Batu Karu Temple is one of the biggest Hindu Temples in Bali (Sad Kahyangan) with Catur Lokapala Temple and Padmabhuwana Temple status. It is set in the plateau area with lush tropical rain forest surround it. It is situated in the peaceful area which is far from the local resident that is ideally for worship. There are some temple building spread out through the tranquility of rain forest and the big mountain of Batukaru as a back drop. Luhur Watukaru or Batu Karu Temple is located at Wangaya Gede countryside, Penebel District and Tabanan regency, and west part of Bali Island. It is located right on the foot of Mount Batukaru and about 1.30 hours from Denpasar Airport.
The history of Batu Karu temple is difficult to be found out even in the ancient omission exists in this temple. For example some profile area like harpoon own the Ancient Bali type, but no written data found it. The effort study and research of this temple history remain to find difficulties. The temple festival at Luwur Watukaru or Batukaru Temple is executed every six-month or 210 days which is every Thursday Umanis Wara Dungulan (Balinese Calendar), just the day after Galungan Day (the biggest Balinese Hindu Holidays).
The extension day of temple festival is executed during eleven day, to give the opportunity for Hindu public society especially in Bali to come for praying. Pengempon (the society who take care of the temple) has the obligation to take care of the temple inclusive of ceremony execution. This fact is one of characteristic power outside of physical of Watu Karu Temple. In 1959 the temple was rebuilt from the remnants and step by step until 1977 to reach the present architectural condition. Now the temple is maintained by 2 perbekelans. A perbekelan is a unit of local administrative area consists of many Banjars. While banjar is the smallest unit of Balinese settlement group.
Those 2 perbekelans are perbekelan of Wangaya Gede, located very close to the temple, and perbekelan Tengkudak. These 2 areas are responsible for maintenance, organizing the ceremonies, and various activities scheduled to be performed at the temple. Since the temple is one of the Sad Kahyangan in Bali, during the ceremony will be very crowded, full of cars, motor bikes, and people. It is suggested that during the ceremony not to have trip to this temple unless you are ready to walk for kilometers, even some time up to Wangaya Gede village.
One uniqueness in Batu Karu Temple is the ceremony which is only last for one day, quiet different from the rest of the temple in Bali which have the average ritual duration at least 3 days. The main ceremony will fall between Galungan and Kuningan holiday in Bali, while Galungan and Kuningan is the biggest holiday for all Bali except north Bali and villages called Bali Aga. The second uniqueness is that the accomplishment of the ceremony has never been involving Brahmana priest, it is enough conducted by local priests called pemangku.
Kubayan is commissioned holy occupation lead the temple ceremony and his status higher than all priests in Pretending pertinent Ancient. In the execution of praying during the temple festival or the certain day ceremony, it has to be preceded by doing pray in Beji Temple which is located in eastside of Batu Karu Temple or inside of Madya Mandala (middle area) and Nista Mandala (outside area). After doing pray in Beji Temple, then the praying is continued in the main temple building located in the center of temple area. This is also not need again clean the hand and gargle because, it has been conducted the hallowing of body by conducting pray in Beji Temple. This is specification of praying procession in Batu Karu Temple.
The three elements temple area of Watukaru or Batukaru is equal to other temples in Bali generally which is consisted of :
After refurbishing three temples are of this temple in some years ago, the element conception and structure of these three temple areas are progressively become everlasting and conceptual. This is especially in outside area where we can meet the existence of Wantilan building (Meeting Hall) which can be used for multifunction and it is located on the right of the entrance gate. The refurbishment at the parking area has made easy for the Hindu society or all tourists who pay a visit to this temple. It is also other public facilities like toilet which is located at outside temple area or the left side of entrance gate is in good condition and cleans enough.