Denpasar, Maospahit Temple

Written by on June 10, 2012 in Bali Temple with 0 Comments

Denpasar, Maospahit Temple



The Pura Maospahit is one of the most important temples in Denpasar and one of the oldest. There is reliable evidence that it dates from the 15th century.

As the name indicates, the temple was founded by the Majapahit dynasty (originally from Java), whose ancestral temple it still is. In the course of its history it has been frequently altered and embellished, and much of the original furnishings has been lost.

The main entrance to the temple, on Jalan Dr Sutomo, is opened only on days of festival; the normal entrance is on the left-hand side – though even this is not always open. To reach it, go along the narrow lane, Gang III, where with luck you may find an open door. There is another entrance leading directly into the main part of the temple, reached by continuing to the end of Gang III and turning right along the enclosure wall.

The temple is in two parts, separated from one another by a high wall.

It is entered through a split gate (candi bentar), which is the most striking feature of the temple. On the five pillars of the gate are figures (from left to right) of the god Sangkara (a manifestation of Shiva), Indra (the sky god of ancient India), Yama (god of the dead), Bayu (god of the wind), Garuda (the bird which was Vishnu’s mount), the Indian god Kubera (god of wealth) and the sea god Waruna.

To the right of the temple courtyard are a number of buildings which belong not to the Pura Maospahit but to a family temple. At the far end of the courtyard is the Gedong Maospahit, a shrine for the veneration of ancestors. To the left of this is a closed building dedicated to the worship of the ancestors of the Majapahit dynasty of eastern Java.

Particularly notable are three shrines for divinities (pelinggih) decorated with stags’ antlers (a prerogative of the ancestors of the Majapahit dynasty).

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