Pura Besakih Travel Guide

Known as Bali’s Mother Temple, the magnificent Pura Besakih is situated on the slopes of Mount Agung in the village of Besakih, in the eastern region of Bali.

Comprising a collection of more than 20 temples and shrines, the Besakih temple complex offers visitors an important insight into the ancient religious practices of the region. Each of the temples and shrines was built to serve a different function and they feature intricate stone carvings as well as a number of statues.

The best way to explore the temple complex is on foot, gently ascending the slopes of Mount Agung and watching the stunning scenery slowly unfold. It is also possible to hire a guide for a few hours to lead the way around the temples and explain the purpose of each one and some of the history of the area.

Visitors to the temple complex will need to allow several hours to explore thoroughly. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to eat in the town of Besakih, intertwined with souvenir shops selling just about everything and anything imaginable. Although there are a couple of places to stay in Besahik, it is better to head into Semarapura at nightfall as there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from there, as well as good places to eat.

In brief

What is it? One of the most impressive ancient temple complexes in Bali. 

When to go? During the dry season between May and September.

Nearest town: Semarapura, a 30-minute bus ride away.

Don’t miss: climbing to the top of Mount Agung to see spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

Factoid: Besakih was nominated as a World Heritage site in 1995.

Getting there

Access is from Semarapura, which is a 30-minute bus ride away. Those arriving in Bali will probably do so via Ngurah Rai International Airport, which is located just outside the city of Bali (5 hours) and serves flights to a number of international cities around the globe.