Kehen temple is the royal ancestral temple of the Raja of Bangli, one of the eight most important royal houses on Bali. Literally meaning the Temple of the Hearth or the Household, this refers to Hyang Api or the God of Fire, symbol of the Hindu god Brahma. Here worshippers burn offerings on a small hearth. Kehen temple is one of the most beautiful temples on Bali standing above a steep slope. To reach the entrance gate one must climb a stone staircase with 38 steps guarded by stone statues on either side, all the way up to the gate. Unlike other Balinese temples where the entrance is a split gate, not so at Pura Kehen, which has a large triangular shaped gate similar to that of a mountain, where on Java, such shape is called gunungan (‘gunung’ meaning mountain).
Kehen Temple is located in Cempaga village, Bangli regency. It is about 40 Km away to the eastern part of Denpasar City, just north of the town of Bangli. Kehen temple is one of the largest temples in Bali, and a stirring example of the virtuosity of the stone-carvers of the region. Constructed (founded) in 11th century by Cri Brahma Kenuti Ketu, the temple highlights a unique procession called Gebog Domas, held every Buda Kliwon Sinta. Pura kehen has three courtyard, each entered through a towering, carved gateway. The second courtyard is a venerable Banyan tree.
Kehen temple has many uniqueness. In addition to its strategic location, at the entrance to the temple is not using the temple as the temple Bentar generally universal heaven. Kehen temple entrance is a bit different, namely using temple Brackets. In addition, the presence of Bale Kulkul the banyan tree trunk also give other colors for Kehen Temple who became one of the leading tourism attractions in Bangli regency. Passing the gate, a large, old banyan tree with wide protecting foliage and hanging roots dominates the outer courtyard. A kulkul or bamboo drum hangs from its branches and among its roots is a stone altar for offerings.
Kehen Temple History
Although it has been found three inscriptions on temple Kehen, but not yet certain when the temple is actually established, and what is the origin of the name Kehen itself. Based on the third inscription which dates to the year 1204 AD mentioned several temples that have a unitary relationship includes Pura Hyang Hatu, Hyang Kedaton, Hyang Daha Bangli, Hyang Pande, Hyang Wukir, Hyang Tegal, Hyang K., Hyang Pahumbukan, Hyang Buhitan, Hyang Peken Lor, Hyang Peken Kidul and Hyang Kehen. Kehen alone is estimated to come from the word cool (fire place), when connected to the first inscription Sansekerta- speak but not to the year-in which the mention of the words Hyang Api, Hyang Karinama, Hyang signs and names of monks.
Pasek Jro Kehen Temple as one of Dangka in Kehen Temple claimed not so many know the history associated Kehen Temple, especially Jro Pasek who were aged 23 years was a new one and a half years as Jero Mangku in Kehen Temple. Although not yet know the history associated Kehen Temple, but the uniqueness or mystical events that have occurred in Kehen never heard of stories of parents. As well as the emergence of ular (snake) duwe morning in 1960, when the local people who had just finished sweeping the temple jaba directly witnessed the emergence of a snake duwe.
In addition, local people strongly believe if there is a fracture of the banyan tree in the temple as a sign grubug (catastrophe). It is inferred from the events that have occurred for generations.
As a public temple, every ceremony held at Temple Kehen, village incorporated in Gebogan (society) Domas (800) and Bebanuan Pura Kehen have their respective roles, ranging from preparation to implementation. In the case of wewangunan for example, Banjar Kawan is responsible for building stalls matanding, Banjar Tegal make Penyawang, Studio Tawang Tutuan, Ivory Bale and Bale Weigh. Pekuwon build stalls pamuspaan Banjar, Banjar Pule build-Ilen Ilen stall, stall mejahitan Banjar Blungbang building. For Banjar Gunaksa and Sidembunut charge of building linggih Bhatara Perampean, Banjar Kubu build linggih Bhatara Melasti, tutuan, panggungan and pawedaan. Banjar Geria build grand peselang studio, studio grand pemalik sumpahan. Bebalang to bring up Bale Banjar Banjar Nyalian Perayungan and build stalls peratengan.
The division of tasks are carried out by dresta and measures of which already are conducted year after year and will never be changed or exchanged. Aside from being a form of responsibility for each task, also gave rise to a spirit of togetherness and belonging to the work that goes on Kehen Temple.