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Situated in the heart of Mataram, the colossal Pura Meru Temple is the largest Hindu place of worship in Lombok. With no less than thirty-three shrines within its premises, the glorious temple is devoted to the Hindu Trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva. Of all the shrines in the inner courtyard, three multi-tiered shrines locally referred to as the ‘Meru’, are made of thatched teakwood. The central Meru, rising up to eleven shrines, is considered to be Lord Shiva’s abode, the nine-tiered Meru situated to the north is worshipped as the house of Lord Vishnu, and the meru to the south, also with nine tiers, is revered as Lord Brahma’s house.
In addition to the Hindu deities, the spectacular Pura Meru Temple is also dedicated to the three sacred mountains of Indonesia, which include the volcanic peaks of Mount Rinjani, Gunung Bromo, and the Mount Agung. The holy sanctuary is a splendid example of traditional Balinese architecture and showcases the spiritual life of the Hindu minority in Lombok.
The prestigious Pura Meru Temple was built in the year 1720 by the then ruler of the Karangasem Kingdom, Anak Agung Made Karangasem, to use it as a place to settle disputes, hold negotiation sessions, and dole out official statements and orders to criminals.
Gradually, as time passed, this monument came to be identified as one of the most sacred places for the people belonging to the Hindu religion. At present, this temple is not only visited by devout locals, but also by people from places near and far, several of whom come to this place for its architectural as well as historical appeal, in addition to its religious aura.
Divided into three main parts, the majestic Pura Meru Temple is home to thirty-three beautiful, white shrines, locally referred to as the ‘sanggah’, which are the symbols of those thirty-three villages that had been a part of the group which had assisted Anak Agung Made Karangasem in building this glorious landmark.
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