Sad Kahyangan Temples

Sad Kahyangan or Sad Kahyangan Jagad are six main temples which are believed as the pillars of Bali. The word “Sad” was derived from Sanskrit word means “six” and “Kahyangan” means “place of Gods.” Hence, “Sad Kahyangan” could be translated into “six places of Gods.” Here are those six temples:

1. Besakih

Besakih Temple is a complex of temples located in Besakih Village, District of Rendang, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia. The complex of Besakih Temple consists of 18 temples and 1 main temple. Besakih Temple is the main temple of all temples in Bali. Among the temples in the complex of Besakih Temple, Penataran Agung Temple is the biggest, the highest in the number of “pelinggih” (small temple for specific God), the highest in the kind of offerings, and the center of all temples in the complex of Besakih Temple. In Penataran Agung Temple there are 3 main pelinggih of Tri Murti, they are Brahma who is the creator of universe, Wisnu as the caretaker, and Siwa as the destroyer.

2. Lempuyang

In various sources and manuscript or ancient inscription there are three big temples that are usually mentioned, they are Besakih, Ulun Danu Batur and Lempuyang. Lempuyang is located on top of the Bisbis Hill or Lempuyang Mountain, Karangasem. This temple is estimated as the oldest temple in Bali. Moreover, it is expected already in the era when Hinduism and Buddhism had not entered Bali yet. Lempuyang temple is the place of Hyang Gni Jaya or Iswara.

3. Goa Lawah

Goa Lawah means Bat Cave. In Bali, Goa Lawah Temple is a temple for worshipping Sea God. This temple could be found in Pesinggahan Village, Dawan District, Klungkung. Goa Lawah is the main temple of Pura Segara (Sea temple) in Bali. The story in Prekempa Gunung Agung manuscript tells that Lord Siwa send Sang Hyang Tri Murti (Brahma, Wisnu, and Iswara) to save the earth. Brahma went down to the earth manifested as Ananta Bhoga Dragon. On the other hands, Wisnu manifested as Basuki Dragon and Iswara transformed into Taksaka Dragon. Basuki Dragon, the manifestation of Wisnu had his head down to the ocean stirring the water so that the steam became cloud. His tail became the mountains and the scales became trees forming dense forests. It is said that the head of Basuki Dragon is symbolized by Goa Lawah Temple and its mounted tail is symbolized by Gunung Agung. The center of his tail is in Goa Raja Temple, one of the temple complex in Besakih. Some people believe that Goa Raja is connected with Goa Lawah.

4. Uluwatu

Uluwatu Temple or so called Luhur Uluwatu Temple is one of Balinese temple with spectacular scenery which for the tourists have been becoming the most favorite temple to visit in Bali. Located in the southwestern end of Bali Island, this temple perches on the top of the high and rocky escarpment with amazing sea panorama below.
Based on the history, this place was built in the eleventh century by Empu Kuturan; a Hindu priest came from Java. To enter this temple, the visitors must use shawl and sarong which could be rented there. The best time for visiting this place is in the sunset to see and feel the spectacular scenery at the edge of Bali Island.

5. Batukaru

Batukaru or Luhur Batukaru Temple is located in Wongaya Village in the district of Penebel, Tabanan. This temple is in the western side of Bali in the south slope of Batukaru Mountain. This name was named after the mountain itself. There is a unique ritual before entering this temple that it requires the visitors to pray at Jero Taksu Temple first, which is a bit far from this temple. Luhur Batukaru Temple is the place for worshipping the God of plants, thus in Luhur Uluwatu Temple, God was worshipped in the name of Ratu Hyang Tumuwuh. Tumuwuh means “growing”, so the God here manifests as the one who maintain the plants and water properly to make it grows well.

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6. Pusering Jagat

Pusering Jagat Temple is located in Pejeng Village, District of Tampaksiring, Gianyar. This temple is the member of Sad Kahyangan with its position in the middle of Bali Island. In Hindu cosmology, middle or center is the place of Lord Siwa. Local people also believe that this temple is the center of the earth.

In this temple there are a lot of statues, like statues of Ganesha (son of Siwa), Durga (wife of Siwa) and also some Bhairawa. There are also ancient statues for the symbol of men’s genital or “purusa” and female’s genital or “pradana.” In Hinduism, Purusa and Pradana are the God’s first creation which became the seeds of life. Purusa is the seed of spirituality and Pradana is the seed of materials. The rendezvous of these Purusa and Pradana were the beginning of a life. There are also some inheritances in form of ancient vases which are called “Sangku Sudamala” symbolized the holy water for life. Inside Sangku Sudamala, an image that shown 1251 Saka year could be found.