As a matter of fact there are hundreds of Melanting Temples that create a network all over the island of Bali. Each traditional market in Bali has its own Melanting Temple (Temple of Trader) from which the traders and businessmen ask for fortune. The core of this Melanting temple network is main Melanting Temple that is located in Banyupoh Village, Buleleng Regency, around 5 km from Pemuteran. This main Melanting Temple is the first Melanting Temple in Bali. Perched dramatically on the foot of a hill, this Melanting Temple is believed to be the abode of Bhatara Ratu Mas Melanting, the goddess of prosperity on which every full moon of the fourth month of Caka Calendar (around October) thousands of pilgrims from all over the island of Bali will come to this temple to pay homage and celebrate the temple anniversary; the celebration of anniversary in this Melanting Temple usually last for seven days. Unlike any other temple in Bali, which is mainly adhere to the traditional pattern in architecture, this Melanting Temple is an example new genre of temple architecture especially on the ornaments of the temple structures.
The tale of Melanting Temple :
It is quite interesting. Believe it or not this mystic tale is still being told till now. Melanting Temple is one of the temples built commemorating the visit of the Javanese Hindu Priest, Danghyang Nirartha. The temple is believed to be the place where his eldest daughter, Ida Swabawa, turned into the spirit. The temple nestles in the middle of a jungle on a foot hill in Pemuteran, North Bali. A huge parking lot is available for visitors and some warung stand in the area providing drinks and snacks. The jungle has turned from wild into a bit civilized with the street lights stretching on the road sides and the parking lot. To reach the area from the Pemuteran main road there is a narrow road passing through a small jungle and the local houses. From the parking lot you can see the stairs that we need to climb to get into the temple compound. Two huge statues of dragons decorate the main gate and from below the stairway the temple looks majestic. On the way to the main gate there is a small place where the people who are going to pray put their offerings and get the holy water to clean their mind before they go further to the main court.
Like most of the temples in Bali, after the main gate we enter the middle court where people do their preparation for the offering. After that there is the main court where a huge and beautiful temple stands. The temple building was rebuilt by the government and it was redesigned by a prominent Balinese architect, Ida Bagus Tugur. The tranquility of the place creates a perfect atmosphere and ambiance for people to do their prayers and also to meditate. Some people come in the night time especially to do meditation. The panorama one can see from the temple is gorgeous, the green layered hills backed the temple while from the main court one can see the blue Java Sea. The chill breeze and the natural sound of living things in the jungle are very calming.The priests, who take care of the temple are very welcoming to visitors. They have an information office where you can rent sarongs and get some information about the temple. The Hindus, who come to pray in this temple, are not only from the local area but from all over Bali and also from outside the island. The praying activity in this temple takes place day and night. In the night the ambiance in the temple becomes more mystic and mysterious.
How to get to Melanting Temple :
1. 2 hours from Singaraja
2. 3 hours from Denpasar
3. 2 ½ hours from Tabanan
What you can see around Melanting Temple :
1. West Bali National Park, The park is the last refuge of one of the most endangered birds of the world: the Bali Starling. Bali Barat is mountainous and consists of primary monsoon forest, mangrove forest, savannah and coral islands.
2. Pulaki Temple or Pura Pulaki is a Hindu shrine located in the hill bank and in front of the beautiful beach in north part of Bali. It is one of the biggest Hindu temples in Bali, This temple is set on the flat land with stone hill bank as a back drop meanwhile the blue ocean is just in front of the temple.
3. Pemuteran is a small fishing village on the northern coast of West Bali. This is a small laid-back village which has become increasingly popular with visitors in recent years. There are a number of waterfront resorts and its proximity to Lovina and West Bali National Park together with the extreme natural beauty of the area, has fulled quite rapid growth in tourism infrastructure in the area.