the courtyard in front of goa gajah, the elephant cave, in bedulu village
my book just calls these 'bathing pools' so it's unclear if this is considered 'holy water,' but everyone who came there rinsed their hands underneath the spouts (then again, i think it was only the foreigners doing that...).
guarding the entrance to the cave
inside the cave, three lingam (hindu phallic symbols) representing the gods brahma, vishnu and shiva
offerings at one of the temples at putra penataran sasih
making offerings on the path leading down to gunung kawi
also along the path to the temple...
gunung kawi consists of 10 candi (shrines) cut into the rock face...
and of course a television set.
being a temple, of course, it's full of offerings.
went to tirta empul, temple of the holy springs, and was lucky enough to be there on the day of a big ceremony.
people lined up to dunk their heads under the holy springs
the offerings were all already there so they must have been put there earlier (and no one was carrying any).
note that most everyone is fully clothed. we tried to find out what this ceremony was all about, but everyone always answers in only the most general terms. they know it's a celebration and it has a certain name, but when you ask what it's *for* they only tell you again that it's a ceremony. i'm sure part of this has to do with the language barrier, but it's a bit frustrating not being able to find out, and when we asked our driver (came here on a day tour) he said it was for the gear stick on the car...for vehicles or something? we asked. yes, he said. of course. a man here told us it was to pray to the gods to ask for...well, things. of course. all that to say sorry i don't have any more info for you.
first you say a prayer, then you wet your hands, then you duck your head under.
other parts of the ceremony going on it other parts of the temple complex.
i don't know about you, but i prefer it when people with axes in their hands are smiling. unless it's a crazy lizzie-borden-type smile, of course.
rob donning his temple gear (and someone else's fan) for our visit to ulun danu, in kintamani, where there was also a ceremony going on (lucky us!).
entrance to ulun danu temple
no idea what this circus-tent-topped case is all about. this one was perched on its own on the side of a building.
then i came upon this group of men...possibly a band?...with loads of these same cases. for musical instruments, perhaps?
the *actual* band...so, yeah, not sure about those other guys all dressed alike. big ceremonies do, i think. sometimes have different bands playing in different parts of the temple compound.
table holding massive amounts of offerings
street scene: altar through a fence
offerings in front of shops on the street (as opposed to inside the temple)
(it was the first time i saw ones with little packets like this so of course i had to take some photos.)
the gardens leading up to pura ulun danu beratan, dedicated to devi danu, goddess of the waters
it's actually built on small islands (and if you go to the other side of lake beratan you can take a speedboat there for a rather hefty fee. of course.).
frogs are guarding the main temple
and the real thing too, just hopped by for a visit!
as you can see. which makes the next photo...
the money shot.
tanah lot, another very famous temple (as you can tell by the line of tourists. actually, it got much worse the closer to sunset it got, as it's a place where all the package tour buses come for sunset.)
i call this 'boots on lawn'
outside the temple, in what might have more souvenir stalls than anywhere i've ever seen in my life, one place is keeping this bat. he just sleeps there. and it was after sunset. still don't quite get it.
i never knew bats were so cute, either, frankly.
we saw carvings like these inside the temple complex as well (plenty of souvenir stalls there as well), and all i could think was, 'well, there's one artist who's decided to dispense with symblolism completely!' (those were actual carved statues, whereas these, my friend informed me, were in fact bottle openers. we also saw some tourists buying some. wacky.)
stopped for lunch at the seaside town of jimbawan. the seafood lunch was disappointing, but at least we got to witness the cow crossing.
pura ulu watu, on the southwestern coast
the temple itself is not that special, but the setting on top of this huge cliff is pretty spectacular
just hangin out at ulu watu. there are warnings about the monkeys here all over the place and you are told to take off your hat, sunglasses, earrings and hair clips. in fact, one jumped on my head to get at my head and several others were clearly making eyes at it and i had to be pulled away in the nick of time!
ganesha on guard (doing his best marilyn monroe pose)
ganesha with monkey
contemplating the temple (or is it the tourists...ie whose hat can i steal next?)
bade kambang, the 'floating pavillion,' in semarapura. there is just no way this is actually afloat but it sounds nicer that way i guess.
bade kambang is famous for its ceiling paintings. not sure what's going on in these scenes, but seems fairly gruesome to me.
i thought these folks were bathing, but my friend seemed to think they were being boiled alive...
those paintings and this ceiling are actually in a small side pavillion next to the main one. main one to come...
it's a bit hard to see here, but this horse is jutting right out of the wall.
walkway to the main pavillion
columns inside the main pavillion
not sure what this is all about. they cut off his head and his hand is next? but where'd his neck go?
arriving at pura besakih, bali's main ('mother') temple, which is actually a complex of 23 temples. unfortunately it was cloudy so we didn't get to see gunung agung, bali's highest mountain, in the background.
i'd heard about there being 200 steps and therefore put off going until the very end of my stay in bali, but as it turns out the steps were a lot less and a lot easier than other temples i'd already been to.
door to the main temple, which tourists (ie people who are not worshipping) are not allowed into.
we were actually incredibly lucky, as there was a ceremony going on at the temple, which we were told was a cremation, but no actual cremation took place on the temple site. we were allowed to stand at the door and take photos of the inside. unlike other ceremonies i've been to, everyone here wore white.
as usual at the temples, there were dogs everywhere. usually just lying around.
one of the other temples in the complex. only a few of them were being used at the time i was there.
note the huge pile of discarded offerings to the side.
front garden of another temple in which there was a ceremony taking place
offerings, of course
another flight of steps. still not 200, still not bad.
the band (again, snapped from the doorway)
had never seen these kind of decorations/offerings before.
some interesting food on this one...
this woman kind of looked like she was on a float in a parade as this truck took several minutes to maneuver into a parking spot.
view from the 'nice view of the temple' area, as clearly marked by a sign.
spotted a really lovely temple (some are clearly more well-kept than others) behind this gate.
the way back down (along this route, which is alongside the main temple, we passed many small groups of people making their way into several of the smaller temples.)
we were *really* lucky we didn't leave earlier, as we would have missed this procession back out of the temple.
waiting at the bottom for the final group
my theory is that this woman is the widow of the man who was being cremated. most of the crowd looked pretty jolly, but she remained somber the whole time. and was leading the procession with, presumably, her granddaughter.
last of the processioners
and the the procession kept proceeding...back to the parking area.
watching them go by
and then it was time to pack everyone into trucks for the ride home. we actually ended up behind this truck and the band one almost the entire way back to ubud. every time they took a turn and we thought we lost them, in fact, they would show up on the road we were on ten minutes later. clearly they know the shortcuts.
and time to eat corn! this woman started, but we saw several corn sellers running to have a chance at the truck passengers.
everyone's enjoying their corn.
turns out this truck was grandma's. we saw her get in the front cab. later on the road i saw there were about 6 people in there.
granddaughter has her corn, of course.
yeh pulu, a carved cliff-face believed to date back to the 14th century, in bedulu, a village outside of ubud.
got splashed with holy water by the old lady who might or might not work there, and then made our offering (monetary, of course) to ganesh (or to the lady is more like it).