In Awe of the Mother Temple

Besakih - The Mother TempleStanding on the edge of a crater this size is nothing short of overwhelming.  Looking from one side to the other you become captivated by the sheer size of the volcano that once existed here; it is almost impossible to fully comprehend the scale.

To give you some perspective there is a sizable town inside the crater along with other settlements scattered along the shoreline.  Fishing and trading boats ply the waters regularly taking merchandise to market and hikers to trails.

It is a huge expanse for one single mountain to have occupied.

Today, the area of Kintamani with its panoramic views of the young Mt. Batur and Lake Batur are highlights for anyone traveling to Bali.

Mount Batur sits inside the crater of its predecessor and lapping at its base is Bali’s largest lake; Lake Batur.  The body of water wraps around the active volcano and is home to several villages of traditional Bali Aga origin. They are accessible only by boat.  The local people, about 15000, have kept their unique culture and life style in tact. 

Remember; all of this exists inside the crater making it one of Bali’s most remarkable sites.

In 1997 I wrote this about a visit to the area.  “The crater  is of immense proportions and so perfectly shaped that imagining the size and shape of the original Mt Batur is not difficult. It must have been massive because as you look from the crater’s edge, the mountain that has become a major tourist attraction sits neatly inside the crater like a motionless bobbing apple in a barrel. The lava flows from its most recent eruption are clearly visible as they have cut their way through farms and bush on the mountains western side leaving a black lifeless scar which in itself adds intrigue to the natural beauty of this area. The lake wraps itself around the bottom of the mountain in a kidney bean shape and is host to many small boats that ferry passengers to and from the towns located on its edge. In between these areas of population you witness the beauty and raw power of nature as the jungle and the lava flows meet and spread fingers of themselves into each other in such a way that illustrates how these two forces are totally independent of each other. One being destructive the other reconstructive and it appears that this battle continues to rage on.”

Besakih Temple is the Mother Temple on Bali and sits on the slopes of Mt. Agung.

From the temple summit you have a panoramic view of Bali all the way to the Indian ocean. Because of its altitude Besakih is cool year round. A light breeze continually circulates throughout the complex creating an atmosphere conducive with peace, tranquility, and reverence.

Besakih rises majestically from the mountain-side. Built on stone terraces she is full of color and beauty; cloaked in the shadow of her mountain podium or soaking in the brilliance of Acintya, the supreme God of Balinese Hinduism.

Given that Besakih is the most prestigious temple in Bali it attracts visitors constantly. Some are travelers and some are on a religious pilgrimage…all are in awe. The walk to the temple is a long steady uphill climb but the reward, always in sight ahead of you, is well worth the effort.

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