Pura Batukaru, an Ancient Sacred Temple at the heart of Bali

Heri Sisworo

Heri Sisworo

On English

Bali is almost synonymous with pura or temples. You can find temples almost in every place in Bali, indicating that the locals here are religious and observe their belief seriously. It also shows that every aspect of life in this island is heavily affected by Hinduism.

Hindus praying at Batukaru temple. via Instagram/izzet_keribar_photography

The exotic cultural life in Bali which centered on the sacred temples has become one of the allure to visit this holiday island. For millennia, Balinese’s life has centered on their religious life that you can still see today.

One of the most important temple in the whole island is the Pura Batukaru, the spiritual gate of Batukaru Volcano. Here are some facts about the temple.

Exotic location

The gate of the temple. via Instagram/marc_dambrosio

The Batukaru Temple (sometimes also called Batukau or Watukaru) is located at the Jalan Penatahan-Wongayagede, Penebel District, Tabanan Regency, Bali. Situated nicely on the northern slope of Mount Batukaru, the second tallest volcano on the island, this temple is easily accessible with the road infrastructure are already well in place. You can reach this temple by riding a motorcycle, a car, or just enjoy everything and took a tour.

Long history

The temple has long history. via Instagram/qutaps

Pura Luhur Batukaru was constructed more than a millennium ago. There is an ancient record stating that this temple was already in operation during the 11th century.

It was built to honor the ancestor of the kings of Tabanan. The temple was destroyed in the early 17th century when the Buleleng Kingdom attacked Tabanan. The temple was renovated in 1959 into the shape that is still visible today.

The main structure

Bales and Werus. via Instagram/yokya933

There are several shrines in Batukaru Temple, most feature tiered roofs. The stone and concrete structure are mostly covered in green tropical moss. There are walled compounds that contain many shrines and merus, towers with several tiered dark grass roof. There are also pavilions called bale.

The pond of holy water. via Instagram/sarahyana

Apart from rising structures, there are also several courtyards located in a different elevation. Those courtyards are connected by flowering gardens and steps. In the main temple courtyard, there is a water spring that becomes the source of holy water used in prayers and ceremonies. The other spring is used for cleansing an purification.

Sacred Temple

The temple is of an important role. via Instagram/sarahyana

Batukaru Temple is one of the most important and sacred sites in Bali. It is one of the Sad Kahyangan (six main temples) and Kayangan Jagat or Padma Bhuwana (nine directional temples).

As with all sacred place in Bali, women on their period are not permitted to enter the temple. Everyone who wishes to visit the temple must adhere to proper attire and conduct, mainly wearing a sash.

Misty morning. via Instagram/marta_mdw

Visiting Batukaru Temple will not only provide you with an exotic building. You will be immersed in a spiritual world where nature in its purest form combines with the religious spirit of Balinese.