Paluang Temples: A Unique Place of Worship with Car-Shaped Shrines

Discover the mystery and uniqueness of Paluang Temple in Nusa Penida, Indonesia. Learn about its fascinating history, car-shaped temple, and the mystical aura of this sacred place. Take a spiritual journey and enjoy the natural beauty of Nusa Penida island.

Sep 8, 2023 - 09:36
Sep 12, 2023 - 05:14
Paluang Temples: A Unique Place of Worship with Car-Shaped Shrines
VW Beatle car at Paluang Temple (Photo source: Editorial collection)

Nusa penida is a beautiful island located at the southeastern of Bali, Indonesia. known not only for its breathtaking natural beauty but also as an important Hindu religious center. Among the many temples scattered across the island, Paluang Temple stands out as one of the most unique and mysterious. Often referred to as the "Car Temple," it is renowned for its car-shaped shrines. Let's delve deeper into the uniqueness, history, and mystical significance of Paluang Temples.

The Uniqueness of Paluang Temples

Paluang Temple is situated in the village of Karang Dawa, Bunga Mekar, Nusa Penida. However, what sets it apart is the car-shaped shrines it houses. Among the 13 shrines within Paluang Temple, two resemble a VW Beetle and a Suzuki Jimny. This temple is the only one of its kind globally with car-shaped shrines. This uniqueness serves as a major attraction for both tourists and Hindu devotees who come here to worship and contemplate.

The History of Paluang Temple

Jimmy's car at Paluang Temples (Photo source: Editor's Collection)

The history of Paluang Temple has an intriguing story rooted in local beliefs and legends. According to legend, in the past, the residents of Karang Dawa sought to clear land for agriculture in what is now Paluang Temple. However, during the process, they encountered an unexpected challenge. There was a massive rock obstructing the land, and every time they tried to move it, the rock would return to its original position the next day. This incident occurred repeatedly, leading people to believe that there was a supernatural force at play.

One day, guidance came from the unseen realm, instructing them to build a shrine at the site. This shrine was constructed on a rocky hillside adjacent to a steep cliff. It was named Paluang Temple. According to local belief, Paluang Temple is the dwelling place of Ratu Gede Sakti Hyang Mami, a significant spiritual figure in Hinduism on Nusa Penida.

Over time, legend has it that Ratu Gede Sakti Hyang Mami conveyed through mystical communication that she possessed car-shaped vehicles in the ethereal realm. Consequently, the local community decided to construct car-shaped shrines within Paluang Temple to honor Ratu Gede Sakti Hyang Mami and her mystical vehicles. These cars, such as the VW Beetle and Suzuki Jimny, are considered the children of Ratu Gede Sakti Hyang Mami.

The Mystical Significance of Paluang Temple

Paluang Temple (Photo source: Editorial Collection)

Paluang Temple is one of the most mystical places on Nusa Penida. Many mystical occurrences and stories are associated with this place. One of the most famous stories is about mysterious vehicle sounds and lights frequently heard and seen around Paluang Temple, especially at night. Local residents often hear the honking of car horns, roaring engines, and see bright lights moving at high speeds towards the northwest. However, these phenomena are always short-lived and their destination remains unknown. These sounds have become part of the legend of Paluang Temple and are a draw for those seeking mystical experiences.

Furthermore, Paluang Temple is known for its prohibition of using harsh language or engaging in disrespectful behavior in its vicinity. The place is considered sacred, and visitors are expected to maintain a tranquil and pure environment. The mystical aura of Paluang Temple is also evident in some ancient statues within it. Some statues have been weathered by time and nature, leaving only heads or disjointed bodies. This phenomenon adds to the mysterious ambiance of the place.

Additionally, there is a cave beneath Paluang Temple, but only a few visitors are allowed to enter. Inside the cave, there is a set of gamelan gongs carved from limestone. There are also statues depicting someone playing the gamelan, although these statues have never been seen playing it in real life. The secluded location of the cave, hidden by shrubs and trees, adds to the mystical atmosphere inside.

Location and Access to Paluang Temples

Paluang Temple is located in Karang Dawa, Bunga Mekar Village, Nusa Penida. To reach this location from Nusa Penida Harbor, you can rent a motorbike or car and travel for approximately 40 minutes. The road is sandy and somewhat challenging, passing through thickets, limestone cliffs, and some residential areas. During the journey, you will also pass by some local settlements and enjoy the distant view of the sea.

Although the journey to Paluang Temple can be a challenge, the natural beauty and mystique of the place make it a worthwhile destination. The peaceful and serene atmosphere around the temple also makes it suitable for meditation and seeking spiritual tranquility.

Paluang Temple in Nusa Penida is a place filled with uniqueness, history, and mysticism. The presence of distinctive car-shaped shrines, legendary tales, and mystical phenomena in its vicinity make it an intriguing tourist destination on the island. For Hindus, Paluang Temple holds deep religious significance, while for other visitors, it offers an unforgettable mystical experience. With the natural beauty of Nusa Penida also accessible during the journey to Paluang Temple, it becomes a captivating and memorable destination for anyone visiting this island. So, if you have the opportunity to visit Nusa Penida, don't miss the chance to explore this extraordinary Paluang Temple.