Besakih Temple, Bali.
The volcanic Mount Agung (Gunung Agung) is the most sacred mountain in Bali. It is home to the important Mother Temple of Besakih, the largest and holiest temple in Bali.
An active volcano, it last erupted in March 1963. The lava flows narrowly missed the Mother Temple of Besakih on the mountain’s slopes, which the Balinese regarded as a miraculous sign from the gods.
Built before 1000 AD, Besakih Temple was originally a terraced temple dedicated to the dragon god Besakih who is believed to inhabit the sacred mountain.
In the 15th century, Besakih became the state temple of the Geigel-Kiungkung dynasty, whose rulers built several small temples to honor their deified kin. It remains a state temple today, run and funded by the provincial and national governments.
The great Mount Agung rises to an altitude of 3,148 meters (10,308 feet) in eastern Bali. Perched on its slopes about 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) in altitude is the holy Besakih Temple, Mother Temple of Bali.
Besakih is said to be the only temple where a Hindu of any caste can worship. Surrounding three main temples dedicated to Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu are 18 separate sanctuaries belonging to different regencies and caste groups.