April 17, 2020

Pura Gelap Besakih Bali - Temple of Lightning

Pura Gelap is one of the temples in Besakih Temple Complex, lies about 350 meters up-ridge from the main stairs leading to Pura Penataran Agung. Visitors can enjoy the panoramic views of the lush green valleys, and also an exclusive view to the summit of Mount Agung. This temple offers a cool and calm spot for spectacular photographs.

Pura Gelap Besakih, Pura Gelap Bali

This sacred temple is located in Besakih Village, Rendang, Karangasem Regency, Bali. 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 to respect the culture that has existed in the temple. You may need to prepare some money if there is a charge to enter the temple.

The public transportation service to Besakih Temple Complex is still limited and a bit difficult for visitors. Even so, you can try several options such as: using a travel tour, a taxi, or you can rent a vehicle and drive yourself to this location.

The word "gelap" is derived from “klap”, in Kawi Language which means lightning, a dazzling white light that illuminates the universe. This temple is a holy, peaceful and quiet place, usually for meditation for priests and people who want to be leaders (developing leadership) in the community.

Pura Gelap (klap/lightning) is situated a bit higher than its surrounding area and has an awesome view towards the temple and the countryside below coupled with calm vibrations and cool mountain atmosphere.

To get to this spot, visitors can pass the path next to Penataran Agung Temple, with a slightly uphill route and also some stairs. You may need extra stamina to go through the path, less than 10 minutes and you will arrive at Pura Gelap.

There are several "warung" and food-stalls to just relax and get some drinks. You can also stop by at souvenir merchants and collect unique items for your display case at home.

Pura Gelap is one of the temples in the group of Pura Catur Loka Pala or Catur Dala. This is a group consisting of four temples at the four cardinal directions, which symbolize the lotus petals surrounding the flower essence or Padma Tiga (Pura Penataran Agung).

The temples in the group of Pura Catur Loka Pala/Catur Dala are: Pura Gelap (honours Lord Iswara in the east), Pura Kiduling Kreteg (honours Lord Brahma in the south), Pura Ulun Kulkul (honours Lord Mahadewa in the west), and Pura Batu Madeg (honours Lord Wisnu in the north).

This temple is also part of the temple above the steps or "luhuring ambal-ambal", which consists of: Pura Penataran Agung, Pura Kiduling Kreteg, Pura Gelap, Pura Batu Madeg, Pura Paninjoan, Pura Tirta Pingit, and Pura Pangubengan.

This is a great temple with beautiful traditional Balinese architecture. The main shrine at Pura Gelap Besakih is "Meru Tumpang Tiga" (three-roofed meru), which is dedicated to worshiping Sang Hyang Iswara or I Dewa Gelap. The deity is believed to control destructive powers.

From the outermost yard, you will walk up the stairs flanked by dragon carvings on both sides, then pass through the unique and classic entrance gate. You will arrive at the first courtyard with a big "wantilan" or pavilion-hall on the right. From this spot you can see a panoramic view, temples and traditional houses, including rows of hills and also a fertile valley in the distance.

Next, you will pass the split gate or "candi bentar" to the central courtyard, there are several bale pavilions. In this spot you can see the beauty of the entrance gate or "kori agung", which will lead you to the innermost part of Pura Gelap.

On the main courtyard there are the main shrine Meru Tumpang Tiga (dedicated to Lord Iswara or I Dewa Gelap), Padma, Pelinggih Siwa Lingga, Sanggah Agung (honoring the god of Mount Agung), Bebaturan Sapta Patala, and other supporting buildings.

The piodalan ceremony at Pura Gelap Bali is held every six months, which falls on Soma Kliwon wuku Wariga (Monday-Kliwon of the week Wariga). During piodalan ceremony, the temple is usually crowded with worshipers who come to pray. On the big ceremonies at Besakih Temple, this temple will be decorated with cloth or "wastra" all in white color, as a symbol of Lord Iswara.

In addition to piodalan ceremony, the temple also celebrate the sacred ritual of "Aci Pengenteg Jagat" (strengthening or maintaining the world), which falls on Purnama Sasih Karo (the full-moon of the second month in Balinese Calendar). Aci Pengenteg Jagat is a ritual to request for safety and balance of the universe. The government of Klungkung Regency (Puri Klungkung) has been responsible for the temple and funds the ritual Aci Pengenteg Jagat.


  1. google.co.id
  2. wikipedia.org _ Besakih Temple _ on April 14, 2020

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