in Bali
One of the most popular Hindu temple which is set exactly right on the slopes of Mount Batukaru in the western area of the island of Bali, Indonesia.
Batukaru Temple referred to by locals as Pura Luhur Batukaru. This is one of the nine directional temples on the island, called Khayangan Jagat, which protects the island and its inhabitants from evil spirits.
The temple sits on Mount Batukaru’s southern slope, at a height of around 1300 metres above sea level, which is surrounded by cool natural forests, providing a pleasant sightseeing stopover for nature lovers.
Batukaru Temple is a very sacred place to the Balinese, and one of the reasons for this, along with its age, is the 7-tiered meru that can be found within the temple.
This meru, a multi-roofed shrine common in Hindu temple construction, was built in honor of the God of Batukaru Mountain, known as Mehadewa.
The shrine is visible from most locations in the temple, and is made more beautiful by the many layers of moss that cover it, and the surrounding temple constructions.
Here are all you need to know about Batukaru Temple, but feel free to jump to any section that interests you.
- What to Expect
- Batukaru Temple Address & Map Location
- How to Get Batukaru Temple
- Batukaru Temple Entrance Fee
- Batukaru Temple Opening Hours
- Best Time To Visit Batukaru Temple
- Batukaru Temple History
- Mount Batukaru
- Batukaru Temple Ceremony
What to Expect at Batukaru Temple
Serene, spiritual, and off the beaten path, Batukaru Temple or Pura Luhur Batukaru was the state temple for the kings of Tabanan.
The layout of the temple is the same as other areas of Bali, consists of 3 courtyards every yard is connected with split gate or closed gate.
The main structure of Batukaru Temple features a multitude of shrines with tiered roofs, and the complex is filled with ancient structures heavily covered in green moss.
The walled compounds contain several shrines, as well as high 'MERU' towers, and 'BALE' pavilions with unmistakably ancient Balinese features, such as the dark grass roofs and intricate wall carvings.
The inner courtyard is a small and neat, with three Meru of three, five, and seven tiers in honor of the deified king of Tabanan.
It has a seven-roofed Meru to Maha Dewa, the mountain’s guardian spirit, as well as shrines for the three mountain lakes such as: Lake Tamblingan, lake Buyan and Lake Beratan.
There are different courtyards inside the complex, sparsely positioned and on different elevations, connected through a series of flowering gardens and statue-lined steps.
Within the main temple courtyard there is a freshwater spring that serves as the holy water source for prayers and ceremonies. Another separate spring serves cleansing and purification rituals.
Batukaru Temple Address, & Map Location
Batukaru Temple is located in the village of Wongaya Gede, Penebel Sub-District, Tabanan Regency, Bali, Indonesia.
It’s about 45 kilometers north of Seminyak and will take between 90 and 120 minutes to drive there through the traffic.
And approximately 42 km from Denpasar as the capital city of Bali and can be reached by scooter as the roads are fairly good.
How to Get to Batukatu Temple
There is no public transport to Batukaru Temple or Pura Luhur Batukaru, so your options are self-drive, or an organized Bali tour.
There are a number of Bali day trips that allow you to explore the Batukaru Temple without having to negotiate Balinese traffic and licensing laws.
These tours offer pick-up and a driver for the day, who often doubles as a guide
If you drive by yourself, be aware, most routes pass through Tabanan and then follow signage up to Batukaru Mountain.
The route to the temple isn’t advertised as it is more of a local destination, but many villagers will be able to help you with directions.
Batukaru Temple Entrance Fee
Visit to the Batukaru Temple is no entrance fee required, but a donation is expected especially of foreign visitors.
This is often leveraged in the form of sarong rental, and is never more than 20,000 IDR or USD$2.
There have been some limited instances of people being overcharged, and if you think prices have changed it’s worth asking your guide to assist you.
There are toilets on site at the temple, which can be accessed for a small 5,000 IDR donation. Toilet paper is not provided.
Batukaru Temple Opening Hours
Batukaru Temple are open for visitor daily from 08.00 AM to 06.00 PM, however for worship purpose it is open for 24 hours daily.
A visit to the temple calls for proper attire and conduct. As with any Balinese temple visit, you must wear a sash around your waist, and women during their periods are not allowed to the temple grounds.
There is a large parking area a kilometre down from the temple, where a variety of local kiosks and warungs offer local cuisine, snacks and refreshments.
Best Time To Visit The Batukaru Temple
The best time to visit Batukaru Temple is during the temple’s biannual ‘Piodalan’ temple anniversaries, which coincides each Thursday after the Galungan celebrations.
One of the most special days of the year at Batukaru Temple is the day of pilgrimage.
On this day, thousands of local Balinese Hindus come to Batukaru Temple to pray and then climb to the peak of Batukaru Mountain.
Although some sections of the temple may be off-limits to visitors on this day, the sight of thousands of pilgrims ascending the mountain road is definitely one to see.
