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The Pura Besakih Temple in Bali is Home to 23 Hindu Gods and More ; Exploring The Temple Like a Local
Bali, September 19, 2017 : From the outside, any ordinary visitor might simply pass by a concrete temple constructed on the slopes of Mount Agung, completely unaware of the holy secrets and the architectural marvels that the structure holds. But if you are a believer of Indian mythology, then you must plan a visit to Pura Besakih temple in East Bali, Indonesia.
The ‘Mother Temple’ in Bali, the largest and the holiest temple on the Island-Pura Besakih is recognized as the primary Hindu temple in Bali and stands tall at a height of 30,000 feet on Mount Agung.
The complex combines at least 86 different shrines together and is delightfully surrounded by mountains, brooks, rice plantations, and the Bali beach at a distance among other extraordinary views.
Ascending up on a stairway, the temple premises resting at the slope echoes a mystical vibe and should be a must stop at every visitor’s list! You can depend on us for the details!
History of Pura Besakih
The exact details of the temple complex’s construction cannot be verified as some locals debate its engineering in the 14th century while others believe they have been around since the 10th century!
The area of the Pura Besakih had since early times revered as a holy place because of the presence of a central stone that now sits in the Pura Batu Madeg.
The Story Behind The Name
Legends believe an 8th century monk had attempted to build homes and settle people in the area. On the completion of his mission, he named the complex ‘Basuki’, referring to the dragon deity ‘Naga Besukian’ who was believed to inhabit Mount Agung.
Over the years, the name evolved to ‘Besakih’ and other shrines were built around the area.
During the conquest of Bali by the Majapahit Empire in 1343, the complex was recognized as the main temple and has been restored several times in the consecutive years due to damage by earthquake.
In 1963, a volcano erupted and the lava flowed past the temples by just a few metres. This was interpreted as a sign of the gods signifying their powers by destroying everything but the temples that their devotees had constructed for them.
Comprising of 23 temples, the Pura Besakih is located 1,000 meters above the southern slopes of Mount Agung.
Carefully carved stepped flight of stairs and terraces ascend to multiple courtyards and brick gateways leading to the chief Meru structure dedicated to Shiva, known as the Pura Penataran Agung.
Designed along a primary axis, the different levels are interpreted as leading the spiritual person ‘upwards and closer to the sacred mountain, where Gods reside’.
At the heart of the temple complex, the Pura Penataran Agung, stands a stunning lotus throne, called the Padmasana dating back to the seventeenth century and comprises the ritualistic focus of the temple.
Pura Besakih’s Temples
An architectural marvel built on seven ascending levels, the Pura Besakih temple is primarily dedicated to the holy Hindu trinity.
- With white banners, the Pura Penataran Agung forms the heart of the temple complex, dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, the destroyer god of Hinduism. Dotted with aesthetically carved figures from the Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, a giant stairway allows the pilgrims to ascend to the top of the complex.
- Decorated with black banners, Pura Batu Madeg, devoted to the preserver Lord Vishnu sits in the northwestern part of the temple
- Dotted with red banners, Pura Kiduling Kreteg, devoted to the creator of the universe, Lord Brahma is situated across a channel to the southeast of the temple
These shrines, along with 19 other temples stretch across the complex, together make the holiest place of pilgrimage for the devout Balinese.
Closest to Mount Agung’s peak on the higher ground is Pura Batu Tirtha where you can find the foundation of the holy water, known to hold significance for religious ceremonies.
Pura Besakih is the primal centre for all ceremonial activities in Bali. The fact that the temple is the only temple open to every devotee from any caste group touches the heart of all who visit.
Ceremonies And Festivals At the Pura Besakih Temple
The temple complex is almost always bustling with activity and the influx of devotees. There are at least seventy festivals organized annually as almost every shrine commemorates its yearly anniversary known as odalan. This is based on the 210-day Balinese Pawukon calendar. Hence, you are sure to witness and be a part of one odalan irrespective of when you visit the temple
Some of the biggest festivals at Pura Besakih,
- Batara Tarun Kabeh : The climax of the month’s activities fall on the eve of the tenth lunar month.
Translating to ‘the gods descend together’, the Balinese believe it is on this day that the Gods of all the temple shrines descend together simultaneously. Thus, the days marks an event not to be missed!
