Lombok’s largest temple features three towering shrines dedicated to both the Hindu trinity and Indonesia’s highest volcanoes.
Situated in the centre of Mataram, 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 to strengthen ties between the islands of Bali and Lombok. Pura Meru is a stunning example of Balinese architecture and is the perfect window into the spiritual life of Lombok’s Hindu minority.
Enter the outer courtyard and look for the hall containing wooden clappers and drums used for calling the faithful to celebrations. Pura Meru is dedicated to the three gods that form the Hindu trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Step into the inner courtyard and stand before the three main meru (multi-tiered shrines). The central 11-tier meru is dedicated to Shiva, while the nine-tier meru belongs to Vishnu and the seven-tiered to Brahma. The three meru are also believed to represent Indonesia’s largest volcanoes, Gunung Bromo, Agung and Rinjani. Look around the courtyard to find more than 30 other smaller shrines dedicated to various Hindu deities.
Pura Meru is an active temple so remain respectful at all times, particularly when worshippers are present laying offerings of incense, fruit and flowers. Remember to bring a sarong or sash to wear or rent one for a small fee at the entrance. The temple gets particularly busy during Hindu full moon celebrations each June.
After exploring the serene environs of Pura Meru, head just across the road to the cool tranquillity of the Mayura Water Palace. Here, in the centre of a broad man-made lake floats a Balinese-style pavilion which once served as a meeting place and court of law during the time of Balinese rule.
Pura Meru is conveniently situated in the centre of Mataram. It is easily accessed by public transport or taxi. The temple is open daily, closing before sundown.