Ponjok Batu temple is located at a village called Julah, the region of Kecamatan Tejakula, Kabupaten Buleleng, close to the north shore of Bali. The temple is around 125 kms north of Denpasar city can be reached through two main road leading from south Bali to north shore that is via Bedugul - Singaraja city or through Kintamani mountain resort to the region of Sukasada then turn to the west toward the location of Singaraja city. It takes around 2 hours to reach the temple from around Denpasar city including Sanur, Kuta and Nusa Dua.
The temple is considered one of the main Bali temple which is classified as group temples which prayers are covering wide areas of Bali just like Taman Ayun, Tanah Lot, Ulun Danu, Tirta Empul and others. This type of temple was built by the king and given to the local people under the leader of region called Punggawa before the independence of Indonesia. Thus automatically the people who is under the control of a Punggawa will come to the temple for praying or at least they donate something to the establishment and maintenance of the temple.
Historically this temple is not clear, but myth mentioned that the temple is related with a Shivait priest called Dang Hyang Nirartha who came to Bali during the reign of his Majesty king Waturenggong around 1550 AD. The name of the Priest is also known as Pedanda Sakti Wawu Rauh. The myth is not make sense because during the reign of Waturenggong, Bali was only 1 intact kingdom with the capital at what people know now as Gianyar city and in the past was known as Samplangan. While the establishment of temples with characteristics what we now know is during the independence kingdoms of Bali that recorded as 9 kingdoms. This period was started from 1600 to 1945.
During temple renovation in 1995, a team from Archaeological Research Centers found some old burials around the temple in the form of Sarcofagus. This is not necessary that the temple has been exist in prehistoric time.
The area of the village of Julah is in fact an old village which is mentioned on various king charters in the form of copper plate inscriptions. Kings that recorded the existence of Julah village are King Sri Aji Ugrasena who reigned 925 AD, King Sri Aji Tabanendra 955 AD, King sri Janasadhu 975 AD, King Udayana 1011 AD, Princess Adnya Dewi and King Marakatta 1022 to 1026 AD, King Sri Paduka Anak Wungsu and King Jayapangus 1181 AD. Various king documents recorded the village is a proof that how important the existence of the village. But none of the inscription mention about Ponjok Batu temple. Mot of the king charters found everywhere on the island always contain the order of the king to the people at the place to maintain the temples, forest, lake or any other important assets of the area. Even some times a village due to be given special assignment was given a status of autonomy or swatantra.
In the temple are preserved old stone sculptures of Shiva, Nandini and Ganeca. Judging from the style of the stone sculpture it shows that their period of carving is not later then 17th century.
The Temple Today
The current physic of the temple is new which was renovated in 1994 and got the ritual of opeing in 8 August 1998. The materials used is black stone to avoid quick temperature abrasion. What we found within the temples are various shrines dedicated to certain figures.
- Shrine of Dang Hyang Nirartha
- Shrine of Ciwa
- Shrine of Ganesa
- Shrine of Batara Baruna
- Shrine of Seluang
- Shrine of Ratu Ayu Pangenter
- Shrine of Taksu (Dewa Gede Ngurah)
- Shrine of Ratu Bagus Mas Pengukiran
- Shrine of Ratu Bagus Mas Subandar
- Shrine of Taksu (Ratu Bagus Penyarikan)
- Pesandekan pavilion
- Paselang pavilion
- Ongkara pavilion
- Gegitaan pavilion
- Reringgitan pavilion
- Kulkul pavilion
- Pegat pavilion
- Paninjoan pavilion
Main ritual or ceremony are twice a year during Balinese calendar based on Caka year that is during full moon of Kasa month ( 1 month of Caka ), and during full moon of Desta ( month 11th ). The villages that have full responsibility of conducting the ritual are the village of Bangkah, and during first month ritual the ceremony is attended by all people under the Kecamatan Tejakula.
One very interesting fact is that during the ceremony at Ponjok Batu always processing to a temple called Bukit Sinunggal at a village called Tajun. While the name of Bukit Sinunggal was already mentioned by king charter of 925 also as one of the big village and was attacked by people sailing from the north causing most of the people were died and only 50 families were left. This 50 familes the moved to the location closer to Kintamani which is probably near Balingkang.
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.