The temple is located on the slope of Mount Batukaru, second highest peak of Bali that is 2671 m above sea level. The closest village is Wangaya Gede, around 48 km from Denpasar city. Batukaru temple is a famous tourist's stop for sightseeing to the west Bali country side. When people go for a praying, first they stop at a temple called Pura Jero Taksu which is still away before Batukaru for the first prayer, but for those who has been many times no need to stop here. The thought is that for the first time people worship at Batukaru, it must be a report or might be translated roughly as the registration of the people who will have the praying at the main temple of Batukaru.
There is no historical fact to disclose the history of the temple except manuscripts called Kusuma Dewa, and the manuscript about Buleleng kingdom of 17th century. Kusuma Dewa mentions that Mpu Kuturan, a priest from Java who was in Bali around 11th century ordered the construction of Sad Kahyangan ( 6 main temples on each of the directions ). Batukaru temple is mentioned that it is one of the Sad Kahyangan and is dedicated to god at west direction. While manuscript of Buleleng kingdom mentions that when the kingdom of Buleleng ( now Singaraja ) had been very prosperous and peaceful, the king Panji Sakti wanted to extend his emporium and looked for possible target to attack. At last the king with their big number of soldiers arrived at Batukaru temple, and without reason, by the manuscript mentioned that I Gusti Panji Sakti attacked and damaging the temple. Soon thousand of bees coming and hit him and the soldiers causing all of them took a thousand flee. This story seems that it was created by those who did not have sympathy with Buleleng, and tried to misconstrue the hitory. There are another story about king in Bali had also mentioned by the Usana Bali having the same attitude toward the religion with impact to the society, and at last defeated by more religiously piouse regime. The manuscript of Buleleng mentions the date of 1605 AD which is totally not match the fact of Singaraja history. I Gusti Panji as the king of Buleleng is just recently after the year of 1800.
There are some stone sculptures with water fountains which style is the same at water fountain stone sculpture at Gowa Gajah, Gianyar. Dr. R. Goris in his book said that this ancient sculptures might originated from the same period, that is from 11th century, but we must do not forget that in the past was a customs in Bali when making something, especially temple, often imitated earlier creation.
In 1959 the temple was rebuilt from the remnants and step by step until 1977 to reach the present architectural condition. Now the temple is maintained by 2 perbekelans. A perbekelan is a unit of local administrative area consists of many Banjars. While banjar is the smallest unit of Balinese settlement group. Those 2 perbekelans are perbekelan of Wangaya Gede, located very close to the temple, and perbekelan Tengkudak. These 2 areas are responsible for maintenance, organizing the ceremonies, and various activities scheduled to be performed at the temple. Since the temple is one of the Sad Kahyangan in Bali, during the ceremony will be very crowded, full of cars, motor bikes, and people. It is suggested that during the ceremony not to have trip to this temple unless you are ready to walk for kilometers, even some time up to Wangaya Gede village.
One uniqueness in this temple is the ceremony which is only last for one day, quiet different from the rest of the temple in Bali which have the average ritual duration at least 3 days. The main ceremony will fall between Galungan and Kuningan holiday in Bali, while Galungan and Kuningan is the biggest holiday for all Bali except north Bali and villages called Bali Aga. The second uniqueness is that the accomplishment of the ceremony has never been involving Brahmana priest, it is enough conducted by local priests called pemangku.
The layout of the temple is the same as other temples of Bali, consists of 3 courtyards every yard is connected with split gate or closed gate. The main shrine is dedicated to the god of fertility or in Balinese word " Ratu Hyang Tumuwuh ", which is very clear that the temple was built to protect the nature aroud the mountain, and in modern sense it is natural preservation.
- Goris, Dr. R. Sejarah Bali Kuno, Singaraja, Bali, no date is appear on the script.
Sekte-Sekte di Bali, translated by Soejono, Bhrattara, Jakarta, 1974
Bali Atlas Kebudayaan, Pemerintah Republic Indonesia, no date.Arti Pura Besakih Menurut Sejarah dan Ibadat, Majalah Bhakti,Th. II, No. 17
- I.H.D. Kumpulan Penelitian Tentang Pura di Bali, diperbanyak untuk Lingkungan Institute Hindu Dharma Denpasar, Bali, no. date.
- Kempers, Dr. A.J. Monumental Bali,Introduction to Balinese Archaeology & Guide to the Monuments, Periplus Addition, 19
- Linus, Drs. I .Kt Sedikit Tentang Hubungan Konsepsional antara Candi dan Pura di Bali Fakultas Sastra, Universitas Udayana, Denpasar, 1974
- Rata, Drs. I.B. Konsepsi Dasar dan Pengembangan Pura di Bali, Fakultas Sastra, Universitas Udayana, Denpasar, Bali, 1979
- Pemda Propinsi Bali Sejarah Bali 1980
Buddhist Vihara Banjar
Gua Lawah Temple
Ponjok Batu Julah
Taman Ayun Temple
Tanah Lot Temple
Tirta Empul Temple
Ulun Danu Temple
Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.