Pura is the Balinese Hindu temple. Puras are built as per the rules, styles and needs of the rituals. Courtyards with connecting staircases and elaborately carved magnificent entrance gates to separate courtyards, are the typical architectural features of the temple complex. Thatched roofs, serene environment and abundance of nature offer a unique character to the temple. Carvings on the gates and facades of the small temple structures is the distinctive feature.
One such representative temple is Samuan Tiga Temple, located in Bedulu village of Blahbatuh district. This temple is also called Pura Gunung Goak; some even call it the Batan Bawah Temple. The temple has a historical background. Religious beliefs for Hindus in Bali were developed and strengthened from this temple. In the Samuan Tiga Temple, a unique tradition called “Siat Sampean ” is held every year to coincide with the full Moon of Jiyestha, around May in the Christian calendar. Though the temple was there for more than 1,000 years, it was completely rebuilt after the devastation of the earthquake in 1917.
The architecture of the temple is that of a typical ancient Balinese temple having seven courtyards. It has a natural charm which blends beautifully with the temple architecture. Around the temple are a number of huge and ancient trees, including the customary banyan trees. The structures are made out of sandstone with carvings and detailed ornamentation. The gardens of Samuan Tiga Temple are very well-maintained. The temple also offers stunning views. It’s flanked by two rivers, the Pande and Tegending on the east side, and the remains of an ancient pool to its west.
The temple’s name, Samuan Tiga means ‘meeting of three’. The meeting gave birth to the concept that each kingdom should have three main temples, each representing the mountain, the village and sea, as well as the ‘Tri Murti’ Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. As a royal temple, Samuan Tiga temple also has eight satellite temples that are located around the temple.
The general appearance of the temple architecture of Bali is much different from that of Bharat; but the peace and tranquility is the same. Nature helps in connecting with God within.