Bali’s Besakih Temple is the largest and most significant temple for Balinese Hindus on the Island of the Gods.
The temple complex has also become one of the island’s leading tourist attractions for international visitors who want to understand more about Bali’s unique culture and faith.
Over the last few years, in light of a sharp rise in the number of tourists visiting the Mother Temple, the management team has made it mandatory that non-Balinese Hindu visitors are accompanied by a guide.
There are 220 trained temple guides in permanent employment whose job is to accompany visits around the temple complex and teach them everything they need to know about the significance of the Besakih Temple and its relation to other temples around the island.
Since the tour guides are employed by the Besakih Temple Management team, and it is mandatory for visits to be accompanied by a guide, guests do not have to pay extra for the guiding service.
Tickets for foreigners cost IDR 90,000 and include a guide, a rental sarong, and an entrance to the complex. Tickets for domestic visits cost IDR 50,000.
@yanfhotoinstan Senja Yang Indah. Rahayu Alam Semesta dan Seisinya 🙏😇 #besakih #besakihtemple #purabesakihbali #bali ♬ suara asli – Yanfhoto Instan
It has come to the attention of the management team that three guides had asked their guests for additional financial compensation for their guiding services, either through pressure to tip or suggesting that their guiding services were an additional cost.
The Besakih Temple Sacred Area Management Agency has committed to ensuring that the tourism services provided by the temple remain in alignment with the team’s values and has issued three warning letters to the guides who received complaints.
@gemandjames Bali Day 2! ⚠️ warning: some flashing in this video. None of these stops are actually IN Ubud but Ubud was our base for the first few days and there are loads of day trips that go to these places from Ubud 😊 📍Lempuyang Temple (AKA the gates of heaven) 📍Tirta Gangga 📍Besakih Temple We booked the day trip through tripadvisor! #bali #baliitinerary #ubud #ubuditinerary #travel #traveltiktok #travelvlog #gatesofheaven #lempuyangtemple #fyp ♬ Walking in the Air – Muspace Lofi
The management wants to assure tourists that they take these violations seriously and that disciplinary action has been taken against the guides in question.
They want to ensure that tourists have an informative and memorable visit to the most spiritually significant landmark on the island and not have experiences marred by pressure from tour guides.
Speaking to reporters, the Head of the Besakih Temple Sacred Area Management Agency, I Gusti Lanang Muliarta explained, “I have issued warning letters to three local tour guides so that they do not make any more mistakes.”
@yanfhotoinstan besakih temple #besakihtemple #purabesakihbali #bali #culture #ceremony ♬ suara asli – Yanfhoto Instan
He added, “We monitor all tourist service routes. Because we have installed 225 CCTV camera. That’s why we knew there were three tour guide officers who had acted less than commendably, so we issued a warning letter.”
It is not only the CCTV cameras that are stationed throughout the temple complex but also local pecalang officers.
The local pecalang teams are made up of married men from the community who are responsible for overseeing the logistical elements of village life and managing village and temple security.
Pecalang crew, as well as temple staff, are stationed throughout the Besakih Temple complex to ensure that everyone is behaving respectfully inside the religious grounds.
Tourists can easily spend a half day exploring the Besakih Temple Complex and surrounding smaller temples.
In actual fact, the Mother Temple is comprised of twenty-three temples spread over six terraces.
The largest and most significant of the temples in the complex is Pura Penatatan Agung, which has been built to represent the seven laters of the universe according to Balinese Hindu belief.
The three temples of high significance that tourists mustn’t miss during a visit include Pura Penataran Agung, which represents the Hindu deity Shiva, also known as the destroyer.
The second is Pura Kiduling Kreteg, which represents Brahma referred to as the creator, and the third is Pura Batu Madeg, which represents Vishnu who is known as the preserver.
The Besakih Temple complex is found in East Bali, 25km away from the center of Ubud. The temples are open daily from 8 am until 5 pm, though they are occasionally closed to the public on specific holy days.
Tourists must wear a sarong and modest clothing and only take photos in areas where they are permitted to do so when given permission from their assigned guide.
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