Tabanan Regency retains some unique temple heritages. One of them is the Batu Panes Temple located at Mengesta customary village, Penebel. The temple situated amidst the rice field has some uniqueness compared to other temples. The most bizarre is the entrance to the temple located in the southwest. Reputedly, it is a symbol of prosperity and believed to have a capability of treating various diseases. Another unique nature is the temple has no compound walls, including the split gates as the main entrance. Even, temple is actually surrounded by a small lake that never dries up all the year round. The lake is overgrown by thousands of beautiful lotuses appearing naturally.
It is unknown for sure about the origin of the temple. Based on folklore, the temple has something to do with the Batukaru Temple and the Kingdom of Tabanan. It is functioned as the source of prosperity by farmers. On that account, the venerators of the Batu Panes Temple are all farmers. The Chief of Belulang customary village, Ketut Suardisa, said that based on the information from his predecessors the Batu Panes Temple was established when the Tabanan Kingdom was hit by drought. Then, the king and royal officials meditated at the location now known as Batu Panes Temple. Their meditation was fruitless.
Later, the king went to Batulumbung Temple for another meditation and much water then flowed now known as Yeh Ho River. “According to him, the story is found in the Padma Cangah chronicle,” said Suardisa. The story mentioned if the temple was supported by the Kompyang Palace of Tabanan until today. The Batu Panes Temple is believed as sanctum used to venerate Lord Shiva with his manifestation as Brahma. Therefore, it results in the heat. No wonder, a hot spring is found near the temple and sanctified by local people up to these days. The temple is also made a place to ask for the source of life and cure various diseases.
Originally, the temple was a lingam of Lord Shiva inscribed with ancient scripts. Then, it was made a shrine in 1970. At that time, the lingam of Shiva was once read. However, no one could translate them. The temple is equipped with a number of shrines including the Penyacah Temple, Pengungangan Puseh Batuaya Temple with ancient yoni, Batur Sari Temple in the east, Dalem Kahyangan in the south and Taman Beji with hot spring in the southwest. Especially in the innermost courtyard lie a number of shrines such as representative shrine of Batukaru Temple, Kerinan, main shrine (Ratu Wayan), Sedahan Temple, representative of Pucak Petali and Ratu Nyoman in the form of Padmasana.
Pujawali or anniversary of the Batu Panes Temple falls on Buda (Wednesday) Kliwon Wuku Gumbreg. Uniquely, when it falls on dark moon or full moon, the procession should be filled with pedudusan alit and melasti (purificatory rite for ritual paraphernalia and effigy) to whitewater of Babahan. This ritual usually falls every 10 times of anniversary. As the temple belonging to subak members (farmers), they routinely present the offering and once a year they present annual oblation or chips. In 2007, a discrepancy occurred where the supporting devotees agreed to hold a customary meeting for changing the position of the entrance into the temple from the southwest to the center.
When organizing a meeting in the wantilan hall of the temple, all the customary villagers were in trance and prohibited to move the entrance of the temple. According to Suardisa, based on the research on the Ganesh effigy in the Puseh Belulang Temple, the Batu Panes was estimated to originate from 1400 BC. It is based on the materials of the effigy and temple buildings of Puseh Belulang that do not apply multi-tiered meru shrine as commonly found in Bali. “It is only an estimate because there has not been a concrete study,” he said. Other than sanctum, location of the Batu Panes Temple has also become a water attraction. Visitors usually enjoy the hot spring believed to have the efficacy to cure some illnesses. Similarly, location around the temple is also quite beautiful along with the overlay of rice terraces. (BTN/kmb)
source : bali travel news