Luhur Batukaru temple sits on the slopes of Mount Batukaru in the Tabanan regency, north of Ubud. Batukaru means coconut shell in the Balinese language. It is one of Bali’s six key directional temples and one of the main pilgrimage sites for Balinese. This well-preserved temple nestled in a rich natural forest emanates spiritual vibes, calm and serenity.
The temple was built around the 11th century by Mpu Kuturan, famous Balinese architect and priest. The temple was dedicated to Mahadewa, the god of Mount Batukaru.
The site was demolished in1604 during an assault from Buleleng, a neighbouring kingdom. It was reconstructed in 1959 after 300 years of abandonment then restored again in 1991.
Luhur Batukaru is one of the largest Hindu temples of Bali. Like otherBalinese temples, the site is divided into three zones:Nista Mandala, outer zone, the Madya Mandala, middle zone and the holiest and most sacred zone called Utama Mandala.
The entrance gate features typical Balinese architecture.
Each zone or courtyard comprises shrines and pagoda-like structures dedicated to Hindu deities. The most important is a 7-tiered meru structure devoted to Mahadewa. It features traditional Balinese architecture and dates from the 1959 reconstruction.
The temple compound contains a small pond with a temple island. This island is off-limits to all but the temple’s priests who bring the offerings to Mahameru.
The temple is the guardian of the spiritual and cultural values of the west part of Bali. As a directional temple it is meant to protect the island and its inhabitants. During religious ceremonies the residents of the surrounding areas come to the temple to prepare and make offerings.
At 1300m above sea-level in a rich and moist vegetation of frangipani, cempaka, camboja, ixora and hibiscus, this temple is a mystical sanctuary. It is a stop for all trekkers toMount Batukara (2276m) the second highest mountain of Bali after Mount Agung.
From Denpasar it is better to rent a car with a local driver.
It is necessary to wear a sarong to enter the site. You can rent one for Rp20,000. The entrance fee is Rp15,000. Opening hours from 8am to 6.30pm.