Samuan Tiga Temple
Samuan Tiga Temple is built in 10th century in the reign of King Chandrasangka Warmadewa, this sacred temple was the royal temple of ancient Warmadewa dynasty. As suggest by its name, Balinese believe that Pura Samuan Tiga is a venue for the great meeting of the gods, deities, and saints – the word “samuan” means “meeting” and “tiga” means “three.” This sacred temple is flanked by a meeting of two rivers – river Pande and river Tegending – on the east side and a reminiscent of an ancient pool on the west side and sacred trees such as banyan, pule and curiga which grow around the temple serve as giant umbrella.
Unlike other Balinese’s temples that consist of three courtyards, Samuan Tiga temple has seven courtyards separated by walls and split gates, connected only by stairs that leading up to the innermost courtyard, the meeting hall of gods, deities and saints. The innermost courtyard of this sacred temple has exceptionally numerous shrines compare to other inner courtyard of Balinese temples. As a royal temple, Samuan Tiga temple also has 8 satellite temples that are located around the temple, they are Pura Bukit, Pura Pasar Agung, Pura Melanting, Pura Dalem Puri and Pura Geduh situated on the east; Pura Celanggu situated on the south; Pura Batan Jeruk / Margibuung situated on the west; and Pura Santrian situated on the north.
Pura Samuan Tiga offers a unique architecture and stunning view but also numerous unique rituals that can be on the temple anniversary. Among various rituals that are held in the temple courtyard during the temple anniversary there are two rituals that are unique and rare, they are siyat sampian, sanghyang jaran. Siat Sampian, or war of sampian is one of the oldest Balinese Hindu ritual that held annually only in Pura Samuan Tiga. In this war, dozens of female devotees attack each other using young-coconut leaf arrangements (sampian) in an almost unconscious state of mind. After them, the same sampian war is also performed by no less than three hundred of the male devotees.
Sanghyang Jaran is a kind of trance dance in which the Pemangku (temple priest) or a group of chosen men becomes himself the Sanghyang, possessed by ancestral deity, a Gandarwa (celestial soldier) on horseback. The dance is performed in the inner courtyard of the temple. The entranced dancer take on the movement of a horse leap into the coals, prancing on top of them, picking up the hot pieces and bathing themselves in fire. Pura Samuan Tiga, an exceptionally unique temple situated in the village of Bedulu, 25 km from Denpasar, 5 km from Ubud, and only 400 m from Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah) sanctuary.