Situated in the centre ofMataram, Pura Meru is the largest Hindu temple on Lombok. Completed in 1720,the temple was built under the patronage of a Balinese prince who sought tostrengthen ties between the islands of Bali and Lombok. Pura Meru is a stunningexample of Balinese architecture and is the perfect window into the spirituallife of Lombok’s Hindu minority.
Enter the outer courtyardand look for the hall containing wooden clappers and drums used for calling thefaithful to celebrations. Pura Meru is dedicated to the three gods that formthe Hindu trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Step into the inner courtyard andstand before the three main meru (multi-tiered shrines). The central 11-tiermeru is dedicated to Shiva, while the nine-tier meru belongs to Vishnu and theseven-tiered to Brahma. The three meru are also believed to representIndonesia’s largest volcanoes, Gunung Bromo, Agung and Rinjani. Look around thecourtyard to find more than 30 other smaller shrines dedicated to various Hindudeities.
Pura Meru is an activetemple so remain respectful at all times, particularly when worshippers arepresent laying offerings of incense, fruit and flowers. Remember to bring asarong or sash to wear or rent one for a small fee at the entrance. The templegets particularly busy during Hindu full moon celebrations each June.
After exploring the sereneenvirons of Pura Meru, head just across the road to the cool tranquility ofthe Mayura Water Palace. Here, in the centre of a broad man-made lake floats a Balinese-stylepavilion which once served as a meeting place and court of law during the timeof Balinese rule.
Pura Meru is convenientlysituated in the centre of Mataram. It is easily accessed by public transport ortaxi. The temple is open daily, closing before sundown.