Eka Dasa Rudra

Eka Dasa Rudra

Once every 100 years
Eka Dasa Rudra is a series of processions, ceremonies, and sacrifices held every 100 years at Pura Besakih, the "mother temple" of Bali, Indonesia. The temple, which comprises about 30 separate temples honoring a great variety of Balinese and Hindu gods, was probably built about 1,000 years ago and is on the slopes of the volcanic mountain, Gunung ("Mount") Agung.
On March 17, 1963, the Eka Dasa Rudra was under way when Agung catastrophically erupted and killed more than 1,500 people. Since the sacrifices were interrupted, the Eka Dasa Rudra was started again 16 years later and completed in the period from late February to early May of 1979. Images of gods were carried 19 miles down the mountain to be washed in the sea: entire villages gathered along the route. In all, it is estimated that more than 100,000 people participated in the ritual. The climax came during the Taur rites when 23 priests offered prayers and sacrificed animals—ranging from an eagle to an anteater—to appease forms of Rudra, a Hindu demonic manifestation. Thousands of pilgrims traveled by truck and foot to Besakih.
The complex Balinese religion is largely a blend with Hinduism; the majority of Balinese hold to the Bali Hindu faith, also known as Agama Tirtha.
CONTACTS:
The Embassy of The Republic of Indonesia
2020 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
202-775-5200; fax: 202-775-5365
www.embassyofindonesia.org
SOURCES:
EncyRel-1987, vol. 2, p. 48