Kehen temple is located in Bangli regency of Bali, Indonesia. I went there some weeks ago. Kehen means fire. So, the temple is a temple to worship the God of fire or Sang Hyang Agni.
Arriving in the front area of the temple, I saw the temple gate. It stood there very firmly through for long time. The temple material were mostly sand stone and bricks.
The temple gate with stairs and statues.
In the side of the stairs leading to the temple gate, there are statues of guardian spirit.
One of the guardian spirit resemble elephant.
Walking up to the stairs, I arrived on the top. I did not really enter through the gate as it is locked. Just beside the main gate of the temple, there was an opening or door I could go through the first sanctum (courtyard.)
A small rhrine, the bale gong (the musical instrument pavilion, and a big banyan tree.
In this courtyard, there were a shrine as a place of praying to a god, a big (probably 400 years old) banyan tree, and a pavilion where Balinese musical instrument were stored.
Let's have a closer look at the tree.
The banyan tree is considered sacred tree by the local Balinese. Hence, you will find banyan trees growing near temples in Bali.
This Banyan tree growing in the Kehen temple was quite special. Local people believe something will go wrong is something happen to the tree. For example, if there is a branch falling without any reason, it means something not good will happen in the village.
Another thing that I found unique was the temple bell. Instead having a special pavilion for the temple bell, it was actually built in the tree. So, one must climb the tree, (probably a stair is used) to hit the temple bell.
A very old banyan tree, about four hundred years old.
The tree was protected by a fence, and wrapped by white and yellow cloth as symbol or respect to the spirit of the tree.
The temple bell was on the tree, and about 4 to 5 meter high.
Next place I went to after the first courtyard was the inner courtyard where the praying take place. There was another stair and gate that lead to the main sanctum of the temple.
The gate to the main courtyard.
Ascending to the stairs, finally I arrived in the main courtyard. This is the place of worship. There were many shrines built in this courtyard, all dedicated to different ancestors or deities.
There was the main shrines dedicated to the God that protect the temple and the area or the village.
According to the copper inscription dating in 9th, 11th, and 13th, the temple was mainly used as a place to take oath for the newly appointed officials or soldiers to be loyal to the kingdom. And all the ritual took place in this main courtyard.
The highest shrine was the main shrine to worship the god who protect this temple.
the west area of the inner sanctum.
the east area where the main shrine to worship God Brahma, Vishnu and Ciwa was located.
There were quite a number of shrines in the temple inner sanctum each dedicated to different deities or ancestor.
And so that's my short visit to Kehen temple. Thanks for dropping by.