Samuan Tiga Temple was built in King Chandrasangka Warmadewa’s reign in the 10th century. This sacred temple was the ancient Warmadewa dynasty’s royal temple. As its name suggests, Balinese people believe Pura Samuan Tiga is a place to meet gods, deities and saints-the word “samuan” means “meeting,” and “tiga” means “three.”
This sacred temple is flanked by two rivers on the east, river Pande and river Tegending, a reminiscent of an old swimming pool on the west side and sacred trees like banyan, pule and curiga that rise around the temple.
In contrast to the three courtyards of other Balinese temples, the temple of Samuan Tiga consists of seven pavilions, divided by the walls and the gates, connected only by the stairs that lead to the innermost courtyard, the conference hall of the gods, gods and saints. This sacred temple’s innermost courtyard has exceptionally numerous shrines compared to other Balinese temple inner courtyards.
As a royal temple, the Samuan Tiga Temple also includes 8 satellite temples around the temple: the Pura Bukit, the Pura Pasar Agung, the Pura Melanting, the Pura Dalem Puri and the Pura Geduh, to the east; the Pura Celanggu, to the south ; the Pura Batan Jeruk / Margibuung, to the west, and the Pura Santrian, to the north.
Pura Samuan Tiga offers an amazing view and a unique architecture, but also numerous unique rituals to celebrate the anniversary of the Temple. There are two unique and rare rituals, siyat sampian, sanghyang jaran, among various rituals held in the temple courtyard during the temple anniversary. Siat Sampian, or sampian war, is one of the oldest rituals held in Pura Samuan Tiga on an annual basis.
During this war, in an almost unconscious state of mind, dozens of female devotees attack each other using young – coconut leaf arrangements (sampian). After them, no less than three hundred male devotees also perform the same sampian war.
Sanghyang Jaran is a type of trance dance, in which the Pemangku (temple priest) or a group of men selected becomes the Sanghyang, a Gandarwa (celestial) on horseback possessed by ancestral goddess. The dance takes place in the temple’s inner courtyard. The entranced dancer takes over the movement of a horse sap into the coals, picks up the hot parts and bathes in fire.
The exceptionally unique temple of Pura Samuan, located in the village of Bedulu, 25 km from Denpasar, 5 km from Ubud and just 400 m from the sanctuary of the Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah).