Bangli, Kehen Temple

Bangli, Kehen Temple

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Pura Kehen is located north of Bangli and it is the state temple of the Bangli kingdom. This temple is often described as the miniature version of the Pura Besakih.

Like the mother temple, this temple has 8 terraces and it is built on the southern slope of the hill.

Built in the 11th century, the Kehen temple is the biggest temple in East Bali and considered to be the finest as well. The temple complex is amid palm tree plantations which create a mystical atmosphere...

Kehen means household or fireplace and symbolises the fire god, Brahmen who protects the temple.

Because it is an one of the most important temples in the region, many religious ceremonies take place here.

It is a colourful sight to see the women carrying large fruit offerings up the stairs and during these ceremonies also different types of dances take place which are typical for the Bangli region.

Before entering the temple you are expected to dress accordingly: legs should be covered and you have to wear a temple-scarf around the waist.

If you are wearing shorts you can rent a sarong for a small donation, together with the temple scarf.

In front of the temple there is a booth where you can get a sarong and the Balinese man standing there is more than willing to answer any questions you have about the temple.


The impressive temple terraces

You must climb up the steep 38 stairs before you reach the beautifully decorated entrance of the Pura Kehen.

On both sides of the stairs there are  guardian statues of wayang-figures taken from the popular Ramayana story.

When you arrive at the entrance the first thing you see is the courtyard, which is shadowed by a huge banyan tree. This tree creates a nice cool climate and is considered sacred by the Balinese.

Passing through the second courtyard of which the walls are covered with old Chinese porcelain, you enter the jeroan. This is the most holy

Here the 11 roofed meru dominates the courtyard. This meru is dedicated to the god that protects the temple.

On both sides you will notice more tiny merus, in which mountain gods are able to rest when they visit the temple.


The highest meru at the temple

A throne located in the north part of the courtyard is less obvious, but nevertheless very interesting to see.

This stone carved lotus throne is dedicated to the three Hindu gods Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu.

The carvings are really exceptional for a Balinese temple. The turtle and the snake wrapped around on the base of the shrine symbolise the underworld.


Beautiful carvings on the lotus throne

The other carved figures represent Hindu figures, such as Shiva with his son Ganesha and Durga.

Don't forget to walk around the shrine to see all the remarkable carvings.

The Pura Kehen is easily reached from Ubud. It only takes about 40 minutes to reach the temple.

If you are travelling from the eastern part of the island, you will be treated with great views during your journey to the temple...