- Temple Festival of Pura Penataran Agung (Odalan) : After every 210 days, the temple anniversary of the biggest single shrine of Besakih is celebrated with immense zeal and fervor. A spectacle of thousands of devotes praying collectively as they climb up the levels to the altars of the trimurti; the sight is heavenly!
Additionally, major holidays and full moon celebrations are also a sight at the Pura Besakih.
During celebrations, the devout Balinese locals dressed in traditional clothing flock the temple premises with a variety of gifts and offerings to please the almighty.
Visiting Pura Besakih
A day trip from the nearby cities of Ubud or Denpasar is sufficient to explore the Pura Besakih and its adjoining temples around Mount Agung. While the temples remain open to public throughout, they may be closed for tourists on special festivals and days. Make sure you ask the locals in Ubud before making the journey!
Tourism has provided the region with growth explosion and ultimately turned it into a tourist trap- you will come across several alleged ‘temple guards’, hawkers and guides hoping to acquire extra cash from the visitors.
You may seek assistance and hire the official temple guides who charge a nominal price for their services.
Proper dressing is a must at the complex; men and women must cover their legs when inside. Sarongs and sashes can either be procured at rent or bought from the many stalls and shops if needed. However, we recommend that you bargain while buying goods.
How To Reach Pura Besakih Temple
Located in East Bali, dotted on the southern slope of Mount Agung, Pura Besakih can be reached in an hour by car from Ubud. You can also avail the public transport from Ubud and Denpasar, which includes buses and minivans called bemos.
The last bemo ride from the complex to Denpasar leaves from the temple around 3 pm.
Pura Besakih Temple Timings
Pura Besakih is operational from sunrise to dusk. Tour buses, however, begin services around 9 am.
The best time of the day to visit the temple premises are in the early morning and the evenings as the region is much more peaceful at these times.
Pura Besakih Entry Fees
You will be required to pay an entrance fees of $1 at Pura Besakih, and some additional fees (though less than $!) for camera, parking, etc.
Smart Tip To Make Your Travel Easy
Owing to the popularity of the complex, a number of scams and unnecessary hassles can potentially ruin your experience. Follow the given tips for a smarter travel,
- Hindu temples necessitate a proper dress code- while sarongs can be rented outside the temple premises but it would be better to carry your own sarongs.
- Also recommended is to get currency converted before you reach Pura Besakih as the conversion rates in the region keep fluctuating and are not very reliable.
- Once inside the premises, you will be expected to give an additional donation. However, do not overdo the amount.
- The temple premises can be independently explored. Do not let locals fool you into hiring a guide.
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By- Tejas Maheta
Free VPNs tend to get a bad rap (and often for good reasons, which we'll discuss in a second). Still, there are some safe and free VPN services recommended by expats - just click the link for some solid options. Next, scroll on to see how you can put them to good use while you're abroad.
Privacy and Security (to a Certain Degree)
One of the main purposes of a VPN is to encrypt your network traffic – garble it, basically – to keep it safe from:
- ISPs that want to sell your browsing and location data for a profit
- Hackers and script kiddies lurking at every corner public hotspot
- Government surveillance agencies spying on their own citizens
Even free VPNs can do as much, as long as you go with a trustworthy provider such as those linked at the start.
On top of that, VPNs hide your real life location by masking your IP address and assigning a new one based on the server you connect to. Useful in case some cyberstalkers or trolls lure you into clicking on IP-grabbing links or scripts to determine your location. Unfortunately, it's not as effective against GPS tracking (though there are some paid VPNs out there that can spoof GPS).
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Unblock Some Websites While Abroad
While not as versatile as a subscription-based VPN, free VPNs still have some unblocking ability that can be useful to an expat. For instance, you can access your home banking or investment accounts, which in most cases block foreign traffic. Understandably so, since a lot of cyber attacks tend to be linked to international hacker networks.
Using a VPN also allows you to access small news sites from back home, who simply don't find it worth it to comply with GDPR regulations in the EU. Alternatively, you can set your virtual location outside the EU to get around all those annoying cookie consent pop-ups. Funny little side effect, but it can definitely save you some grey hairs while browsing.
Finally, free VPNs can unblock some content such as region-locked music videos, or age-restricted YouTube videos in the EU without having to give up your ID or credit card information to Google. You won't have much luck using free VPNs on content platforms like Netflix, though. Those of you looking to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming sites are better off using a sub-based VPN.
