Picturesque Hindu temple
Perched on the lower slopes of Gunung Salak in the village of Ciapus about 13 kilometres southwest of Bogor, the Hindu temple Pura Parahyangan Agung Jagatkarta may have been a holy site since the early days of the Sundanese Hindu kingdom ruled by Prabu Siliwangi in the 15th century.
The temple as you see it today is much more modern with construction beginning in 1995 and still in the process at the time of research in late 2017. The structure is in the style of Hindu temples commonly seen in Bali, but is nevertheless an impressive site particularly with its spectacular mountain backdrop. From the road there’s not much to see, and you’ll have to climb a steep set of stairs to the outer area of the temple.
Tourists are generally not able to enter the main temple, but is possible if you purchase some offerings and incense from the small shop outside and don a sarong and sash which can be borrowed from the box in the outer courtyard, remove your footwear and enter with the intention to pray. The layout of the temple is in line with Balinese Hindu temple architecture with three courtyards ascending the hillside.
Inside the first courtyard, a large Ganesh shrine takes pride of place. You could place some offerings here, then move around to the left where there are some smaller shrines. Climb the stairs through the monumental triple meru-style gates to the next level for even more stunning views if the temple guardians permit (who are perhaps not as welcoming as those at temples in Bali). Note the large Padmasana shrine, the altar to the Supreme God and take a moment to enjoy the peaceful surroundings and cool misty mountain air.
Amongst the shrines, incense smoke and temple umbrellas look for the statues of black and white leopards, symbols of the early Hindu kingdom. Although Pura Parahyangan Agung Jagatkarta is very picturesque, it’s probably not worth a sole trip from Bogor especially if your travel plans include a visit to Bali, but it is worth stopping by on the way to or from nearby Gunung Halimun Salak National Park.
To reach the temple take a green No. 3 minivan from Bogor and ask them to let you off at the turnoff to Pura Gunung Salak as it’s commonly known. It’s about one kilometre walk uphill from there, but ojeks waiting at the corner will ferry you up for 15,000 rupiah one way. If you don’t want to walk back, ask them to wait. This is a holy site, so please be respectful and dress appropriately.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.