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Besakih Temple, Karangasem

2.1
#2 of 41 in Things to do in Karangasem
Religious Site Tourist Spot
Admire the largest and most sacred of Bali's Hindu temples at Besakih Temple, an important place of worship and an example of Balinese architecture. Situated in an impressive mountainous landscape, the main temple presides over an attractive vista, giving opportunities for photographs of its protruding decorative steps against a captivating natural backdrop. Consider hiring a guide to discover more about the temple's history, and to find the quieter places at this very busy attraction. Be prepared for locals trying to convince you to buy something; some can be quite insistent. Plan to visit Besakih Temple and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Karangasem attractions using our Karangasem family vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,880 reviews
Google
3.6
  • Just need to give a warning as my friend found this out the hard way, if you have your period you are not permitted to enter any temples. The entry price was 60k. Then the 'free guide' said they expec...  more »
  • Our guide was very helpful and took all the time to explain the temple parts, symbolism used there and gave us a short overview of the religion. He even arranged for us to get into the worshippers par...  more »
  • Besakih is an amazing ancient structure which shud be visited without fail. Trip to Bali is not complete without visting Besakih  more »
Google
  • It was the worst tourist experience we've ever experienced. First, scammers try to tell you there is a ceremony, so you need an escort - which is a lie. On the way to the temple we were harassed by a "temple guardian", who was very serious about respecting their tradition and a need of a Balinese escort. Finally we ended up going alone, but it was very tough. On the way back we warned a foreign couple about a scam, which really irritated a guardian, who became aggressive. I was pushed, offended (I wasn't aware they know so many course words) and accused of "robbing the community". It is very sad the officials do not do anything about these scams, which really ruins the whole experience. I strongly recommend not visiting Pura Besakih (there are other impressive temples around the island) until something really changes. Remember - do not pay anything but a ticket.
  • THE bigest hinduTemple in bali indonesia. About 2 hours from ngurah rai Denpasar Airport by motor bike,
  • One of the oldest temple in bali. Peaceful place. Local people call this temple as mother temple. Our driver took us there and buy small offering for us. We are allowed to pray with those offerings.
  • This is the biggest temple is Bali. It was interesting to walk around and had many photo opportunities. I don't think it is too different from any of the other temples in Bali, they did start to feel a bit repetitive after the first few. This place is setup for tourists unfortunately; we have to pay entrance per person, pay for parking, then we had to pay for a compulsory guide. We were also pushed into buying offerings and (extra) sarongs, though we managed to decline. This hour long attraction cost us ~300K IDR.
  • Although, we had read about scam and received a detailed warning from our private driver. Nothing prepared us for the frightening experience at this temple. Even though you buy tickets for the temple at the roadblock and are free to roam the grounds if you are properly dressed, the locals are EXTREMELY aggressive if you do not use their guiding service. Our driver warned us that guides are NOT mandatory, but, if we wanted one not pay him more than 20,000ir. but, some guides will demand 400,000ir at the end. We kindly refused all guiding services along the way. As we were about to go up into the temple area, a rejected guide began loudly SCREAMING at us and demanded that we leave the grounds immediately and that the police were coming to arrest us. Other tourists ( without guides) came to our rescue and he backed off. We proceeded, but when we got to the very top temple, 2 men dressed in white maintenance uniforms, sweeping the cement, asked if they could bring us incense and offerings ( for a fee) to meditate. We politely refused. They tried to block our way, rudely told us to leave immediately and that photo's were not allowed. We felt unsafe and decided to leave the temple. Being very well travelled, we have never been treated like this in any country, nor anywhere else in Bali. Frankly this type of temple is everywhere in Bali. These temples are not well maintained and you will not be missing anything if you avoid this place. The funny thing is that this is "supposedly" their most sacred temple....what a joke!

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Where to stay in Karangasem

The primary places to stay in Karangasem lie next to the sea. Take the coastal road east from Manggis to find luxury resorts and spas, offering sea views and modern amenities at relatively high prices. The eastern peninsula provides something to suit all tastes and boasts a range of simple hotels and rental apartments.
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