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Standing tall since as early as the year 1714, the magnificent Pura Lingsar Temple is a significant symbol of the harmonious relationship between the religious communities of the Balinese Hindus and the Islamic Sasak. Nestled in the midst of lush, sprawling rice fields, the glorious place of worship is flanked by a pair of pools on each side, each of which teems with bright lotuses.
From the city of Mataram, the Pura Lingsar Temple lies at a distance of about six kilometres to the east. Primarily, three buildings make up the entire complex of the holy sanctuary and are referred to as the Kameliq, Gaduh, and Pesiraman, respectively. Being one of the biggest temples in the western part of Lombok, the Pura Lingsar Temple receives visitors in large numbers from places near and far.
Built in the early sixteenth century by the revered King Anak Agung Ngurah, the majestic Pura Lingsar Temple is a multi denominational place of worship, giving equal status to the religious faiths of both the Hindus as well as the Muslims. The portion within the premises specially designed for the Hindu devotees occupies the northern part of the temple, also known as the higher level, while the Islamic complement is spread across the lower or southern level.
The Sasak, who are the indigenous residents of Lombok, consist of the devout followers of Wektu Telu and obey the religious practices of Islam. However, they do not confer to every conservative rule of the same. Rather, they have created a blend of various religious communities, which include Islam, Hinduism, as well as certain primitive animist conventions.
The Hindu counterpart of the glorious temple complex, on the other hand, comprises of the Pura Gaduh Temple. One has to descend the stairs from the Pura Gaduh Temple in order to reach the area devoted to the Islamic faith, popularly referred to as the Kameliq. The gorgeous compound of the Pura Gaduh Temple consists of four beautiful shrines.
One of the shrines is positioned on the Gunung Rinjani, which is believed to be the divine seat in Lombok for the gods and goddesses, while the other shrine is oriented to the Gunung Agung and is considered to be the seat in Bali that is dedicated to the supreme beings.
The third and fourth shrines consist of the two sanctuaries which represent the holy union between the two islands on each side. Two stopovers locally referred to as the pesinggahan, occupy the space between these two junctions, and are symbolic of the connection that has been formed between the same.
At the entrance of the Kameliq area is housed a small pond that teems with little tuna fish, which, according to the Indonesian legend, are sacred. It is believed that the tuna is an incarnation of the stick of the renowned king of Lombok, Datuk Milir, who came here in order to meditate so that Lombok would be blessed with rain. Many people believe that witnessing the fish is a sign of good luck. Throwing coins into the pond to make a wish is also a common practice here.
In the Kameliq section, four fountains are placed, while the Pesiraman area is adorned by five. Devotees in large numbers come here in order to purify themselves of all sins in this water. It is also a common belief that these fountains have the ability to cure several illnesses.
The Wektu Telu Temple consists of a large pond dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Covered in lilies, this pond is home to hundreds of eels which are considered holy. Feeding them hard-boiled eggs is believed to bring good luck to people, which is why there are stalls outside the temple that sell
Even though the captivating Pura Lingsar Temple receives visitors throughout the year, the ideal time to pay a visit to this temple is during the sixth month of the Shalivahana Shaka calendar, which is the Indian national calendar. One may also visit this place from the second week of November to mid-December when a religious ritual is organized by the locals.
Popularly referred to as the Perang Topat festival in the local language, this religious practice consists of making rice cakes and wrapping them in woven coconut leaves before throwing them on each other in a friendly battle between Hindus and Muslims. This is believed to rid people of whatever complaints and vexations one may have for the other. This ceremony is believed to bring heavy rainfall to Lombok and even prosperity to the residents.
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