Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Hans Smeekes and Fifi Engelen: A visit to Chinese Buddhist and Hindu Temple at Tanah Kilap near Kuta.

Hello dear Madé Wijaya!
As I already mailed you, we also visited a very beautiful Chinese buddhist temple in Tanah Kilap.
It was not the purpose of our trip that day. We visited the "Mangrove Center" near the airport at the muddy east coast of the small strip of land.
Looking out for any komodoros, which of course we did not see.
And then our driver, guide, friend and brother Dewa Cerick came up with this idea, because it is not far from the mangroves. Only a few kilometers. Near a lagune, where many young men are fishing.
Cerick told us that there is a "brother"temple of this one in China. And it is one of the three Chinese buddhist temples on Bali. The complete name is: Griya Kongco Dwipayana. Existing not so long: from 1999.
And as being buddhists we could not let it pass of course. And it appeared to be a very beautiful temple indeed. Main colour red.
Of course statues and images of Buddha. And the bodhisattva of compassion: Kwan Jin. And Avalokitesvara with the thousand arms.
But also of a goddess/bodhisattva (I never heard of before) with the name: Tujuh Dewi Datu.
Funny to see a sleeping cat just behind the sign with the name of the goddess on it. It looked like she was the real goddess.
And as in many Chinese temples also Tao gods. Two (one with a yellow face, the other one with a red) with the names: Ong Tay Jen and Ong Hu Niu Niu.
But here also shrines for the gods/goddesses of the Bali Hindu religion like Ratu Betara Betari Hyang Lingsir and Pengaruman Betari Ratu Kidul (the goddess of the southly seas). And even they did not forget the world-turtle Bedawang Nala, as usual accompied by the two dragon-snakes naga Basuki and Naga Anantaboga. But here not with the padmasanashrine on his back.
Remarkable at the intrance looking out over the lagune and at the other side the Hindu-temple: the ferocious horse and a ship with a dragon/naga-head. Overwhelming in the whole place the smell and the smoke of burning incense.
And indeed at the other side a Bali Hindu-temple with the name: Pura Luhur Candi (Narmada Tanah Kilap). One man carried the name proudly on the backside of his T-shirt.
Our friend Cerick told us that he heard from the local people on the parking spot that there is a relation between this temple and the Pura Ped on Nusa Penida (Ratu Gede). He told me that when I came back from the temple. If I should have known before I could have asked something about it to the friendly priest, who I met in the temple. When he heard that I came from Holland, he started to talk about football and mentioned the names of some famous Dutch football-players....
I looked around and admired a robust statue of grey paras of Saraswati. Also statues of holy men, afterwards I was wandering who they are supposed to be: Nirartha maybe, who erected all the sea-temples? Or maybe Ratu Gede? Reason enough to go back next year to find out. I had the feeling that there was something special with the temple.
And also with the whole area. Not really a village: two temples and a lagune where very friendly people were trying there luck with fishing.
A beautiful place, different religions together, what does one want more? So again another good experience, this trip.
Many greetings, Hans Smeekes and Fifi Engelen, "the art of living".