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Bali Monkey Forrest
Bali seems to be wealthy when it comes to 'monkey forests' and today I took a trip to probably the most famous, the Sanggeh Monkey Forest (Bukit Sari).

Getting there from Kuta you could take the Sunset Rd to Kerobokan then head up to Sempidi, Kapal, Mengwi, Abeansemal and then hit Sanggeh. The drive is 21 km from Denpasar.
The road is a minor road and you might have to ask directions if you run into one of those famous 3 or 4 way junctions when the map says 2-way.

Close to Sanggeh I passed a temple called Pura Dalem Hyangsoka. You might remember from an older article that each village has 3 temples (Pura Puseh, the temple of origin, Pura Desa, the village temple and the Pura Dalem, temple of the dead). Down the road came small groups of women carrying large stacks of offerings on their heads. These offerings are called banten and contain an assortment of fruit and rice cakes. They are built around a central skeleton of the trunk of a young banana tree.

The offerings are left at the temple for a while and the family who made it are allowed to take it home and eat the contents.

I rode a couple of kilometers further up the road and stopped for a drink. The lady who owned the road side shop told me it was the odalan and that accounted for the temple ceremonies. An odalan is the anniversary celebration of a temple. The odalan will be held either every 210 days if following the wuku calender or 365 following the saka calender and lasts for 3 days.

The hope of the community is that the Gods will come down to Earth and observe the devoted villagers entertaining and worshipping. The procession that I observed is the start to the days events and the offerings will be received by the village priest (pemangku), before ceremonies begin. read more...
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