It’s our first time here and knowing virtually nothing about the place, we were eager to learn more. How lucky we were, then, to have a small group of eight and a really great guide who was happy to share as much information as we could handle!
First impressions were great – warm smiles of welcome and happy greetings of “Good Morning Madam!” from everyone.
Going inside one of these buildings revealed more spectacular paintings on the ceilings
Based on the great Indian Mahabharata epic story, the paintings are finely detailed and we spent a while taking photos and listening to Coc’s commentary.
As we did so, we heard a bit of a hoohah outside – what was going on?
We’d already learned that today was Full Moon and here in Bali, that was of special significance as it marked the end of Galugan and here was a procession of villagers making their way to the sea for prayers and celebrations. As we drove through villages, we’d spotted the penjor outside each home and were intrigued by them. Though we tried all day to get a photo of one we were not that successful!
I asked Coc about these structures, wondering if they were each made by the householder or if they were bought, in the same way we’d buy a Christmas tree. He replied with a memorable statement, which said a great deal about life here in Bali, “They are homemade, Madam – it really doesn’t matter how they look, as long as they are made with love” – and of course, that statement was delivered with a wide smile.
The Kertha Gosa is situated on a busy street corner, with a traffic roundabout right there in the middle. With red, yellow, white and black shrines to the four main points of the compass, women were bringing offerings the whole time we were there. Having seen these offerings there in the Kertha Gosa, we began to notice them everywhere
Once again, Coc’s words were in my ear: “made with love”.
We loved looking around this place and there would have been sufficient patterns, designs and motifs on one single pillar to keep me occupied for months. How about this one?
But it was time to move on.
Next stop, the Kehen Temple at Bangli.
Here were more mossy stones, fascinating little temples within the larger compound and no-one but us and a couple of others here.
Brightly coloured ceilings made venturing that bit further into the complex well worthwhile
and the odd, incongruous lightbulb stood out rather!
Once again, I loved finding the small details,
and admiring the handiwork of the people who left their offerings at each of the small shrines.
The ants were finding these very attractive, too!
We loved the huge, old banyan tree, too large to fit into one photograph!
Stepping carefully over the little offering on the pathway out of the temple, it was time to move on to our next stop, which I’ll continue in the next post.