By Widi Rantawan, Country Manager, Indonesia
The holy spring temple of Sudamala is one of the most popular sites for the local Balinese to conduct their purification ritual, a tradition that has been in practice for over a thousand years on the island of Bali. Such a ritual normally takes place around a sacred natural spring. Many elderly people come here for the ceremony every day.
The 18th-century temple is located at the bottom of a small valley, where access in the past required a hike through some slippery slopes and several steep flights of stairs without railings. While such obstacles did not prevent the locals from conducting this ritual, they posed some physical challenges, especially for the elderly pilgrims who struggled to walk up and down.
For our community service project, we built a 260-foot metal hand railing on the staircase leading from the temple’s parking lot to the purification site by the river. In addition to the funds donated by Grand Circle Foundation, a contractor from the village donated 50% of the value of the project. In addition, five staff members from one of our local partner organizations donated a day of labor to the site, joining myself, five O.A.T. Trip Experience Leaders and local guides, and ten villagers to get the job done.
Thanks to our community service project, access to the temple will be much safer, especially for the elderly. More people will be able to attend this important ritual, and they will be able to conduct it much more happily.
Experience the deep spiritual traditions of Bali when you join O.A.T. for Java & Bali: Indonesia’s Mystical Islands.