Meduwe Karang Temple | To Whom The Earth Belongs

Meduwe Karang Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the male counterpart of the rice goddess Dewi Sri. The name of the temple means to whom the earth belongs, and the local people come here to beg for a rich harvest in the surrounding coffee, maize, fruit and vegetable plantations. Meduwe Karang Temple consists of three parts. In the first courtyard (jaba) are three platforms, with 13 figures in the lowest row, ten in the middle row and 13 in the rear row. All the figures represent characters from the “Ramayana”.

A four-tiered split gate (candi bentar) leads into the second courtyard (jaba tengah). On the rear wall, which lies between this courtyard and the third one (jeroan) containing the holy of holies (bebaturan), are a whole series of figures. In the center of the third courtyard is a square stepped platform on which are, to the left, a gedong pesimpangan dedicated to Ratu Ayu Sari (a manifestation of the earth mother Ibu Prtiwi), and to the right the gedong pesimpangan of Ratu Ngurah Sari, protector of the produce of the earth.

Of particular interest is a relief on the right-hand side of the central platform, showing a man on a bicycle, the wheels of which are decorated with flowers. Although the local people believe that this carving is at least 400 years old, it is thought that the figure on the bicycle represents the Dutch ethnologist W. O. J. Nieuwenkamp, who rode on a bicycle (a means of transport previously unknown to the local people) when working in northern Bali around 1904.

The relief is not now in its original condition: it was badly damaged in the 1917 earthquake and was altered during the process of restoration.

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