Home / Articles / Bali News / Balinese Temples

Balinese Temples

Why Bali is called "The Island of Thousands Temples"? It is not surprising that Bali is called the "Island of Thousands Temples". Everywhere you go you see a temple. There are so many temples that the government does not bother to count them. There are small temples, very small temples with only a very few shrines; there are large temples, very large temples with more than 50 shrines, such as the temples of Besakih, the mother temple of Bali. There are even lonely shrines in the oddest place where one does not expect them at all. Every family, every compound, every clan and or society has a temple; you mention a society or organization and it has a temple. In the compound where the family lives, there is the family temple. The desa, the village itself, must have at least three temples; Pura Puseh, Pura Desa and Pura Dalem each clan has its own temple. Each Subak, or irrigation organization, has a temple, called Pura Subak or Pura Bedugul.

Everyplace where the water to irrigate the rice field is divided has a temple or at least a shrine. Bali as a whole has a temple, Pura Besakih or the Mother Temple, within which every sect and nobility have theirs own temple. The Balinese people have been ancestor worshippers from ages past. The family does this in the family temple or house temple. The village does this in Pura Puseh and all Bali does this in the temple of Besakih.

In southern Bali, the house temple is always in the north-east corner of the compound in regions south-west of Mount Agung. The reason for this is that the top of Mount Agung is the highest spot in Bali and the highest position is reserved for God, Ida Sanghyang Widhi. Because the people should pray towards God and God lives on the top of Mount Agung as the highest spot in Bali, and Mount Agung happens to lie in the east, that is why in southern of Bali, all house temples are in the northeastern corner of the compound. In northern Bali, house temples are built in the southeastern corner of the compound.

The number of shrines in the house temple depends on the wishes of the family as well as where the family originally comes from. That is why the visitors in one house temple may see only a few shrines and in another, right next to it, many more. In any house temple there must be at least two shrines: the "Sakti Kemulan" (the Kemulan os for God and the purified ancestors and the Sakti is for the producing power of God). No mater how poor the compound, there will always be a house temple. This house temple can be very temporary built only of bamboo, but it can also be very elaborate; in some, the shrines are very intricately carved and decorated with gold leaf. Only the purified dead, or dead who have been cremated, can join God in the Kemulan shrine in the cemetery. Near it the Pura Dalem is built. This is the proper place for the Pura Dalem because it is the temple of death or the temple for the dead. Of course Lord Shiva, the Destroyer, resides and is worshipped there. The site of the three main temples is in accordance with the deep beliefs of the Balinese that the mountains are for God; the plains, the center of the country, are for the people and the sea, the lowest part of the country, is for the demonic forces. Besides the three main temples, there is the clan temple, called Pura Ibu, Pura Pemaksan or Pura Panti. Outside the village in the rice fields is the Subak temple, maintained by the organization of irrigation and farmers, where naturally Dewi Sri, the Rice Goddess is worshipped.

House temple, with some high caste people, the family makes shrine for every ancestor who in his life had done a great service to the family, and accordingly in the house temple of such a family there is more than one ancestral shrine. Near the entrance to a compound there is always a guardian shrine in front of or behind it. Sometimes there are two shrines in front of it facing each other. The guardian shrine is for the spirit that always guards the premises.

In full-fledged village, there have to be at least three temples:
Pura Puseh, where the founders of the village are worshipped, always lies in the Kaja sphere, towards the mountains, so it lies on the highest spot in the village; Lord Brahma the creator's, resides there.

Pura Desa, the village temple, is built in the center of the village, where Lord Wisnu, the maintainer, is worshipped. In Pura Desa, the activities of the village manifest to maintain the welfare of the entire villages and its inhabitants. In old societies, Pura Desa always had a Bale Agung, a long wooden building where the villagers came's together monthly to discuss village matters. The Bale Agung is also the place where the Ngusaba ceremony is held to honor Dewi Sri, the rice Goddess, A Pura Desa with a Bale Agung is called Pura Bale Agung, because not very Pura Desa has a Bale Agung. In the Kelod area, towards the sea and therefore on the lowest part of the village, lies the ceremony is over and they carry their offerings back home and have a feast later. Only a small tray with petals of flowers is left behind.

In most cases, on the day before the anniversary ceremony begins the temple deities are taken to a holy spring for a cleaning bath. In a beautiful and colorful procession "Pratima" carved wooden animals, seats of Gods, are carried by colorfully dressed girls to the springs. At the head of the procession, boys walk with the paraphernalia of Holiness, such as spears, flags, and umbul-umbul, followed by girls carrying offerings. Then comes the girls with the "Pratima". The procession is closed by the musicians who make it all a joyous affair.

Pratima are carved animals of all kind which serve as the mounts or seats of the Gods. Sometimes one see one or two statuettes perched on them. These statuettes represent the Gods. The Balinese say that the gods like to have bath, a cleaning bath, or "musician" in Balinese.

When the procession return and before the deities are entered into the temple, a welcoming ceremony takes place in front of the temple gate. People spend the whole night in the temple. To entertain them or to keep them awake, there are dance performances, free for everyone to see. A cock fighting although a from of outlawed gambling has to be allowed. It is an unwritten obligation for the villagers to keep fighting cock to contribute them to the cockfight that follows every religious ceremony in the village.

Articles for Bali News

balinese people about covid desease

Bali Covid-19 Update

We provide daily updated information about Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) special for Bali area...

Last updated 2 months ago

Welcoming the Domestic Tourists 31 Jul 2020

Bali Open for Domestic Tourists

This is the steph by steph the government take to open the tourism for International market in September 2020...

Last updated 2 months ago

melasti beach view from the cliffs

Melasti Beach Officially Open Today

Ungasan Tradition Village has announce that the Melasti Beach will open today, 24 June 2020, and free entrance for all visitors...

