- PRESIDENT Joko Widodo inaugurated the arrangement of the sacred area of Besakih Temple in Karangasem. Aside from being a holy place for Hindus, Besakih Temple is also opened as a tourist attraction
Accompanied by Mrs. Iriana Joko Widodo, President Joko Widodo inaugurated the arrangement of facilities for the sacred area of Besakih Temple in Karangasem District, Bali, on Monday (Mar 13). In his remarks, President Jokowi stressed the importance of caring for the Besakih Temple which is highly sanctified by Hindus, not only Hindus in Bali, but also throughout the archipelago.
“We must guard this holy temple, we must treat it with great respect so that Hindus and visitors who come to Besakih Temple can feel its sacred aura, because by maintaining sacredness, cleanliness, neatness and at the same time it becomes a wonderful place,” said the President Jokowi.
Besakih Temple, a destination in Karangasem, is always crowded with visitors, especially if there is a great ceremony, especially the Ida Bhatara Turun Kabeh ceremony held every Sasih Kadasa (in April). The President considered that the arrival of more and more people and visitors without being balanced with arrangements and anticipation in the future will cause chaos and discomfort.
“Therefore, in 2021 I ordered and asked the Minister of Public Works and Public Housing – Mr. Basuki – to carry out arrangements in the Besakih Temple area together with the Governor of Bali which will be carried out in two areas, namely the Bencingah area and the Manik Mas area, by building various supporting infrastructure so that people are more comfortable while praying and the sanctity of Besakih Temple is maintained,” he explained.
The Head of State also emphasized that building good and magnificent facilities is easier than managing and maintaining them. For this reason, the President advised that the facilities having been built by the central and provincial governments can be followed up with good and professional management.
“Management must be prepared with good competence so that they are able to bridge the various existing interests. Involve Besakih Village and Besakih Customary Village, give the community an opportunity to participate and contribute,” he affirmed.
Based on data from the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR), the restructuring of the Besakih Temple cost a budget of IDR 600.1 billion (National State Budget at IDR 378.4 billion and Regional Budget at IDR 221.7 billion). The arrangement includes the construction of a parking building, construction of 267 large kiosks and 198 small kiosks, construction of a pedestrian walkway, as well as various public facilities such as toilets, Bale Pesandekan (lounge), Bale Gong (gamelan pavilion), and a children’s play area.
Also attending and accompanying the President and Mrs. Iriana at the event were the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Bali Governor I Wayan Koster, Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, and Karangasem Regent I Gede Dana.
About Besakih Temple
Besakih Temple was built in 1284 by Rishi Markandeya who was a Hindu religious leader of Indian descent. The Besakih Temple complex is located in Besakih Village, Rendang, Karangasem. Overall, it consists of 1 Central Temple (Penataran Agung Temple) and 18 Companion Temples (1 Basukian Temple and 17 other temples).
Aside from being a place of worship for Hindus, the Besakih Temple complex is also open for tourist visits. And it is one of the favorite destinations in Bali.
Source: BPMI Setpres