Pura Besakih Temple - the main Hindu temple complex of the island. It consists of 22 separate temples that ascend the slopes of Mount Agung with terraces.
Mount Agung and the "Mother of All Temples" Pura Besakih are considered the main sanctuaries on the island. Here, a complex for monks, utility buildings, granaries for storing grain, arenas for cockfighting, signal towers, sculptures of Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu, as well as altars for deities, are also located.
Due to the high humidity and regularly incoming clouds, the structures are heavily covered with moss and greenery, creating a fairy-tale-like atmosphere.
For ordinary tourists and foreigners, access to the main staircase is limited to the first level of the temple complex. Hindus bringing offerings for prayers are allowed to enter the inner courtyard of the temple.
In Besakih, each individual temple has its own purpose. There are community temples as well as caste or clan temples. Many of them have restricted access, limited to specific groups of people.
In general, the structures stretch for 3 kilometers. The main temple of the complex is called Pura Penataran Agung.
Around the temple, there are small family shrines and tombs. Each tomb is wrapped in red, black, or white fabrics and adorned with flowers.
According to legend, the Pura Besakih Temple was built by the combined efforts of all the kingdoms residing on the island back in the 11th century AD.
This is why there are so many different temples here. Each of them belonged to specific clans, villages, or entire kingdoms.
The Pura Besakih temple complex is divided into several courtyards. The entrance to the first courtyard is designed in the form of traditional Balinese "split gates" called "chandi bentar."
In the second courtyard, there are utility buildings and statues of gods. According to the belief of the local residents, it is here that the gods come to receive all the offerings and gifts.
Between the first two courtyards, a row of luxurious pyramidal towers is situated.
These are the gates that only gods can pass through. Humans are not allowed to use these gates and must pass through openings in the walls.
In the third courtyard of the temple, the most important relic is located - the throne of the Spirit of the Great Mountain.
Near the entrance, there are restaurants and souvenir shops. Typically, a crowd of local residents gathers at the entrance to Besakih, trying to receive compensation from tourists for guiding them inside the temple.
It is advisable to be cautious about the services of such guides. At the end of the tour, the price often turns out to be quite different from what was initially agreed upon.
Motorbike parking costs 5,000 rupiahs. The entrance ticket for one person is 90,000 rupiahs. Children free. The ticket includes access to the temple, sarong rental, and a one-way motorbike ride.
Overview video from Pura Besakih Temple, Bali: