by Barrie | November 20th, 2010 Tweet
Being set within a large growth of nutmeg (pala) trees, Pura Bukit Sari was built in the 17th century as a meditation temple by the son of the King of Mengwi but now it is an irrigation or subak temple. It is definitely an eerie temple and especially at sunrise when the monkeys come down to feed as the streaks of early morning light filter through the trees canopy.
There is an intriguing local legend attached to the monkey forest: The forest was created when Rama’s general, the monkey king Hanuman, attempted to annihilate Rama’s enemy Rawana and his army by squashing them between two halves of Mount Meru. In the process of doing so part of the mountain fell to earth at Sangeh along with hordes of Hanuman’s army monkeys just left clinging to the nutmeg trees and the result being the creation of Bukit Sari.
Intriguing as this legend is, if you retain this in your mind as you walk the path that runs clockwise through the forest and down to the river then it is your imagination that could re-create the legend for you.