Pura Agung Besakih located in Besakih Village, Rendang sub district, Karangasem district. This temple is located on the southwest slopes of Mount Agung. Located on Mount Agung was deliberately selected based on the belief that Mount Agung is the highest mountain and the most sacred on the island of Bali as a high and sacred Mount Agung Mahameru in Sorga Sthana the Gods. The name of Mount Agung in lontar is Tolangkir, which means beyond. so also where the Pura Besakih is located, deliberately selected the holiest by the name of the village of Hulundang Basukih now a village of Besakih.
The name to call Pura Besakih, located in Besakih village comes from the word Basuki. In some manuscripts mentioned or Basukih Basuki, Basuki Wasuki in Sanskrit, Old Javanese later became Basuki which means safe. In mythology Samudra Manthana mentioned that Basuki is a dragon as a twisted mount Mandara.
That comes from Heritage Megalithic tradition as Menhir, Throne of stone, pyramid terrace structure, founded in Pura Besakih complex, which shows as a consecrated place, it seems a Besakih comes from a very old age, long before the existence of Hindu religion. Based on the tradition in the era after the influence of the Hindu religion, around the 8th century BC Mentioned That Rsi Markandya has Planted Panca Datu (consisting of gold, silver, copper, bronze, iron) at Temple Besukihan. Furthermore, a king of ancient Bali Sri Kesari Warmadewa, founded in the Temple of Merajan Selonding, in the complex Pura Besakih. He ordered the establishment of the Monument Blanjong, in the village of Sanur in the year 913 BC, to commemorate the victory over the area. And in the reign Raja Erlangga, MpuBaradah come to Pura Besakih, is based on the Inscription of Pura Batu Madeg, in the year (Candra Sangkala) “Nawa Sang Apit Lawang” Saka 929 (1007masehi).
Sri Kresna Kepakisan king who reigned in 1353 AD in Kerajaan Samprangan, his ordered Aryas to worship of Lord in Pura Besakih.
King Gelgel like: Dalem Ketut Ngulesir, Dalem Waturenggong, and his successors have done praying at Temple Mount Toh Langkir (another name PuraBesakih).
Furthermore, King Klungkung 1, namely I Dewa Agung Jambe, as well as others around King Bali, performs ceremonies and maintenance of Pura Besakih.
Pura Besakih complex, built on the balance of the cosmos. Over natural conception, the widening of the main complex Besakih arranged in the compass direction, so the building can represent nature symbolically for the balance of this world.
As for the main compass directions were east, south, west, north, and center as the central point. Each direction of the wind is called a Mandala, with the god of rulers called “Dewa Catur Lokapala” and when the Mandala is becoming “Panca Dewata” realization of the concept of the cosmos is as follows: 1, Penataran Agung Besakih, as the center of the Mandala in the center for worship Dewa Siwa. 2, Pura Gelap on the east to worship Dewa Iswara, 3, Pura Kiduling Kreteg the south to worship Dewa Brahma, 4, Ulun KulKul temple on the west to worship Dewa Mahadewa, 5, Pura Batu Madeg Dewa Wisnu north to worship. In Hindu philosophy, Panca Dewata no other is the manifestation of Lord Shiva. In a more complex manifestation, namely Dewa Siwa be Eka Dasa Rudra Dewa Iswara, Maheswara, Brahma, Rudra, Mahadeva, Sangkara, Vishnu, Sambu, Shiva, SadaSiwa, and ParamaSiwa.
Pura Penataran Agung as the center, the conception of the pages showing the original blend of Indonesian culture concept, namely the tradition megalitk punden shaped staircase-steps with the concept of Hindu religion.
Archaeological relics found at Besakih temple complex can be classified into two types :
- Megalithic heritage. Some relics are classified among other megalithic tradition is Menhir Standing Stone is found in Pura Batu Madeg, and stone seats in Pura Kiduling Kreteg and pundan / terrace in Pura Dalem Puri. Apart from the three forms above, the composition of complex pages arranged terraced Pura Besakih is also a megalithic tradition. In megalithic traditions base on aimed to worship the forces of nature, to the most supernatural power as the sun, mountains, and the spirits of the ancestors who have been sacred.
- The classical heritage. Relics of the classical influence comes from the Hindu religion, Heritage Classic in Pura Besakih complex thought to have come from the kingdom of Majapahit period, around the tenth century 13-15. Some of the relics of this classic are : Inscription, Lingga, statue, Gamelan Selonding, and ceramic objects. Inscriptions have been founded as many as three pieces, namely: Inscription BatuMadeg (929 Saka), Inscription PenataranBesakih A (1366 Saka), Inscription PenataranBesakih B (1380 Saka).
Lingga is found also as many as 3 pieces ie: Lingga in Pura Batu Madeg, Lingga in Pura Penataran Agung, and the Lingga in PuraGelap. Heritage statues are relics of the most numerous, and amounted to 10 pieces. Some of the more important is a pair statue, named “Bhatara Siwa Budha or Surya Candra” found on the third level, after the viscera Pura Penataran Agung, a statue which is regarded as RSI statue Mpu Kuturan / Danhyang Nirartha, found on the second level of viscera, and a statue Ganesha named Bhatara Hidung Lantang also in Pura Batu Madeg. Gambelan Selonding very sacred, and was beaten only at certain times, there are about 100 pieces in Pura Merajan Selonding, which allegedly came from the Temple of King Sri Kesari Warmadewa.
In addition to the above-mentioned relics also found ceramic objects, which consist of 2 pieces of flower vase, a porcelain plate, and a pitcher. Ceramic objects thought to originate from the 13th century and classified as Ting Yao (south china).
Pura Agung Besakih complex consists of: a group of 18 temples and 16 Pura Padharman group. The group consists of 18 Temple, Penataran Agung Temple as central, and largest temple stood in the middle, surrounded by 17 other temples. Four of them represent the points of the compass (mandala), namely: Puragelap / east, Temple Kiduling Kreteg / south, Pura Ulun Kulkul / west, Temple Batu Madeg / north, and four of which were Catur Lawa, namely: Queen Pande, Queen Pasek, Segening Queen, and Queen Penyarikan.