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Friday, December 16, 2011

Balinese Sea Temples

Bali has a number of important sea temples which were founded in the 16th century by a Majapahit monk from Java named Nirartha to honour the gods of the sea . Each of the temples is traditionally said to be visible from the next, forming a 'chain' around the coast of Bali. Many of the most important sea temples are along the south west coast of the island. Listed counterclockwise from Nirartha's legendary point of arrival in Bali, some of the most prominent Balinese sea temples include:
  1. Pura Gede Perancak to the south of Negara 
  2. Pura Rambut Siwi to the east of Negara At this site Niratha is said to have made a gift of a lock of his hair, which was worshipped. Rambut Siwi translates as 'worship of the hair' and the tale is reminiscent of the Buddhist story of Gautama giving eight hairs to Tapussa and Bhallika, which are now enshrined at Shwedagon. 
  3. Pura Tanah Lot west of Canggu and south of Tabanan 
  4. Pura Luhur Uluwatu at the southwestern extremity of the Bukit Peninsula 
  5. Pura Mas Suka at the southern tip of the Bukit Peninsula, near Green Ball Beach. 
  6. Pura Sakenan at Pulau Serengan, an island between Benoa and Sanur 
  7. Pura Pulaki at Pulaki, northeast of Gilimanuk Pura Luhur Uluwatu is the only Balinese sea temple that is also one of the nine Balinese directional temples.

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