The Pura Beji temple is a large and beautiful temple complex in the village of Sangsit in North Bali, dating back to the 15th century, during the spread of the Majapahit kingdom from Java. The temple is revered by village farmers and is unique in Bali, in that it also serves as a ‘pura puseh’ or the village’s central temple. The temple adds to the checklist of historical landmarks that you can tick off on your sightseeing tours to Bali’s northern area. The temple is within a seven-kilometre transfer east from the Buleleng regency’s capital of Singaraja, and eight kilometres’ drive from Lovina Beach.
The timeworn structures and walls within the temple complex are exquisitely contrasted by the manicured green lawns and tropical gardens. Shrine bases and white sandstone walls are covered in arrays of carvings, inspired by the great Hindu epics with a mixture of fables and legends, such as serpents, menacing demons and guardians. The stone staircases and temple gates of Pura Beji temple also feature intact statues. It is a great stopover for art buffs and architecture lovers. Roaming through the whole complex can easily take up an hour.
The name ‘beji’ in the local tongue signifies purification by way of holy water, and it so happens that the Pura Beji temple was built over a well. Revered by local farmers as a ‘pura subak’ or Balinese collective irrigation temple that worships the rice and fertility goddess Dewi Sri, the temple also features a bit of anachronism: two statues of Dutch musicians, each holding a guitar and a rebab. These may have been added later in time, as with the motifs found at Pura Meduwe Karang temple, further west in the village of Kubutambahan. No entrance fees apply, save for a donation box beside the guestbook at the entrance, as well as the conventional rent of waist sashes.
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