THE bijou Bali Island has a temple becoming the upstream of life in the region. The Ulun Danu Beratan temple at Candikuning village, Baturiti, Tabanan, is believed to be the upstream of Bali. The temple standing at the mouth of Lake Beratan has a complete structure. It applies the concept on the union of lingam-yoni or Purusha-Pradhana serving as the symbol of prosperity. As the name implies, Ulun Danu means the upstream of water becoming the source of life.
There is no official inscription telling about the establishment of Ulun Danu Beratan temple. The existing information is solely based on stories passed down through generations. Initially, the temple was just in the form of bebaturan or piles of stones on the edge of the lake. From the shape, it seemed to happen in megalithic times. Previously, the position of stone piles was on the left side of the seven-tiered meru shrine. Another story is based on a number of palm-leaf manuscripts. In the Kutara Kanda Dewa Purana Bangsul is mentioned that Bali has several mountains in a row. One of them is the Mount Beratan. It is believed the Beratan Lake is a former mountain peak which now only leaves the Pangelengan Hill.
Another version tells that Ulun Danu Beratan is related to the pilgrimage of Mpu Kuturan to Bali circa 1001 AD. Based on the Pasek Chronicle, Mpu Kuturan is said to have perfected eight universal temples (kahyangan jagat) to pacify the Island of Bali. One of them is the Beratan. From this story is known that Ulun Danu Beratan temple retains a relic of ancient Bali originating from the twelfth to thirteenth centuries. Besides, the lakeside is also believed to be a settlement.
Especially at Ulun Danu Beratan was found some archaeological evidences, such as phallus kept in the in center of Padma Tiga shrine, Penataran Agung Temple of Ulun Danu Beratan. Under the three-tiered meru shrine occurs a well embedded with three phalluses, consisting of white, black and red one.
The other story originates from the Mengwi Chronicle where the Ulun Danu Beratan temple has something to do with Mengwi Kingdom. It is said that when Gusti Agung Putu was ruling at Kapal village, a chaos exploded. Ultimately, the area was subdued by Gusti Ngurah Batu Tumpeng from Kekeran. The administration of Kapal collapsed, so that Gusti Agung Putu became a detention and was handed over to the King of Tabanan. Then, the detention was brought up by Gusti Bebalang from Marga. However, the revenge of Gusti Agung Putu was still raging. He then decided to perform meditation on Mount Pangelengan, now known as Pucak Mangu.
His endeavor was successful. He got blessing from the deity, and fought against Gusti Ngurah Batu Tumpeng and won at the end. After getting the victory, the palace was relocated from Belayu to Mengwi by establishing Kaleran Palace at Mengwi. When the King of Tabanan had disputes with his brother, the ruler of Penebel, Gusti Agung Putu could win the war. In return, the King of Tabanan handed over the territory of Marga. From this victory, he paid a vow by establishing at temple at Beratan lakeside known as the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple.
This temple serves as the courtyard of Pucak Mangu. “Until now, the descendants of Mengwi royal family are still involved in maintaining and taking part in the Ulun Danu Beratan ritual,” said Chief of Satak community group of Candikuning, Made Susila Putra, Saturday (Mar 9). As the upstream of Bali, the Ulun Danu Beratan temple is also mentioned in the Purana Bali palm-leaf manuscript. It is said that Lake Beratan is the abode of Goddess Lakshmi, the ruler of prosperity. As evidence, it is showed by the worship of subak (Balinese irrigation cooperative) members in Badung, Tabanan and Denpasar whose source of irrigation water is from the Lake Beratan.
Structure of the Ulun Danu Beratan temple is considered the most complete and fairly complicated because each position is separated one another. There are 49 points consecrated in this temple. Some of them are the Penataran Agung and Dalem Purwa temple. Interestingly, the entire buildings are facing east. Similarly, there are Telenging Segara Temple in the form of eleven-tiered meru shrine as the abode of Lord Vishnu and Lingga Petak in the form three-tiered shrine. At the bottom side stands a sacred well as the source of holy water for the Ulun Danu. Finally, there is a Taman Beji temple as a place to do purificatory rite. (BTN/kmb)