Pura Jagatnatha

Hindu Temple in Denpasar
Image by Tom Cockrem / Getty Images

The state temple, built in 1953, is dedicated to the supreme god, Sanghyang Widi. Part of its significance is its statement of monotheism. Although the Balinese recognise many gods, the belief in one supreme god (who can have many manifestations) brings Balinese Hinduism into conformity with the first principle of Pancasila – the ‘Belief in One God’.

The padmasana (temple shrine) is made of white coral and consists of an empty throne (symbolic of heaven) on top of the cosmic turtle and two naga (mythical snakelike creatures), which symbolise the foundation of the world. The walls are decorated with carvings of scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Two major festivals are held here every month, during the full moon and new moon, and feature wayang kulit (leather shadow puppet) performances.