Different temples on the island of Bali in Indonesia and their history in brief

A study tour of South-East Asian countries by a group of Maharshi
Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay under the guidance of Sadguru (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil.

Devotees bathing at a place of pilgrimage near Tampaksiring village
One of the seven temples built in the sea in Bali, namely Tanah Lot temple meaning of which in Balinese language is ‘land in the sea’
Sadguru (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil

‘87% of the population on the island of Bali in Indonesia is Hindu. In Bali temples are called ‘Pura’. The main temples in Bali are Pura Besakhi, Pura Tirtha Empul, Pura Tanah Lot and Pura Uluwatu. Amongst these, today let us know more about Pura Tirtha Empul, Pura Tanah Lot and Pura Uluwatu. (Part 61)

 

1. Pura Tirth Empul: A temple situated close to a
sacred place of pilgrimage built in honor of Shrimannarayan

There is a huge place of pilgrimage along with a temple 35 kilometers from the capital of Bali, Denpasar, near Tampaksiring village. It is believed to have been built to honour Shrimannarayan. For Hindus from Bali this is a very sacred place of pilgrimage. Devotees believe bathing in the water in this place of pilgrimage cures skin diseases and other ailments (see photograph 1) and so many devotees flock here for a bath. The main temple is situated 50 meters from here and adjoining it is the main self-arisen place of pilgrimage.

 

2. Pura Tanah Lot : A temple built in
honour of Deity Varun or deity of the sea

Mr. Vinayak Shanbag

One of the seven temples built in the sea in Bali, Tanah Lot temple (see photograph 2) means land in the sea in Balinese language.  Land in the sea implies that though in the sea this temple is close to land. Hindus from Bali believe that below this temple lie many poisonous snakes who maintain a constant vigil over the temple. It is believed to have been constructed by a Sage named Nirartha in honour of Deity Varun or Deity of the sea and is 20 kilometers away from Denpasar, the capital of Bali. The temple has no idol; only a place to perform ritualistic worship (puja) which is called Padmasan.

 

3. Pura Uluwatu : A temple built for Deity Rudra

Pura Uluwatu is a temple situated 20 kilometres from the capital city of Bali Denpasar, by the seaside on a hillock 70 meters above sea level and is one of the seven temples in the sea in Bali. If viewed from the top then the sea surrounds the temple on three sides. It is believed to have been constructed by Sage Nirartha probably in the honour of Deity Rudra. As Sage Nirartha renounced His body here every year there is a celebration in His reverence. There are many monkeys in the surroundings of the temple and scientific research has proved that these monkeys are different from the common monkey. Every evening the traditional dance of Kachak is held close to the temple for the entertainment of tourists.

–  Mr. Vinayak Shanbag, Chennai