Last updated 3 months ago

besakih temple celebrations

Balinese Temple Celebrations

The dedication or inauguration day of the temple is considered its birthday, and the celebration always takes place on the same day if the Wuku or 210...

Last updated 2 years ago

ngaben ceremony procession in ubud

Royal Cremation in Ubud

Local press report estimate 300,000 local residents and tourist will flock to Ubud over the coming days leading up to the grand cremation of 3 members...

Last updated 2 years ago

i gusti ngurah rai

Bali War Memorial

On the easternmost tip of Java, in and around the town of Banyuwangi, republican troops of the army, police and navy were on the alert. Most of them w...

Last updated 2 years ago

balinese dances

Balinese Dance Schedule

View the regularly Balinese dance schedule such us Kecak dance, Legong dance, Barong dance, Janger, and others....

Last updated 2 years ago

balinese dance, legong dance

Balinese Dance Calendar

Throughout the island, dances are performed with some morning and some evening programs with different dances being performed in different parts of Ba...

Last updated 2 years ago

ngurah rai airport, bali airport, bali pickup

Airlines Bali Offices

Find the Airlines Bali office phone number and full address in our complete list. Bali Qantas Airways, Batavia Air, Bouraq Airlines, British Airways, ...

Last updated 2 years ago

bali map, tourism bali, bali guide

Bali Government Tourism Office

Bali Government Tourism Office is responsible in Development of Tourism in Bali. Bali Tourism Information Center Contact Office...

Last updated 2 years ago

bali map, tourism bali, bali guide

Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan is the part of Bali located at Klungkung Regency, small island covered with coconut trees, mangrove forests, small farm...

Last updated 2 years ago

ogoh-ogoh, nyepi day, bali quite day

Nyepi Day in Bali

All you need to know about what is the new on the Nyepi day celebration in this year like what to do and what must to be prepared...

Last updated 2 years ago

Articles by Category

Bali Local Attractions

The main tourist attractions in Bali are the beaches such us Kuta beach, Sanur beach, Dream Beach and others. Herewith we provide other local attractions in Bali for

Bali Temple Ceremony | Calendar of Event

We provide calendar of events feature Bali temple festival such us Galungan and Kuningan Day, Nyepi Day and other ceremonies

Bali Interesting Places | Bali Travel Guide

Bali suta provide Bali travel guide review of Bali interesting places and top destination for sightseeing Bali.

Email us for more information

Our Services

Transportations, Tours Adventure and Sightseeing

image of adventures


Here you can find the fun activities in Bali such as sightseeing bali, tour adventure, water activities, petting the animals and many other

image of packages


We provide special Bali tour packages to visiting some interesting places in Bali and enjoy the power of Bali Island.

image of transportation


Complete transportation service in Bali starting from Ngurah Rai Airport to your hotel in Bali or Lembongan island and Gilis island


About Bali, local attractions, interesting places and news

Bali Attractions

See more, up to 5 articles list

The main tourist attractions in Bali are the beaches such us Kuta beach, Sanur beach, Dream Beach and others. Herewith we provide other local attractions in Bali for

Bali News

See more, up to 13 articles list

Bali Suta provide Bali general information to complete your information about traveling to Bali island and must know or travel tips.

Bali Temple Ceremony

See more, up to 89 articles list

We provide calendar of events feature Bali temple festival such us Galungan and Kuningan Day, Nyepi Day and other ceremonies

Interesting Places

See more, up to 31 articles list

Bali suta provide Bali travel guide review of Bali interesting places and top destination for sightseeing Bali.

Where to Stay?

The popular city in Bali for your stay

Munduk Hotels

Up to 6 hotels list

Stay at Singaraja Bali, we provide best price for Munduk Hotels north Bali such us Atres Villas, Munduk Sari Villas, Kasan Green Hill Villas, Munduk Moding Plantatio

Lembongan Hotels

Up to 21 hotels list

Stay at Nusa Lembongan that have a good places for surfing, diving and snorkeling, with abundant marine life and healthy coral.

Seminyak Villas

Up to 41 hotels list

Located north of Kuta and Legian, Seminyak is residental arean in Bali that very popular with resident expatriates and land and accommodation prices are amongst the

Ubud Hotels

Up to 52 hotels list

Regarded as the cultural centre, Ubud with fourteen traditional villages is a town in central Bali. Ubud is famous as an arts and crafts hub and much of the town and

Candidasa Area

Up to 14 hotels list

Candidasa is a part of Karangasem Regency, Eastern Bali that located at about 2 hours drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport. Candidasa is a seaside town on the

Jimbaran Hotels

Up to 12 hotels list

Jimbaran is located at south of the Airport Ngurah Rai and Kuta that is now home to several world class 5 star beach resorts and also little in the way of budget ac

Nusa Dua Hotels

Up to 10 hotels list

Nusa Dua is an enclave of high end hotels, peninsula in south Bali. Nusa Dua is part of Badung Regency that located at about 1 hours drive from Ngurah Rai Airport, s

Kuta Hotels

Up to 29 hotels list

Kuta Bali is known as the best tourism resort area on the island of Bali in Indonesia with a long broad indian ocean beachfront and was originally discovered by tour

Sanur Hotels

Up to 28 hotels list

In Sanur Bali you can find easy the luxury resorts and hotels that equipped with convention facilities, swimming pools, restaurant, night clubs and the hotels with b

Lovina Hotels

Up to 7 hotels list

Stay in lovina Beach with black sandys is a safe and perfect place for swimming and snorkelling and find easy various types of accommodation available there, ranging

Check Shuttle Prices

Top Searched Tours

Showing top searched tours, adventure and transportation.

All Category

Payment Options

paypal logo
mandiri bank logo
bri bank logo
bca bank logo