Most people come to Bangli to visit the Kehen Temple or Pura Kehen, one of Bali’s more impressive temples and one of the most beautiful, set on a wooded hillside about 2 km to the north of the town centre. Kehen Temple is located Cempaga’s village, north of Bangli. The Kehen Temple’s located around 43 km from Denpasar. But it is easily to reach from Ubud that is around 40 minutes. The temple is on the back road to Besakih and Panelokan.
Kehen Temple usually said by peoples as the miniature version of the Besakih Temple and also has 8 terraces. The Temple is the biggest and finest temple in East Bali. One of greatly attracts attention in the temple is a big old Banyan Tree that have been over 700 years old.
The Temple believed as the most sacred temple of the region and serves as the state temple of Bangli. So it’s become one of the most important temples in the region, many religious ceremonies taken place here.
It is the state temple of the Bangli Kingdom. Actually Bangli was one of the nine kingdoms of Bali. Bangli has an area of 520.81 km2 and population of 197,210 (2004). The name Bangli derives from ‘bang giri’ meaning red forest or mountain and like so much else on Bali, derives from local folkfore. With a history dating back to at least the 13th century, Bangli Regency was founded by the Gelgel-based, Majapahit dynasty and despite never being the strongest of Balinese kingdoms, over time it.
Kehen Temple was built during the reign of Sri Bhatara Guru Adikunti Ketana in the 11th century on the southern slope of the hill. The name of Kehen Temple’s taken from the word of “Keren” means flame. Formerly, it was known as “Hyang Api” (God of Fire) temple, Brahmen who protects the temple.
There are 38 stairs before you reach the beautifully decorated entrance of the Kehen temple. On both sides of the stairs there are guardian statues (Elephants flank) of wayang-figures taken from the popular Ramayana story. Leading up to three terraced courtyards, through finely carved and ornamented by a wonderfull 400 years old banyan or waringin tree (Ficus benjamina) with a monk’s cell built high up in the branches.
It is here that performances are held to honour the Gods. The middle courtyard houses the offertory shrines, while the top-most courtyard contains an 11-tiered meru with a carved wood and stone base. It 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 elaborate woodwork here is being beautifully restored and repainted by craftsmen. In the wall bellow, guides will point out the old chinese plates cemented into it. Curiously, some of these depict rural England, with a watermill and mail coach drwan by four horses.
A stone carved lotus throne located in north of the courtyard that 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. Shiva with his son Ganesha and Durga are one of carved that represent Hindu figures.
Every three years in November (Rabu Kliwon Shinta in the Balinese calender) at the time of full moon (purnama) a major ceremony, Ngusabha, is held at the temple.