Besakih Temple – The Mother Temple of Bali

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Published on June 7, 2019 | Uncategorized

Bali has always been known for its grand temples that decorate its landscape. Many of those temples were built long ago by the Hindu ancestors of Bali.

Amongst all the temples in Bali, there are a select few that are known as the cardinal temples. These temples are uniquely special in that they carry significant importance, either historically or religiously, for the local Balinese people.


besakih temple


The Besakih Temple is one of them. In this article, we’ll share with you its brief history and significance, as well as things you should note before visiting the temple.



Besakih Temple – also referred to as Pura Besakih – is considered to be the holiest temple for the Hindu devotees in Bali. It is also the largest temple, consisting of at least 86 temples that includes the main temple, Pura Penataran Agung and 18 other temples.

The layout of the temple is meant to reflect the Hindu Trinity with the main Pura Penataran Agung dedicated to Shiva, the destroyer, Pura Batu Madeg for Vishnu, the preserver and Pura Kiduling Kreteg for Brahma, the creator.

It is believed that the temple’s origin dates back to the 8th century when a Hindu monk received a divine revelation during his isolation. The name of the temple itself refers to the dragon deity, Naga Besukian, which eventually evolved into Besakih that we know today.



The temple itself is located 1,000 meters up the southern side of Mount Agung. Its high elevation, combined with the absolutely beautiful, and seemingly infinite views from the top, gives Pura Besakih a mystical quality. It is after all the grandest temple on the island of Bali.

We hope this article has been useful for those who want to explore the temples of Bali! If you ever need to find things to do while visiting Bali, remember to visit the grand temples. They are truly a magnificent sight to see.

Pura Besakih happens to be located close to Gianyar, where Mara River Safari Lodge is located – so why not stay with us and get the whole experience in Bali! We’ve got a wide range of room selections for you to choose from, and an unbeatable safari experience – especially for our in-house guests!