Lempuyang Luhur Temple
At the beginning of the creation, when earth was only 70 years old, the island of Bali was instable; earthquakes happened everyday for months, torrents rains, with constant lightning and thunders was the only weather. The god Pacupati, who resides in Mount Sumeru saw this condition and sent his three children to stabilize the island of Bali. His three children Hyang Gni Jaya, Hyang Putra Jaya and Dewi Danu came to Bali and reside in three different places; Dewi Danu resides on Mount Batur, Hyang Putra Jaya resides on Mount Agung, and Hyang Gni Jaya resides in Lempuyang Luhur.
Lempuyang Luhur temple is a sacred temple which is located on the top of Belibis Hill, northeast of Mount Agung, in Karangasem regency. Lempuyang is one of the six major Temple in Bali besides Andakasa Temple, Uluwatu Temple, Watukaru Temple, Ulun Danu Batur Temple and Besakih Temple. In Balinese cosmogony, Lempuyang Luhur is considered temple of the East, the abode of god Iswara, keeper of the peace.
The meaning of the word “lempuyang” which serves as the name of this sacred temple has long been a subject of dispute. Some said the word “lempuyang” is derive take from the word “lampu” (light) and “hyang” (God), the word “lempuyang” means the “Light of God”. Some say the word “lempuyang” means a kitchen seasoning that can be used for some traditional medicine. And other said that the word “lempuyang” is derived from the word “emong or empu” that means “guardian”.
Compare to other six major temple of Bali, Lempuyang Luhur is quite small and has only few shrines which are a padmasana or the shrine of God, two shrines which are similar to padmasana and share single foundation, dedicated to Hyang Gnijaya, the founder of Lempuyang Luhur temple and his sons. A piyasan, or pavilion serves as a place for place offerings, and for the priest who officiate the ceremony, and a gedong, a masonry building to store equipments for ceremony.
The main reason for the Balinese to make a pilgrimage there is to obtain the sacred holy water. This sacred holy water is obtained by cutting a yellow bamboo plant which grows in shrubs in the inner courtyard of the temple; the holy water drips from the fresh bamboo cutting. Unfortunately not all the pilgrims get this holy water only the lucky ones.
Climbing the Belibis to reach the temple is worth to be called an exercise, considering the number of the steps, it gives also a picturesque view of the surrounding forest and mountains. In the rainy seasons the steps are slippery and infested with leeches. Balinese usually pay homage to this temple at night especially during the full moon.
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