Chairman of PHDI Bangli I Nyoman Sukra (left) and I Ketut Eriadi Ariana.
Chairman of PHDI Bangli I Nyoman Sukra (left) and I Ketut Eriadi Ariana.
Chairman of PHDI Bangli I Nyoman Sukra (left) and I Ketut Eriadi Ariana.
Chairman of PHDI Bangli I Nyoman Sukra (left) and I Ketut Eriadi Ariana.

BANGLI – The case of a tourist climbing a palinggih (temple’s main shrine) shocked people in Bali on Wednesday, September 12. This time, an Instagram account named tony.jarvi uploaded a photo of someone sitting on one of the palinggih, allegedly located in Pura Beji Kauh, Panebel, Tabanan. Even though he has apologized for his action, the case is still becoming a hot issue among the community since it is not the first time such case happened in Bali.

The concern of this case in order not to happen again is also responded by religious organizations in Bangli Regency, remembering that the regency has many temples and sacred areas which are located far from residential areas, making it difficult to monitor.

According to the Head of the Indonesian Hindu Religious Council (PHDI) of Bangli I Nyoman Sukra, one of the solutions to this problem is to increase the attention of temple’s pangemong (caretaker) in maintaining the sanctity of the temple.

“The caretaker to take the responsibility if an outsider enters the temple, ideally it is not that easy to get in and out. Pakemit (guarding the temple at night) must be carried out every day. Everyone who enters the temple must be authorized by the guard or prajuru (village officials), and get monitored,” he said on Thursday.

According to him, the prajuru must have a strict, routine, and sustainable mechanism to take care of the temple. Not just react when problems occur.
The same thing was stated by DPK Peradah Indonesia (Hindu Youth Organization) of Bangli, to anticipate this kind of controversy in the future.

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“It can happen anytime and anywhere, especially in Bangli, that has a lot of temples that far from residential areas, and many are now used as tourist destinations,” said Head of DPK Peradah Bangli I Ketut Eriadi Ariana.

For this reason, he continued, people are expected not to just blame the perpetrator, but to be used as reflection in safeguarding the existing sacred area. Pangemong must be strict in giving access to anyone and do not hesitate to not giving permission to unauthorized persons.

“We recommend that temples should not be used as tourist destinations, even if it should, tourists will only visit Madya Mandala (middle area of temple), not to the Utama Mandala (main area of temple). Every temple or sacred area is important to have related explanatory signs of what tourist can do or don’t, because tourist may behave badly because they do not know or just curious,” he said.

Eriadi hoped that if there were temples or sacred areas used as tourist destinations, the local people should be empowered as guides, thus minimizing the occurrence of unexpected things.

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