Jimbaran has the usual three village temples, the Pura Dalem (called
Pura Kahyangan locally), Pura Puseh and Pura Desa. The latter two
are combined into one enclosure in Jimbaran, as occurs in many villages.
These tend to be overlooked in favor of the more spectacular and
better-known Pura Ulun Siwi (alternatively Pura Ulun Swi). But each
is interesting in its own right.
Pura Kahyangan lies just to the west of the cemetery, north of the
access road to Hotel Puri Bali. The Pura Puseh/Desa is about 50
in northeast of the market. It is interesting to note that the odalan
or anniversary ceremonies of these three temples, and of Pura Ulun
Siwi, all occur within four days of each other, commencing on the
third day after Galungan (which is the biggest holy day in the traditional
Balinese calendar). Jimbaran becomes a beehive of ritual activity
at this time of year.
One of the most important ceremonies in Jimbaran is the exorcist
Barong procession The Barong is a mythical beast who acts as protector
of the village and its people, represented by a mask and costume
which is paraded through the area at periodic intervals. Jimbaran's
inhabitants spare expense to support the Barong, making offering
to , to praying, and performing the ritual. Appearances of the Barong
in the main street of Jimbaran between Pura Ulun Siwi and the market
are always accompanied by the evil witch Rangda and her two cohorts,
and by a retinue of about a dozen other dancers. Trance plays an
important part in a Barong performance, and the actions of the trance
dancers who try to stab Rangda are bizarre and unforgettable.
Pura Ulun Siwi
Pura Ulun Siwi (or Ulun Swi) is Jimbaran's best-known "sight"
- for the Balinesee as well as for tourists. This large temple lies
at the northwestern corner of the principal crossroads, across the
street from the market. It is unusual for several reasons. Firstly
it faces east, rather than south. During prayers, the worshippers
face west, rather than to the north, to Gunung Agung, as is the
usual practice. This is attributed to the fact that the temple,
once a primitive shrine, became a Hindu13, alinese temple fairly
early, in the 11th century. At this time the Javanese holy man who
founded the temple, Mpu Kuturan, still followed the custom of his
native Java in orientating his temples toward holy Mt. Semeru, in
East Java. It was only much later that Gunung Agung became the focus
of Balinese Hinduism.
The temple has only two courtyards, instead of the usual three.
The spacious interior courtyard measures 66 x 30 meters and is dominated
by an enormous eleven-tiered meru tower that is more massive than
artistic. The temple has been periodically renovated, but remains
simple and rustic, lacking the ornate paras stone carvings that
characterize the temples of Gianyar.
The principal gate, a kori agung with wings, is very similar in
construction to that of Pura Uluwatu on the Bukit, except that it
is made of brick instead of coral stone. There is a close connection
between these two temples, and it is said that one should pray at
Pura Ulun Siwi before proceeding to Pura Uuwatu.
Ulun Siwi is unusual in yet another way. It is the principal temple
in Bali dedicated to the welfare of both wet and dry rice fields,
and the spirits, which live in the temple, are thought to control
the mice and insects such as grasshoppers that periodically infest
the fields. Farmers and farming groups regularly come to Pura Uluwatu
to get water, which they then take back home and sprinkle on their
fields either to protect them from these pests or to rid them of
those already present.