Batuan Temple at Batuan Village Gianyar Bali
Batuan Temple is a local Balinese Hindu temple looked after by the local resident of Batuan countryside. The temple is designed very beautiful with full of Balinese ornaments and the roof temple building is made from the fiber of chromatic black palm tree. It is strategically located beside of the main road from Denpasar to Ubud.
For over a thousand years, Batuan has been a village of artists and craftsmen, old legends and mysterious tales. Batuan’s recorded history begins in A.D. 1022, with an inscription that is housed in the main village temple, Pura Desa Batuan. The name “Batuan” or “Baturan” mentioned here prompts villagers to joke about being “tough as stone” or “eating rocks” — as batu means “stone” in Balinese.
But it likely refers to an ancient megalithic tradition in which standing stones served as meeting places and ceremonial sites for the worship of ancestral spirits. Because Batuan became a center from which Buddhist priests and brahmans spread to the main court centers of south Bali, the village has an unusual preponderance of brahmans.
DeZoete and Spies, in their famous book Dance and Drama in Bali, describe it almost entirely a brahman village. Besides the dances, performed in the central part of the village, Batuan is also famous for its wayang wong, masked performances of stories from the Ramayana. This is exclusively performed in the banjar (hamlet) known as Den Tiis.
From Den Tiis also came the inspiration for the modern Batuan style of painting call The ‘Batuan style’. Batuan Temple, near Ubud, is an important temple that dates from 1022 AD and has produced generations of priests.
Batuan Temple is considered one the finest and oldest temples in Bali.
But Balinese religious beliefs, which are a rich stew of Hinduism, animism, and ancient folk traditions, with a good dollop of just-in-case practices thrown in, are almost impenetrable to foreigners (especially to us long-lapsed People of the Book).
For the most part we just enjoyed the sights, sounds and fragrances of the unfolding ceremony. In the central courtyard was filled with several hundred seated worshipers, and an old man began a ritual to bless a series of glass containers with holy water. We watched as people alternately sat, knelt, and murmured responses.
A priest moved along the table laden with offerings, sprinkling water and blessing them. Then a team of priests, clad in white, roved through the lines of people, shaking holy water and pouring some into cupped hands, which people then used to splash their faces and heads.
In just a few minutes, the ritual was over. Smiling broadly, people began to leave the courtyard, with the women rebalancing their offerings to take home for dinner.
As they passed, we got a closer look at the rice grains stuck onto everyone’s forehead in honor of the all-important rice goddess. Later that night, the people would return to the temple for hours of dancing, more eating, and ritual cockfights.