Lempuyang Temple is a sacred temple which is located on the top of Belibis Hill, northeast of Mount Agung, in Karang Asem egency. Lempuyang is one of the six major Temple in Bali besides Andakasa Temple, Uluwatu Temple, Watukaru Temple, Ulun Danu Batur Temple and Besakih Temple. In Balinese cosmogony, Lempuyang Luhur is considered temple of the East, the abode of god Iswara, keeper of the peace.
The meaning of the word lempuyang which serves as the name of this sacred temple has long been a subject of dispute. Some said the word lempuyang is derive take from the word “lampu” (light) and “hyang” (God), the word lempuyang means the “Light of God”. Some say the word lempuyang means a kitchen seasoning that can be used for some traditional medicine. And other said that the word lempuyang is derived from the word “emong or empu” that means “guardian”.
Compare to other six major temple of Bali, Lempuyang Luhur is quite small and has only few shrines which are a padmasana or the shrine of God, two shrines which are similar to padmasana and share single foundation, dedicated to Hyang Gnijaya, the founder of Lempuyang Temple and his sons. A piyasan, or pavilion serves as a place for place offerings, and for the priest who officiate the ceremony, and a gedong, a masonry building to store equipments for ceremony.
The main reason for the Balinese to make a pilgrimage there is to obtain the sacred holy water. This sacred holy water is obtained by cutting a yellow bamboo plant which grows in shrubs in the inner courtyard of the temple; the holy water drips from the fresh bamboo cutting. Unfortunately not all the pilgrims get this holy water only the lucky ones. Climbing the Belibis to reach the temple is worth to be called an exercise, considering the number of the steps, it gives also a picturesque view of the surrounding forest and mountains.
In the rainy seasons the steps are slippery and infested with leeches. Balinese usually pay homage to this temple at night especially during the full moon.