Pura Kehen is located only 1 km north of Bangli City on a foot of a hill overlooking the city, a high place which is a strategic place for viewing the surrounding. The city of Bangli is the capital of Kabupaten Bangli, second level government under the province of Bali with population around 40.000 people. Bangli city itself is 45 kms away from Denpasar city and 60 km from Kuta, 78 km from Nusa Dua tourist resort, a city located on the highland and is the highest city in Bali after Kintamani and Pupuan town. On the way from Bangli to Kintamani there are interesting places such as Pura Kehen itself, Panglipuran traditional village, a typical Balinese highland settlement, Susut village known for it's meticulous bamboo basketry, and Kintamani with its beautiful surrounding. From Bangli city to Kintamani around 25 kms ascending road with beautiful panorama. In the past this route is believed to have been busy which is disclosed by the inscriptions issued by the king starting from 998 AD. It was probably not only accessed from north Bali from the port city of Manasa, but also from Kuta after the 18th century as the main route of trade from port of south Bali in Kuta to the port of North Bali the Pabean. The existence of Pura Balingkang is also a strong indication that this route was the main link between south and north Bali.
Kehen and The Surrounding
The existence of Kehen Temple is not new, but it is very old as proved by an inscription issued by the king of Bali which also mentions about Kintamani. The record about Kintamani and Trunyan villages have been found in the year of 911 AD mentioning the obligation of the people of Trunyan to maintain a temple with the sculpture of Bhatara Da Tonta. Around this year there are many inscriptions issued by the king containing the regulations for the people living in Kintamani and the people or Buddhist priests who come to the area. Among those inscriptions originated from the era, mentioning the name of Kehen which is mentioned as Hyang Api in Sanskrit language. It is no doubt that Hyang Api was meant Hyang Kehen meaning temple of Kehen, as Api meaning fire, in Sanskrit is Krn and in English is Kiln. It is a long tradition of Indonesian people to translate the Sanskrit into Indonesian comparable word. The aspirate " H " is changeable with " R " so, it denotes " keren " or " kehen " We do not have enough information about the objective of the establishment of the temple from the beginning as to whom was actually the temple was dedicated, as if we see today the meaning of Hyang Api is greatly changed already, as the dedication to certain Api is associated with cock fighting, while the fact today the temple, as all other temple of Bali has been oriented to the worship of Shiwaitic sectarian. And Shiwaitic sectarianism started far much later time. In the year of 1204, before Bali was annexed to great kingdom of Majapahit mentioned that the king of Bali and Hyang Kehen during that year was on the throne His Majesty Sri Adi Kunti Ketana, and the bronze plate is preserved in one of the pavilion of Kehen temple, thus after 300 years later still continue to get attention of Balinese king. Starting 18th century when Bali broken into at least 10 small independence kingdoms, Kehen Temple become one of the three temple indicative for identification of a kingdom in Bali, and Pura Kehen is believed as the mountain temple of Bangli kingdom. During the day of ritual it is like a great festival that the people come and go from the temple not only from the administration of Kabupaten Bangli, but from other parts of Bali. It is impossible to inform the date of the main ritual, because it is based on old Java calendar. If any one would like to see the main ritual on the temple we are pleased to receive any inqury and find the date at local calendar. The most interesting is the colorful offerings made of various local materials both as decorations, food, cakes and others and one si special is cock fighting or Tajen
Since the location of the temple is on sloping land, the zoning is constructed
into terraces, first 5 terraces represent the outer courtyard or "
jabaan ", the 6th and 7th terraces as the middle courtyard, and the
last 8th terraces is the central courtyard where the symbol of gods shrines
are exist. The whole pavilions are in total 43 shrines and supporting pavilions.
The biggest ritual for this temple is fall on Rebo Kliwon Shinta, a system
of date incorporated from Hindu Java calendar system which is consist of
30 months and every month consist of 7 days, just like Christian week days.
Rebo is Wednesday, Kliwon is one of the 5 system day organization, and Shinta
is part of Hindu Java calendar of year. Writer think this Hindu Java calendar
is not meant to organize the day other then to organize the rituals, as
the fact that 99% ritual in Bali based on these two system of day organization.
As one of interesting places in Bali Kehen seems to be commercial currently having one of the most expensive entrance ticket in Bali wihout any meaningful services. This is the same as Panglipuran village and Kintamani.
Buddhist Vihara Banjar
Gua Lawah Temple
Ponjok Batu Julah
Taman Ayun Temple
Tanah Lot Temple
Tirta Empul Temple
Ulun Danu Temple
Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.
- Kintamani tour bring combination of watching barong dance, beautiful temple architecture, beautiful natural views, dance, carving, accessories and painting see description
- Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot temples are two historical heritages from 17th, Taman Ayun palace temple which is always found near palaces of Balinese king starting 18th century see description
- Uluwatu temple located on steep drop cliff on the southernmost tip of Bali island. see description