Besakih Temple, known as Bali’s ‘Mother Temple’ for over 1,000 years, sits 1,000 metres high on the southwestern slopes of Mount Agung. Besakih is an artistic and unique complex that comprises at least 86 temples which include the main Pura Penataran Agung (the Great Temple of State) and 18 others. Besakih is the biggest and holiest of the island’s temples and is surrounded by breathtaking and scenic rice paddies, hills, mountains, streams, and more.

To the Balinese, visiting the temple sanctuaries is a special pilgrimage. Mount Agung’s high location gives it an almost mystical quality. Many stairs lead up to the sacred mountain, leading to the many temples that vary according to types, status, and functions. Pura Besakih features three temples dedicated to the Hindu trinity. Pura Penataran Agung in the centre has white banners for Shiva, the destroyer; Pura Kiduling Kreteg on the right side is with red banners for Brahma, the creator; and Pura Batu Madeg represents Vishnu, the preserver, with its black banners. You can visit other temples in Pura Besakih, but many of their inner courtyards are closed to the public as they’re reserved for pilgrims. Pura Besakih is the only temple open to every devotee from any caste groups. This is because of its nature as the primal centre of all ceremonial activities.

Besakih Temple also considered at “mother temple” in Bali, celebrates its biannual temple anniversary on 31March till 21 April 2018. People all over Bali island will go to the temple for prayers, providing a unique sight to see.

Location: in Besakih Village, Rendang Sub-district, Karangasem District

Remarks: Taking along local companions outside the official hours is highly recommended

How to get there: From Honai Resort, take the Klungkung Regency. Head north through Klungkung and take the right-hand turn at Menanga to get to Besakih. The journey from Honai Resort shouldn’t take longer than one and half hours.