One of the main purposes of a VPN is to encrypt your network traffic.Wikipedia
Bypass Firewalls and Censorship
VPNs sure seem like a master thief's skeleton key, don't they? So many Internet barriers out there, all of them nullified with the help of a single tool. And yes, they can easily get around firewalls as well.
For the most part, you'll be using a VPN to unblock social media and other "distractions" at work or at school. Believe it or not, airport and hotel Wi-Fi can be pretty restrictive too. Thankfully, VPNs make short work of their firewall rules.
And while not as effective as a paid option, free VPNs can also help during Internet blackouts caused by government censorship. Look no further than the recent Hong Kong protests, the frequent social media shutdowns in Turkey, and similar cases worldwide. All of these have one thing in common: free VPN usage shot up immensely as people sought ways to contact their loved ones or post their outrage online.
Why the Negative View of Free VPNs?
You've seen all the great things you can accomplish with a free VPN. So why all the bad press about them? Well, here are some fairly valid concerns that apply to a decent chunk of free providers:
- They sell user data – after all, they need to pay for operational costs somehow. It just so happens that advertisers find your browsing habits highly valuable.
- Several free VPNs based in Hong Kong breached their "no-logs" policies and ended up leaking 1.2 TB of user data online. This isn't an uncommon occurrence, considering the data harvesting practices of most free VPNs.
- They can infect your device with malware that can extract sensitive info or otherwise cause damage. In one major case, user devices were hijacked into a botnet and used in a large scale denial-of-service attack.
Other criticisms are directed at their data caps, slow performance, the small number of overcrowded servers, and the bandwidth throttling. Add to that the fact that they don't unblock region-specific Netflix libraries or other streaming sites, and you can see why people aren't too thrilled about them.
Still, if you're not looking for anything fancy, a free VPN should tide you over until you can fit an actual subscription into your budget. Just stick to the trusty VPNs we've linked to in the beginning.
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)
The Cupertino-based tech giant Apple has started rolling out iOS 12.5.5 to older models of the iPhone and iPad. "This update provides important security updates and is recommended for all users," Apple said in the release notes for iOS 12.5.5.
The update is available for the iPad Air, the iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3, as well as the 6th gen iPod touch, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus. All of these devices were dropped from support with iOS 13. The iOS 12.5.5 update addresses issues related to maliciously crafted PDFs, web content, and apps.
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Apple had previously rolled out iOS 12.5.4 in June with security fixes for WebKit vulnerabilities and other issues. Apple has also started seeded the first betas of iOS 15.1 as well as iPadOS 15.1. After removing SharePlay in iOS 15 beta 2, Apple has re-enabled the feature in the iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, and tvOS 15.1 betas. Apple decided to pull SharePlay from the iOS 15 launch because it was not properly functioning and was still riddled with issues.
It adds features to the Health app like support for storing health-related data for Covid-19 immunisations and test results. With the latest iOS 15.1 Beta, one can now add vaccination cards to the Apple Wallet application. (IANS/ MBI)
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The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Lakme Fashion Week, announced a collaboration to celebrate "NBA 75" the leagues landmark 75th Anniversary Season in 2021-22. As part of the collaboration, the NBA and Lakme Fashion Week will offer fashion designers from across India the opportunity to submit designs for an "NBA 75" collection. Select designs will be evaluated by a panel comprised of fashion designers, industry experts and local influencers, with the winning designer announced at the upcoming October edition of Lakme Fashion Week.
The winner will then be mentored by a leading fashion expert and will work alongside the NBA on a capsule collection to commemorate NBA 75. The NBA 75 range, which will include jerseys, t-shirts, headwear, sweatpants, hoodies, jackets and other apparel, will be unveiled at Lakme Fashion Week in March 2022.
"We are excited to collaborate with Lakme Fashion Week and offer Indian designers the chance to express their vision in celebration of NBA 75," said NBA Asia Executive Vice President & Managing Director Scott Levy. "The NBA and its players are synonymous with fashion and culture, and this friendly competition will showcase the talent and passion that Indian designers have for basketball and the NBA during our landmark 75th Anniversary Season." The collection will be available for purchase after the event on the NBAStore.in and at select retail destinations. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: NBA, Lakme, beauty, basketball, Lakme fashion week