Lies on the western slope of Gunung Agung and referred to as the Mother Temple of Hindu Bali, Besakih Temple sits in a vast area, that offers breathtaking views of the scenery surrounding this beautiful and artistic temple complex. The name Besakih comes from the word Basuki, derived from the word Wasuki which means Salvation in the classical Sanskrit language. Whereas, in the Samudramanthana mythology, the same name Besuki in fact refers to the Dragon-God Naga Besukian, who inhabited Gunung Agung, the main volcano in Bali. This grand temple complex has been regarded as a holy place since ancient times.
The first recorded mention of its existence comes from an inscription dating back to 1007 AD. It is known that since the 15th century, Besakih was regarded as the central temple of Hinduism in Bali. Besakih Temple also known as Pura Penataran Agung, is Bali’s main place of worship, a complex comprising twenty-two temples set on parallel ridges. This complex expresses the essential belief of the Balinese known as Tri Hita Kirana, meaning that life on earth must be lived and kept in balance and harmony between man and God, man and society and his fellow human beings, and man and his natural environment.
During a full moon, Balinese and pilgrims throng to the temple. During the festival of Odalan, the temple is most elaborately decorated. Odalan is celebrated on every 210th day.