After breakfast, depart for Ubud. Your day starts with a visit to Pura Beji Sangsit followed by Penelokan Kintamani. Lunch will be served at local restaurant. Then, you proceed to Gunung Kawi and Tirta Emput before arriving at your hotel in Ubud.
Pura Beji Sangsit
Pura Beji is a Subak temple, dedicated to the spirits that guard the Subak, and deals with all things related to irrigation and water distribution. It was built in the 15th century on the site of a well and fashioned from pink sandstone, highly unusual in an area where every other temple is built of grey volcanic rock.
Dedicated to Dewi Sri, the rice goddess, it`s justly famous for the sheer exuberance of its carvings. The front wall of the temple shows the rewards that await the godly in heaven and the punishments awaiting the evil in hell. With its courtyards of clipped grass and old frangipani trees, it is a tranquil and refreshing place. The principal shrines have staircases and turrets, and one gets feeling here that worship has something to do with the sheer pleasure of building things.
Penelokan is perched on the edge of the crater of Mt Batur, and its name means `place to look`. You will enjoy breathtaking views over the volcano and the lake. Mount Batur is actually a small volcano set in the heart of a huge crater 14km in diameter. Adjacent to the volcano is the large crescent-shaped Batur Lake, surrounded by the high walls of the crater rim. The sheer size of the crater conjures up images of the massive eruption of the original Mount Batur that occurred tens of thousands years ago.
The volcano is still active today and Balinese still talk of the great eruption of 1917. It is thought thousands of lives were lost and hundreds of temples destroyed in “the year the world shook”.
Gunung Kawi refers to a site of a series of 11th century tombs cut from the rock face. To reach it, you have to walk down a steep flight of 300 steps, through a massive rock-hewn archway, to the sacred Pakrisan River. It is an impressive spot, enshrined in a lush valley. There are many theories about the origins and function of the Gunung Kawi tombs or candi, and they are also considered sacred temples. Most probably they were erected as memorials to kings from a long lost era – possibly the 11th century – and their queens.
Before crossing the river, turn sharp left for the Queens` Tombs, a series of four huge, square-tiered reliefs, chiseled from the riverside cliff face to resemble temple facades.
After crossing the river, you enter the Gunung Kawi Temple complex, which contains an unusual cloister, complete with courtyard, rooms and cells, all entirely cut from the ravine rock wall. This was probably built for the holy men who looked after the five royal tombs at the back of the temple complex. These are in better condition than the Queens` Tombs, and you can see the false doors and facades quite clearly defined.
Most Balinese make regular pilgrimages to Tirta Empul. They come to cleanse themselves spiritually and to cure their physical ailments by bathing in the holy springs, which have been considered sacred in Bali since the tenth century. The shallow red-brick pools are sunk into the ground near the outer courtyard of a temple and fed by water from the springs in the inner sanctuary. Men, women and priests each have their own segregated sections in which to immerse themselves, though most modern devotees just splash their faces and smile for the camera.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
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