The Mother Temple for Balinese Hindus, Besakih, at the foot of Gunung Agung, is a popular day trip inland for foreign visitors staying on the coast. Come in clear weather (most common at the height of the dry summer season in July–August when the mountain’s dramatic form is revealed in all its unearthly splendour), and the experience is guaranteed to be a magical one. Crowds of worshippers laden with floral offerings file around the site’s 20 different temples and innumerable subsidiary shrines, spread over a 3km area and interconnected by ascending terraces, colonnaded walkways, long, steep flights of steps and ceremonial gateways.

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