Pura Bukit Mentik, Gunung Lebah Batur
If you are driving from Pura Ulun Danu Batur (Bali’s most important lakeside temple that pays homage to water and irrigation) in a southern direction you will come to a cross-road just a couple meters into the journey. The road on the right hand side leads to the villages of Payangan and Ubud, while the left shows the way to yet another Hindu temple complex called Pura Bukit Mentik. The road here winds steeply as you approach the foot of Mount Batur.
Keen adventurers also use this route as a starting point for early morning climbs of Mount Batur’s rugged terrain. The road actually circles the lower base of the mountain and to the west there are stunning views from the lakeside temple of Pura Jati as well as Toya Bungkah, with hot water springs, on east side. Further along the road you will also come across Toya Mampeh.
According to local folklore, Mount Batur used to be called Gunung Lebah. During the rule of the legendary Waturenggong the name was changed to Batur. However, the people of the area still keep the term Gunung Lebah, which also refers to a temple there.
The complex of Pura Bukit Mentik was completely surrounded by molten lava during a volcanic eruption in 1974. But the temple itself and sacred banyan tree amazingly remained untouched by this act of Mother Nature. The temple is now referred to as the ‘Lucky Temple’.
Ceremonial temple festivals at Pura Bukit Mentik always take place for a three day period during the full moon of Kesanga in accordance to the Balinese saka lunar calendar. Smaller festivals also take place during the full moon of Kasa, Ketiga, Kapat and Kelima.
Indonesia’s National Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Jero Wacik, is actually one of the lay priests (pemangku) of this temple. Apparently, as a small child Jero Wacik was sick and his parents brought him to this temple to pray and seek a cure. Upon recovery his parents vowed that their son would eventually become a priest and serve the temple.
Molten lava that surrounded Bukit Mentik Temple.