The most sacred Hindu places of worship in Bali

Pura Lempuyang Luhur is one of the oldest and the most revered temple in BaliIndonesia. The temple is actually a collection of several temples along the hiking path to the summit. The main temple also the highest, the Pura Lempuyang Luhur, lies at 1,175m above sea level, up on the peak of the namesake Mount Lempuyang.[1]

The temple is located on Mount Lempuyang or Gamongan Hill, Bunutan village, Abang subdistrict, Karangasem, east Bali, around 10 kilometres north from Amlapura, the capital of Karangasem. The temple complex is dedicated to Ida Betara Hyang Iswara, the guardian of the east.[2] It is one of Sad Kahyangan Jagad or the “six sanctuaries of the world” which are the six holiest places of worship on Bali.

The most popular temple among visitors is the Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang. With its towering white candi bentar split gate, three dragon stairs and three kori agung gates, this compound has a spectacular view to the west overlooking Mount Agung, the highest volcano in Bali.

The temple consists of several temples along the hiking path to the summit of Mount Lempuyang or also known as Gamongan Hill in eastern Bali. The temples along the hiking track among others areː

  • Pura Puncak Bisbis
  • Pura Pasar Agung
  • Pura Lempuyang Luhur

Pura Lempuyang Luhur, the highest temple, is the crown jewel of the complex (and also its namesake). It sits atop the mountain’s peak, which is believed to be its most sacred spot. Those who make it to the top are rewarded with a peaceful sanctuary and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

 

The establishment of places of worship around Mount Lempuyang is believed to predate the majority of Hindu temples on the island of Bali.[1] The puras of Mount Lempuyang, represented by Pura Lempuyang Luhur, the highest temple in the area, is grouped one complex of pura which represents the Pura Sad Kahyangan Luhur Lempuyang. The temple groups are considered as part of the Sad Kahyangan Jagad, or the “six sanctuaries of the world”, the six holiest places of worship on Bali. According to Balinese beliefs, they are the pivotal points of the island and are meant to provide spiritual balance to Bali.[2] The temple groups of Mount Lempuyang is also one of the group of temples in Bali known as Pura Kahyangan Padma Bhuwana. Each of the temple in the Pura Kahyangan Padma Bhuwana marked each of the eight cardinal directions. Pura Lempuyang Luhur represents the direction of east (purwa) and the color white. This direction is associated with the domain of Balinese the god Iswara.[3]

Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang was restored in 2001.

The piodalan or puja wali festival (pura’s anniversary) of Pura Penataran Agung is held once every 6 months every Waraspati (Thursday) or one day after the Galungan festival.[7]

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