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Volcanic Stone of Mount Agung in Karangasem Regency Is Used as Holy Shrine in Bali

12 Januari 2009

The Mount Agung in Bali where Besakih Temple located in foot of mountain explosion in 1963 damaged some villages around the mountain. The explosion caused many deaths and loss of property as houses and fields covered with hot and cold lava.

More than 30 years has passed and the Mount Agung eruption does not have any effect now for the villagers around Mount Agung, especially at Muncan village. There are many black stones as a reminder of the eruption, and these are exploited as a source of income. Black stone, which is well known as tabas stone, is used as a building material for houses and pelinggih. Pelinggih is a shrines or holy places for worship in the Balinese Hindu community. Now these volcanic stone supply a great income for the Muncan villagers. Almost all villagers in this village earn their living selling pelinggih and building materials made from tabas stone. The tabas stones are taken from Kubu and Uma Anyar villages. Large stones are cut by a cutting machine into several smaller pieces. They are then refined, formed, and finally piled up in the shape of pelinggih like padmasana (an important shrine that is found in many temples. It has an empty chair for Sang Hyang Widhi or for God on the top, the shrine should have an eight-leafed lotus, one leaf for each of the gods of the eight directions) or kemulan (an important roofed shrine, usually on the east side in the family temple; it has three horizontal compartments for Brahma, Wisnu, and Iswara gods). The stone is sold in a rectangle shape if it is used as building materials.

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