Kehen Temple is situated on a hillside forest around 2 km to the north of Cempaga village in north Bangli, which is located around 45 km from Denpasar. It is also easily accessible from Ubud, around about 40 minutes travel time. The Temple is regarded as one of the finest temples in East Bali and has a sacred Banyan Tree reputed to be over 400 years old within the complex.
As the state temple of the Bangli region, many religious ceremonies take place at the Kahen Temple; every three years in November (Rabu Kliwon Shinta in the Balinese calendar) at the time of full moon (purnama), a major ceremony the Ngusabha is held at the temple with people from around Bali attending the ceremony.
There are some particularly fine statues and paintings within the Kehen Termple complex, commencing with the highly decorated entry with carved guardian statues taken from the Hindu Ramayana classic. There are three courtyard terraces and the sacred Banyan Tree (Waringin-Ficus Benjamina) with a monks cell built up high on a platform in the branches.
The middle courtyard houses the offertory shrines, while the highest courtyard contains an 11-tiered meru with a carved wood and stone base, dedicated to Brahma who protects the temple. On both sides you will notice several much smaller merus; resting places for the mountain gods that come to visit the temple. The elaborate woodwork that can be seen is being restored and repainted by master craftsmen. On the wall below, guides will point out old Chinese plates that were cemented in. Curiously, some of these tiles depict rural England, with a watermill and mail coach drawn by four horses.
If it is not possible to see the great Besakih Mother temple on your visit to Bali, the Kehen Temple is regarded almost as a miniature example of this iconic Balinese landmark & is well worth a visit.