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Blahbatu

The Pura Gaduh of this market village is associated with Kebo lwa, a legendary personality famous for his size, strength and magical power. Many landmarks and buildings are attributed to him, including the original gate of this temple. Enshrined in a small pavilion is a massive stone head over a meter high, said to be a portrait of Kebo lwa. The head cannot be dated precisely and does not resemble usual Hindu-Javanese iconography; it is probably solely Balinese in creation.

Kebo lwa was a high official of the last king of Bedulu before the Majapahit conquest in 1343. Gajah Mada, the great prime minister of Majapahit, realizing he could never conquer Bali while Kebojwa lived, enticed him to Java with the profile of a beautiful princess, and had him killed. The present temple is a reconstruction following the earthquake of 1917. Many of the statues are unfinished; some carvings are on the main stairs.

 

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