Exploring the Beauty and History of Payogan Agung Ketewel Temple

Bali is an island where nature and religion blend harmoniously. The island is home to more than a thousand sacred temples, which are scattered throughout its territory. Hence, Bali has a nickname as the "Island of a Thousand Temples". The temples in Bali are not just historical buildings but the center of spiritual and cultural life to create harmony between Hindus and nature. One of the gems among the thousands of temples in Bali is Payogan Agung Temple.

May 31, 2024 - 00:34
Dec 26, 2023 - 22:38
Exploring the Beauty and History of Payogan Agung Ketewel Temple
Payogan Agung Temple (Source: Editorial Collection)
Exploring the Beauty and History of Payogan Agung Ketewel Temple

Payogan Agung Temple is a Kahyangan Jagat Temple located in Ketewel Village, Sukawati District, Gianyar Regency. This temple has the beauty of traditional ornamental architecture that is a silent witness to the long history of Bali. Based on the Balinese Usana and Raja Purana Payogan Agung, Payogan Agung Temple used to have several names such as Kahyangan Jogan Agung, Kahyangan Puseh Jogan Agung, and Kahyangan Payogan Siwa Agung. The term "kahyangan" in ancient times is a sign that Payogan Agung Temple is one of the ancient temples in Bali. This is also evidenced by the presence of ancient sites such as lingga yoni, statue of Shiva Maha Dewa, and various other sites.


Like other temples in general, Payogan Agung Temple applies the concept of "Tri Mandala", namely Nista Mandala (Jaba Sisi), Madya Mandala (Jaba Tengah), and Utamaning Mandala (Jeroan). On the outermost part of Payogan Agung Temple, there is a pengeling-eling or a memorial of the great works in Ketewel Village. In addition, there is also a cultural wantilan asti which is used as a place for performing arts or various other activities. In addition, there is Pelinggih Marga Tiga as the statue of Sang Bhuta Amangkurat, Sang Bhuta Rudira, and Sang Bhuta Mangsa.


Pangeling-ngeling (Source: Editorial Collection)


In the Madya Mandala or middle jaba there is a gong bale which is often used for gamelan performances, pemaksan bale, and pecanangan bale. When entering the Utamaning Mandala area, some of the buildings or temples that can be found are Piyasan Tiang Sanga, Pemedan, Piyasan Paselang, Paingkupan, Gedong Agung, Padmasana, Gedong Loji, Bale Bedil, and Pelinggih Ratu Mas Alit. At the back of the padmanasa, there are several pelinggih, one of which is the petirtan pelinggih which is often used by the community to "nunas tirta". Gedong Agung is the stana of Ida Hyang Pasupati or Ida Bhatara Hyang Murtining Jagat.


Pelinggih Padmasana (Source: Editorial Collection)


Payogan Agung Temple is a glorious manifestation of Bali's rich history and culture. More than just a sacred building, it is a reminder of the importance of maintaining harmony between man and nature. Payogan Agung Temple has a long historical story. It is said that when Jagat Bali had not yet stabilized its existence, Ida Hyang Pasupati who resided on Mount Semeru brought the peak of Mount Semeru to Jagat Bali. The fragment of the peak of Mount Semeru carried in his right hand became Mount Agung. While the fragment of the peak carried in his left hand became Mount Batur. Then, Ida Hyang Pasupati sent His son "Hyang Putra Jaya" to reside on Mount Agung and "Bhatari Dewi Danu" to reside on Mount Batur which subsequently became the refuge of Jagat Bali.


After residing in Bali for a long time, the island was destroyed by I Kala Sunya. Seeing the destruction of Jagat Bali, Ida Hyang Putra Jaya together with Bhatari Dewi Danu went to ask Ida Hyang Pasupati residing in Mount Semeru to think of efforts to save Jagat Bali from severe damage caused by I Kala Sunya. In an effort to save Jagat Bali, Ida Hyang Pasupati descended to Alas Jerem which is now Ketewel Village. On Budha Kliwon Shinta day, Ida Hyang Pasupati held a paruman with the gods to fight I Kala Sunya. After various attempts failed, Ida Hyang Pasupati issued a great purification that turned coral reefs into firewood and sea water into oil that spouted a fierce fire. As a result, I Kala Sunya experienced tremendous heat and begged for forgiveness in front of Ida Hyang Pasupati and promised not to disturb and would protect the Balinese Jagat as long as every sasih kesanga to I Kala Sunya was offered Tawur Amanca Wali Krama.


Candi Bentar (Source: Editorial Collection)


Because of this, Ida Hyang Pasupati was given the title "Ida Hyang Murtining Jagat" by the gods. At Alas Jerem, where Ida Hyang Pasupati held a paruman with the gods, Parahyangan was built, which is called "Kahyangan Puseh Payogan Agung". This story is shown through the pratima in the Great Gedong of Payogan Agung Temple.


The incredible story behind this temple teaches us about faith, sacrifice and deep spiritual power. In the glitter of Bali, Payogan Agung Temple inspires us to care for nature, pass on our cultural heritage, and maintain balance in life.