Batukaru Temple | A Unique Sacred Mountain Sanctuary

Batukaru Temple lies in solitary clearing 1,300 m above the sea level, set amidst a garden of flowering frangipani and hibiscus, with a gigantic, inhabited, humid tropical forest all around it. The site is often cool and has highest rainfall on Bali, the temple complex consists of a main enclosure to the north and two smaller complexes tucked away in the forest. Batukaru Temple is a unique sacred mountain sanctuary and royal temple of Tabanan dynasty, situated on the foot of mount Batukaru, 23 km north of Tabanan, built to venerate deities of mountains and lake. Based on the scripture, the temple was founded in 11th century by Empu Kuturan, a great Hindu sage who established six main temple of Bali.

At that time, Batukaru Temple was a sanctuary for hermits. In 1604, the temple was attacked and partially destroyed by the king of Buleleng, Anglurah Panji Sakti, but his troops were beaten back by millions of bees unleashed by the protective spirit of the temple. Batukaru Temple was not rebuilt until 1959, even though pilgrims had continued to worship in rubble. Within the complex are a number of symbolically distinct shrines, each representing a different Tabanan dynasty. Due to the cool climate and high rainfall, the shrines in this temple are covered by moss. Batukaru Temple is also known as Pura Taman that means it has a bathing place and maintained by a king.

The most magnificent shrine in this temple is seven-tiered meru, dedicated to the God Mahadewa who presides over mount Batukaru. A few meters east of the temple are steps leading down to a square artificial pool with a miniature of island in the middle. On the isle, there are two shrines, one dedicated to Mount Batukaru and other for the deities of the lake. Nearby are a small temple and a sacred spring, bubbling up from a riverbank. The temple anniversary falls on Manis Galungan, a day after Galungan holyday. On that day thousand of pilgrims from all over the island will flock to the temple to pay homage to the deities in this sacred temple.

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