WATER AND TEMPLES - SEPTEMBER 2005
"BANANA PLANT - According to Wikipedia, «because of their size and structure, banana plants are often mistaken for trees». Bananas, which are grown in 132 countries around the world, provide you with Vitamins A, B6, C, potassium, and of course Banana Republic(s)"
"GIT GIT WATERFALL in North Bali - 10 km south of Singaraja, the former administrative centre of the islands during the years of the Dutch power up to 1953 - is a more than 30m waterfall that pours into a pool. About 700 meters from the main road, the path will show, further to the banana plants and the bamboos, many stalls with merchants trying to load you with souvenirs from all over Indonesia. You'd better take a swim..."
"LOVINA - We stayed at a hotel in Lovina, took a swim in the pool, and early morning were ready to start discovering the Island"
"KINTAMANI ROAD - On the way to Lake Batur"
"LAKE BATUR, at the feet of Mount Batur and Mount Abang, is the widest lake in Bali. Mount Batur is a small volcano, set in the heart of a huge crater, with the large crescent-shaped Batur Lake surrounded by the high walls of the crater rim, around it. The volcano had a great eruption in 1917, which claimed thousands of lives and destroyed hundreds of temples, and is still active today"
"GUNUNG AGUNG, with 3142m, is the highest mountain in Bali and where the spirits of ancestors are believed to dwell. The stratovolcano - seen on the right hand side of the picture - last erupted in 1963-64 and is also still active today. In the morning, the clouds from the west still left the mountain visible. You may try the nice walk up the hill"
"PURA KEHEN, just to the north of the town, was the state temple of the Bangli Kingdom, and occupies the site of an earlier temple which dates back to the 9th century. It is set on a number of levels against the background of a hill forest. A 38 steps stair leads to the meru-shaped gate between rows of statues"
"GATE - Overlooking the gate is the threatening head of Kala, guardian of the netherworld"
"A ELEVEN-TIERED MERU dominates the temple"
"COURTYARD AND SARONG - Almost all of the structures in the temple complex are open bales - raised platforms, open on all sides, with a thatched roof for shade and shelter from rain. No shorts! Men are supposed to wear a sarong to enter the temple... (Ladies a sari! Thanks Cuckoo)"
"FANTASTIC STONE WORK"
"PURA BESAKIH, usually referred to as the «Mother Temple» of Hinduism in Bali, with its 35 shrines and halls, is the largest of the island's thousands of Hindu temples. In 1963 Gunung Agung, covered here by the afternoon dark clouds, erupted and destroyed several nearby villages but Besakih was untouched"
"HALL - Besakih is, like most Balinese temples, not a closed building but an open-air temple, full of courtyards with altars and shrines devoted to a number of gods. Besakih is dedicated largely to Siva worship. At the beginning of the 11th Century Besakih became the state temple and it has remained the State temple ever since"
"OFFERS - Balinese are said to worship one god, Brahman, who manifests himself in various personalities. They believe that the gods visit a temple on certain dates when festivals are held to honour the gods. Besakih stands highest in the ranking of temples. It is said to be the only classless, casteless temple on the island"
"WINGS - Of all the temples on Bali six are supremely holy: Pura Besakih, Pura Lempuyang Luhur, Pura Gua Lawah, Pura Batukaru, Pura Pusering Jagat, and Pura Uluwatu"
PURA GOA LAWAH
"BATS - The Bat Cave Temple, as its name suggests, houses a holy cave that begins at the foot of rocky cliff and is said to extend all the way to the base of Mount Agung. Inside, where it is forbidden to enter, there are thousands of fruit bats"