Pura Lingsar

Top choice temple in Mataram

Image by David Forman Getty Images

This large temple compound is the holiest in Lombok. Built in 1714 by King Anak Agung Ngurah, and nestled beautifully in lush rice fields, it’s multidenominational, with a temple for Balinese Hindus (Pura Gaduh), and one for followers of Lombok’s mystical take on Islam, the Wektu Telu religion.

It's just 6km northeast of Mataram in the village of Lingsar. Take a bemo from the Mandalika Terminal to Narmada, another to Lingsar and ask to be dropped off at the temple.

Pura Gaduh has four shrines: one orientated to Gunung Rinjani (seat of the gods on Lombok), one to Gunung Agung (seat of the gods in Bali), and a double shrine representing the union between the two islands.

The Wektu Telu temple is noted for its enclosed and lily-covered pond devoted to Lord Vishnu, and for the holy eels, which can be enticed from their lair with hard-boiled eggs (available at stalls). It’s considered good luck to feed them. You will be expected to rent a sash and/or sarong (or bring your own) to enter the shrines. Mid-December sees the two religions parade in the festival of Perang Topat, culminating in a 'battle' using sticky-rice balls for ammunition.