Information before you go
Pura Kehen is located north of Bangli and it is the state temple of the Bangli kingdom. This temple is often described as the miniature version of the Pura Besakih. Like the mother temple, this temple has 8 terraces and it is built on the southern slope of the hill.
Built in the 11th century, the Kehen temple is the biggest temple in East Bali and considered to be the finest as well. The temple complex is amid palm tree plantations which create a mystical atmosphere...
Kehen means household or fireplace and symbolizes the fire god, Brahmen who protects the temple.
Because it is an one of the most important temples in the region, many religious ceremonies take place here. It is a colorful sight to see the women carrying large fruit offerings up the stairs and during these ceremonies also different types of dances take place which are typical for the Bangli region.
Before entering the temple you are expected to dress accordingly: legs should be covered and you have to wear a temple-scarf around the waist. If you are wearing shorts you can rent a sarong for a small donation, together with the temple scarf.
In front of the temple there is a booth where you can get a sarong and the Balinese man standing there is more than willing to answer any questions you have about the temple.
The impressive temple terraces
You must climb up the steep 38 stairs before you reach the beautifully decorated entrance of this mystical temple. On both sides of the stairs there are guardian statues of wayang-figures taken from the popular Ramayana story.
When you arrive at the entrance the first thing you see is the courtyard, which is shadowed by a huge banyan tree. This tree creates a nice cool climate and is considered sacred by the Balinese.
The smaller meru are for the gods to rest when they visit the temple
Passing through the second courtyard of which the walls are covered with old Chinese porcelain, you enter the jeroan. This is the most holy courtyard of a Balinese temples. Here the 11 roofed meru dominates the courtyard. This meru is dedicated to the god that protects the temple.
On both sides you will notice more tiny merus, in which mountain gods are able to rest when they visit the temple.
The highest meru at the temple
A throne located in the north part of the courtyard is less obvious, but nevertheless very interesting to see. This stone carved lotus throne is dedicated to the three Hindu gods Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu.
The carvings are really exceptional for a Balinese temple. The turtle and the snake wrapped around on the base of the shrine symbolise the underworld. The other carved figures represent Hindu figures, such as Shiva with his son Ganesha and Durga.
Don't forget to walk around the shrine to see all the remarkable carvings
Beautiful carvings on the lotus throne
Pura Kehen is easily reached from Ubud as it is located just 40 minutes north. If you are doing a day trip to the eastern part of the island then you are very likely to pass it as well. You will have wonderful rice field views during your journey to the temple.
This temple is located near the popular villages of South Bali making it perfect for a quick tour through rice fields leading you to the temple only accessible at low tide.Read more
The most southern temple is located in Uluwatu. It is not fully accessible, yet it is worth visiting if only to see the stunning views. You have to pass several monkeys first.Read more
Nearby Ubud you can find Pura Taman Ayun. The mighty kingdoms of the region built this beautiful temple and today it is considered one of the most important.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
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