A Hindu temple of great historical and cultural importance for the Balinese people, Pura Penataran Sasih, in the village of Pejeng, contains ancient remnants of immense archeological value. Nekara Pejeng is an enormous nekara, the sacred instrument used in the past during traditional ceremonies to conjure rain in the fields and, today, used to invoke peace and well-beong. It is found in a building in the principal courtyard of the temple, it is made of bronze and in the shape of a drum, almost two-metres high. It is decorated with symbols, objects and images of animals with sacred meaning and is the largest drum forged as a single piece in the entire world, another reason for its being considered of such important archeological value. Hindus often refer to the nekara with the name of Moon Goddess (in fact, it is also called the “Moon of Pejeng"), which, according to legend, fell to the Earth to illuminate both day and night, warding off evil-doers. One of these bad folks tried to turn it off but the moon exploded and, falling, became a drum. Within the temple, there are also other sacred objects, stones and various statues dating back to the period between the X and XII Centuries, each tied to Balinese culture. Among these, is a four-sided sculpture representing the divinity Brahma, whose face is oriented towards the four cardinal points. A plaque at the entrance informs visitors that the temple was founded in 1266 A.C: and it includes another four palebaan besides the principal Penataran Sasih. In the northern section are the temples Bale Agung, Taman Sari and Ratu Pasek, while the southern section is home to the Mother Temple. Statues of elephants and dragons outside the entrance gate welcome visitors passionate about archeology but, more importantly, practicing Hindus seeking a perfect place to pray. During religious festivals, it is possible to see the famed sacred dance Sang Hyang Jaran.
Traditional shadow play, guided by a lively puppeteer, introduces the public to local folklore.