The Bali Temple Run

The sun was about to set across the cliffs of Uluwatu, the stony headland that gave the place its name. Our guide, Made, explained that ulu is ‘land’s end’ or ‘head’ in Balinese, while watu is ‘stone’. Perched on a rock at the southwest tip of the peninsula, Pura Luhur Uluwatu is a pura segara (sea temple) and one of the nine directional temples of Bali protecting the island. We gaped at the waves crashing 230 ft below, unaware that the real spectacle was about to unfold elsewhere. A short walk led us to an amphitheatre overlooking the dramatic seascape. In the middle, around a sacred lamp, fifty bare-chested performers sat in concentric rings, unperturbed by the hushed conversations of the packed audience. They sat in meditative repose, with cool sandalwood paste smeared on their temples and flowers tucked behind their ears. Sharp at six, chants of cak ke-cak stirred the evening air. For the next one hour, we sat open-mouthed in awe at Bali’s most fascinating temple ritual.

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As seen in JetWings magazine April 2017. Article is courtesy and copyright of Spenta Multimedia.

Also see
1. Mother Temple Bali
2. Ganesha Temples in Indonesia
3. Prambanan Shiv Temple Java
4. Naga Temple Batam Island
5. Ramayanas of South-east Asia and Indian sub-continent
6. Historical ties between India and Indonesia

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