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Directory Home> City and Regencies> Karangasem Regency
 
KARANGASEM REGENCY
 
Standing 3,142 meters high, Gunung Agung made disaster news on 17th March, 1963 when its crater exploded, spewing rivers of lava and hot volcanic mud down its slopes and into the sea. Ash rained over the whole island, and lava streams covering roads isolated its eastern end, and even made the sky of Surabaya in East Java dark at midday. Large areas of crops and many villages and temples were wiped out. The disaster could be felt as far as Jakarta as rains of dust.

Thousands of people were either burned to death or suffocated by the searing clouds of hot gas rushing down the volcanic slopes. The villages of Sorga and Lebih, situated high on the slopes of Agung, were totally destroyed. As if by a miracle, Besakih Temple, just six kilometers from the crater, suffered little damage. Nowadays, Mount Agung is quiet and the mother temple Pura Besakih perched 1000 meters up the slope attracts a steady stream of devotees and tourists.

Putra Besakih is Bali's the largest, most important and probably best-kept temple, consisting of about 30 separate temples in seven terraces that ascend up the hill. Every district in Bali has its own shrine or temple at Besakih and besides honoring Ida Sang Hyang Widi (God Almighty), all Balinese gods and goddesses are also honored.
 
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