Bali’s “mother temple,” Besakih is the largest temple in Bali. Situated over 900 meters up the slopes of Gunung Agung, it has been regarded as a holy place since pre-historic times.
The first recorded mention of its existence is from an inscription that dates from the year 1007 AD. Since the 15th century, it has been regarded as the central temple for the entire island. Each traditional kingdom has its own temple within the compound, and so do each of the caste groups. There is a total of 18 separate sanctuaries.
To the Balinese, a visit to the temple sanctuaries at Besakih is a special pilgrimage. During full moons, the entire compound of Besakih celebrates the visits of the gods with an enormous throng of visiting pilgrims.