One of my favourite temples on the island of Bali and one that is rarely visited by tourists and travellers alike is Pura Beji. The temple is located in the north of Bali in Sangsit around eight kilometres east of Singaraja and if you didn’t know of its location one could easily pass right by it. Look out for the small sign on the left side of the road if you are coming from Singaraja. Follow the dusty path down to the sea.
The temple was built in the 15th century during the Majapahit period and is considered to be one of the oldest temples in Bali. Being a subak temple it means that it is dedicated to the goddess Dewi Sri who protects the irrigated rice fields. The temple was actually built on the site of a well.
Pura Beji represents a perfect example of the northern rococo style of temple carving, with strange off-angle symmetry. The temple was built of easily carved soft pink sandstone and its walls are decorated with sculptures of demons, snakes and devils.
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The Candi Bentar is amazing and is composed of naga-snakes and imaginary beasts, devils, as well as leyak guardians. Inside the large inner courtyard you will see old kamboja trees. Of particular interest are the wooden statues and a throne of the sun-god. I was amazed to find some carvings of Dutch musicians. Quite unusual. Entrance fee is by way of a donation and temple sashes are for hire at the entrance.