The Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal is one of the three temples that make up the temple complex of the Monkey Forest. It is also known as the main temple, located in the southwest part of the Monkey Forest.
The Temple's History
It is believed that the complex was built around 1350, and it plays an important role in the spiritual life of the local community. Traditionally, every Balinese village has three temples: one in the middle of the village called Pura Desa, another at the end of the village facing Agung called Pura Puseh, and one at the end of the village facing away from Agung called Pura Dalem. Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal is used for funeral ceremonies.
The Significance of the Temple
Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal is used to worship Sang Hyang Widhi, an aspect of Shiva, who is regarded as the transformer of things in nature. It is also the main temple used for the cremation ceremony of deceased village members.
The cremation ceremony held at Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal occurs every five years. During this time, the remains of the deceased are cremated and the ashes are placed in a coconut shell before being released into the river. Tourists are lucky if they get to attend this event which is held in a solemn atmosphere.
Attending the Ceremony
The cremation ceremony is an aspect of Balinese tradition, and wearing white clothes is a sign of respect. Visitors attending the ceremony will be able to experience and participate in an important Balinese tradition.