Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Indonesia - Pura Besakih
The island's most important temple, Pura Besakih, lies high on the flanks of sacred Mt. Agung.
Sent by Nina from Surabaya, Indonesia.
This is from Wikipedia : The Mother Temple of Besakih, or Pura Besakih, in the village of Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung in eastern Bali, is the most important, the largest and holiest temple of Agama Hindu Dharma in Bali, Indonesia and one of a series of Balinese temples.
The temple probably dates to the fourteenth century. It was built on the south slopes of Mount Agung, the principal volcano of Bali. The temple is actually a complex made up of twenty-two temples that sit on parallel ridges. It has stepped terraces and flights of stairs which ascend to a number of courtyards and brick gateways that lead up to the main spire Meru structure, which is called Pura Penataran Agung. All this is aligned along a single axis and designed to lead the spiritual upward and closer to the mountain which is considered sacred.
The symbolic center or main sanctuary of the complex is the Pura Penataran Agung and and the lotus throne or padmasana is the symbolic center of the main sanctuary and ritual focus of the entire complex. It dates to around the seventeenth century.
A series of eruptions of Mount Agung in 1963, which killed approximately 1,700 people also threatened Puru Besakih. The lava flows missed the temple complex by mere meters. The saving of the temple is regarded by the Balinese people as miraculous, and a signal from the gods that they wished to demonstrate their power but not destroy the monument the Balinese faithful had erected.
Annually there are at least seventy festivals held at the complex each year since there is a yearly anniversary celebrating almost every shrine. This yearly cycle is based on the 210-day Balinese calendar system.
It had been nominated as a World Heritage Site as early as 1995, but remains unvested.