29 August 2013

Bali - Pura Negara Gambur Anglayang

Pura Negara Gambur Anglayang in Kubutambahan village, Buleleng regency is a rare and unique temple.

Established in the 13th century, when the village was an ancient trade port named Kuta Baning, Pura Negara Gambur Anglayang is a place of worship for people of different faiths.

The temple has eight pelinggih (worship shrines) dedicated to different faith followers. There is a pelinggih named Ratu Bagus Sundawan for worshipers from Sunda (now in West Java). Another pelinggih is named Ratu Bagus Melayu, dedicated for worshipers from Malaya (Sumatra, Singapore and Malaysia). Yet other pelinggih are Ratu Ayu Syahbandar and Ratu Manik Mas as representations for Chinese and Buddhist followers. Ratu Pasek Pelinggih, Dewi Sri and Gede Siwa are for Hindu devotees. At the entrance gate is Ratu Dalem Mekah, representing traders from Gujarat in India.

The architectural design of the temple is similar to other temples in Bali. What makes it different is its pelinggih and interior ornaments. There is also a wall painting depicting a gold vessel sailing on the ocean. The painting records the journey of Ratu Ayu Syahbandar from China to Kubutambahan village.

During the odalan (temple anniversary), which falls every Buda Wage Kelawu (a day in the Balinese calendar that occurs every six months), thousands of local residents and people from numerous places come to pray at the temple. At the start of the anniversary rituals, there is a ritual at the beach to welcome the deities who will reside in the eight worship shrines during the celebrations. The worshippers also strongly believe they will spiritually see a gold ship passing by the sea near the temple.

Despite being unknown to many visitors, the temple is a genuine example of religious tolerance in Bali, the concept practiced by local residents and visitors alike for hundreds of years.

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