March 31, 2020

Pura Dalem Puri Besakih - Sacred Temple and Peaceful Atmosphere in Karangasem Bali

Pura Dalem Puri is one of the temples in Besakih Temple Complex, lies about one kilometer to the south-west of Pura Penataran Agung. This holy temple is related to certain ceremonies involving the deitified souls of deceased family members. This is said to be the place where the holy souls are staying after the death ritual (Ngaben and Nyekah). The family will bring back the souls of their family members to be prayed at the family house temple or "merajan".

Pura Dalem Puri Besakih, Pura Dalem Puri Temple

This holy temple is situated in Besakih Village, Rendang, Karangasem Regency, Bali. The public transportation service to the Besakih Temple Complex is still limited and may feel a little difficult. Even so, visitors can try several options such as: using a travel tour, a taxi, or you can rent a vehicle and drive yourself to this location.

You may need to prepare some money if there is a charge to enter the temple. When traveling to temples in Bali, visitors will be asked to wear a sarong (cloth) and waist sash when entering the temple. This is common in Bali and at the same time to respect the culture that has existed in the temple since long ago.

The existence of this sacred temple is mentioned in an old manuscript, Lontar Padmabhuana. It is said that in 1085 Caka, during the reign of Sri Aji Candrabhaya who resided in Tampaksiring, at that time the Kahyangan stood at Basukih and also Pura Dalem Puri. Both are in the form of Pura Puseh and Pura Dalem in Bali.

The manuscript mentioned that the god worshiped at Besakih Temple is Ida Bhatara Sanghyang Anthasiwaditya or Bapa Akasa, embodied by the "YANG" character, originally Akasa (Sky). Furthermore, the god worshiped at Dalem Puri Temple is Ibu Pertiwi, embodied by the "ING" character, originally Ibu Pertiwi (Earth).

The ancient records also mention the name of Sri Wira Dalem Kesari. He is mentioned as a descendant of the noble clan Wisnuwangsa from Daha (East Java). He came to Bali and became king there, with his residence at Kahuripan in Besakih. His family temple (pamrajan) was the Mrajan Slonding. He is mentioned as the (first) great builder of Besakih Temple, including Penataran Agung Temple and Dalem Puri Temple. Sri Wira Dalem Kesari was succeeded by Sri Aji Jayakasunu.

It was later mentioned in the Lontar Jayakasunu that Sri Aji Jayakasunu was meditating in Pura Dalem Puri Besakih. He got enlightenment from Bhatari Durga related to the reason of the previous rulers were short-lived, it was because they stopped to celebrate the feast day of Galungan.

The Goddess gave guidance on the implementation of Galungan ritual, Tawur Kesanga, including the celebration of Eka Dasa Rudra which was considered necessary if certain disasters befall humanity. With this guidance, Sri Aji Jayakasunu revived the celebrations of the feast day of Galungan.

This temple has a close relationship with Pura Penataran Agung. In old Balinese concepts of dualism, known as the concept of Rwa-Bhineda, these two temples are interrelated as Purusa and Pradhana (Prakerti). This is a symbol of the male (akasa) and female (pertiwi) principles of existence.

It is also reflected in the traditional division of the Besakih Temple Complex into two groups: those are "luhuring ambal-ambal" (above the steps) and those are "soring ambal-ambal" (below the steps). The stairs referred are the main stairs leading to Pura Penataran Agung. Penataran Agung Temple is the leading temple of the group of temples above the steps. While Dalem Puri Temple is the leading temple of the group of temples below the steps.

Pura Dalem Puri Besakih is dedicated to worshiping Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in manifestation as Bhatari Durga/Pertiwi or I Dewa Kidul or Bhatari Uma Dewi, the goddess who gives blessings of salvation and prosperity to the universe.

The piodalan ceremony in Dalem Puri Temple falls on Wednesday or Buda Kliwon wuku Ugu (Wednesday-Kliwon of the week Ugu). In this temple also celebrated the usaba ritual, known as Usaba Dalem Puri. This celebration falls on the day "kajeng" after the new moon of the seventh month (after Tilem Sasih Kapitu). This is actually in the first few days of the eighth month or Sasih Kawulu.

During the Usaba Dalem Puri celebration, this temple will be crowded by worshipers who come from all areas in Bali. This ritual is interpreted as an expression of gratitude to Ida Leluhur, the purified souls of deceased family members.

After presenting offerings to the gods in Dalem Puri, worshipers will pray with the request to the deities to forgive the sins committed by the purified souls and obtained a good place in the afterworld.

The main temple at Pura Dalem Puri is the "gedong", which is dedicated to the worship of Ida Ratu Dalem. In addition, there are also bale pelik, palinggih prajapati, bebaturan (megalithic), and other supporting buildings. Outside the temple wall there is also an area called "Tegal Penangsaran" or the field of suffering.

During the ceremony, the temple will be decorated with penjor, lamak, and black-white check cloths (kain poleng) which are linked to Bhatari Durga. This is a holy sanctuary with a calm and peaceful atmosphere.


  2. _ Besakih Temple _ on March 29, 2020
  3. Image : Original Collection

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