Pura Purwasidhi Ponjokbatu in north Bali

Bali’s temples are little pockets of the mysterious, often located in amazing places. Up the coast from Tejakula the road gets close to the coast and there stands a great looking temple called Pura Purwasidhi Ponjokbatu. This temple dates back 5,000 years according to one of the young men showing people around. Archaeologists had found coffins from pre-Hindu Bali on this site and was the site of a small temple. In 1995 a much larger temple was built of the site, and according to our guide, Pura Purwasidhi Ponjokbatu is one of the kayangan jagat (directional temples) that protect Bali from evil spirits. My guide book strangely omits this temple, so I can’t confirm that.

When we arrived Balinese people were coming and going, one of two at a time. They would sit on the floor in front of a pemangku (priest)and receive a blessing, before entering the temple. Pura Purwasidhi Ponjokbatu is situated on a cliff top overlooking the ocean, a typically auspicious place for a Balinese temple. Ika and I got dressed in sarongs and sashes and received the blessing, complete with rice glued to our forehead. We were told entrance was free, but a donation was expected.

The temple by a wide set of stone steps. There is an outer and inner courtyard and when we entered the inner courtyard a single priest was sitting reciting prayers. We stayed for a few minutes and afterwards walked around the side of the temple. The guide said that there was a shrine to the sea, and sure enough a boat had been constructed on a rock, with a shore bound shrine for giving offerings. We gave our sarongs and sashes back and I donated 20,000rp. I could see in the book most people gave 10,000rp, but if I’m not pressured I don’t mind giving a bit extra. The whole temple tour was about 20 minutes and makes for an interesting pit stop.