Batukaru Temple History
There is no historical fact to disclose the history of the temple except manuscripts called Kusuma Dewa, and the manuscript about Buleleng kingdom in 17th century.
In Kusuma Dewa mentioned that Mpu Kuturan, a priest from Java who was in Bali around 11th century ordered the construction of Sad Kahyangan (6 main temples on each of the directions).
Batukaru Temple is mentioned that it is one of the Sad Kahyangan and is dedicated to god of west direction.
While manuscript of Buleleng kingdom mentions that when the kingdom of Buleleng (now Singaraja) had been very prosperous and peaceful, the king Panji Sakti wanted to extend his emporium and looked for possible attack targets.
At last the king with their big number of soldiers arrived at Batukaru temple, and without reason, by the manuscript mentioned the I Gusti Panji Sakti attacked and damaging the temple.
Soon thousand of bees coming and hit him and the soldiers casing all of them took a thousand flee.
This story seems that it was created by those who did not have sympathy with Buleleng, and tried to misconstrue the situation.
There are another story about king in Bali had also mentioned by the Usana Bali having the same attitude toward the religion with impact to the society, and at last defeated by more religious regime.
The manuscript of Buleleng mentions the date of 1605 AD. There are some stone sculptures with water fountains which style is the same at water fountain stone sculpture at Gowa Gajah, Gianyar.
Dr. R. Goris in his book said that this ancient sculpture might originated from the same period that is from 11th century.
In 1959 the temple was rebuilt from the remnants and step by step until 1977 to reach the present architectural condition.
Mount Batukaru is an extinct volcano that is both the highest peak in the Bedugul volcanic area and the second highest mountain in Bali.
It’s distinctive landscape makes it Bali’s most unique rainforest mountain trek, with rainforest protected from populated areas, preserving its pristine natural setting.
Largely undiscovered, Mount Batukaru is ideal for visitors who prefer to avoid the ‘touristy’ areas and attractions, and offers the perfect combination of culture, nature and spectacular views.
Mount Batukaru is worshipped by the Balinese and is a highly sacred and spiritual place. The local villagers believe that when they die, their spirit will return to the mountain.
Batukaru Temple or Pura Luhur Batukaru as is known locally, is the temple devoted to the presence of Mount Batukaru.
For the more adventurous visitors, this mountain is also a popular hiking destination.
Despite its popularity, and unlike many other mountains in Bali, it is still rare to see other hikers along this trek.
This is because the rainforest on Mount Batukaru is Bali’s largest wetland, so for conservation purposes the number of trekkers is limited.
The dense rainfall combined with the fertile volcanic soil makes the rainforest a lush haven for a variety of wildlife including leaf-eating Macaque monkeys, small deer known as Kijang and Pangolin ant eaters.
The rainforest is also the habitat of the famous Luwak which, through its digestive process, produces Kopi Luwak coffee, the world’s most expensive roasted coffee.
The ascent to the peak of Mount Batukaru is a challenging nine hour trek traversing unsealed narrow trails shaded by rainforest.
Along the way there are sacred mountain temples which are open to visitors. Arriving at the summit, you will be rewarded with total serenity with spectacular views overlooking Java, Lombok and Mount Agung.
Whether you climb the mountain to challenge yourself or undertake the trek to immerse yourself in the culture and environment, you will be completely consumed by the natural beauty of Bali.
Batukaru Temple Ceremony
The ceremony of Batukaru Temple is held in every 210 days that is on every Thursday, wuku Dungulan (Balinese calendar), one day after Galungan day.
One thing that is unique in Pura Luhur Batukaru is at the time of the ceremony or the other great ceremonies are never led by a priest (Pedanda/Pandita).
The ceremony is led only by Pemangku called Jero Kubayan. For those who want to pray to Batukaru temple is highly recommended to pray first in Pura Jero Taksu temple.
Jero Taksu temple is located a bit away from Batukaru temple. The purpose of praying in Jero Taksu Temple is to invoke that the process of prayer which will be done later in Batukaru Temple will get success and without obstacles.
Jero Taksu temple is part of Batukaru Temple. Afterward, then headed to the showers of spring that is located in the southeastern part of the main temple, but remain in the area of Batukaru Temple.
The Shower of this spring is intended to purify ourselves by washing face and washing feet followed by praying at the shrine in the spring.
As a sign of purification of the inner and outer or the seen and unseen (Skala and Niskala).
As the main requirement for worship can be done with physically and spiritually clean and pure.
Pura Luhur Batukaru is a holy place of worship the God in His manifestation as Lord Mahadeva (Mahadewa).
Because its function is to worship God as the God who cultivate plants, then at this temple is referred to as the worship of the Lord as Ratu Hyang Tumuwuh (designation of God as the God who cultivate plants).
Batukaru Temple is also included as Padma Bhuwana Temple, whic is nine temples located in nine parts of the island.
Pura Padma Bhuwana as a symbol of worship of God that exist everywhere in the nine corners of the universe.
No part of this universe without God's presence. The existence of God as that expressed in the nine temples in Bali.
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