Balinese are religious people, most of them are devout Hindus. This is reflected in everyday life there. You can still see they do their daily rituals in almost all places on the island. They tend to respect their nature, they even have several sacred trees. They don’t worship the trees per se, but they respect it as a place to connect with their deities.
Balinese show huge respect toward nature. That is why you probably see shrines near sacred trees in Bali. Not every tree has the quality to be considered sacred. However, there are some that are believed to be sacred trees in Bali. Here are some of them.
Banyan tree is considered sacred in many cultures, especially in Southeast Asia. Many believe that this tree is the favorite place for spiritual beings to stay. This is the tree that that you can see in most city squares in java. It has can grow into a huge tree with hanging root. In Bali, there are many popular banyan trees. Bunut Bolong is one of the most famous ones. The other is the very old tree in Banjar Batu, Batubulan. It is roughly 500 years old.
In most cases, the sacred kepuh tree is mostly the big ones. The shape is almost similar to kapok tree. However, kepuh has a unique fruit. The shape of the fruit can be a bit scary. When it is ripe enough, it cracks open and shows teeth-like seeds. When seeing them, you will probably remember the devil’s mouth. One of the most popular sacred kepuh tree in Bali is the one near Ngurah Rai Airport. That old tree was part of the Tegal Melakang Temple that was relocated.
Technically a giant grass, bamboo is a versatile tree and has an important role in Indonesia. Bamboo is useful, even from still being shoot to old ones. It has a role as foods as well as furniture. In Bali, bamboo clusters and forest are considered sacred. One of the most popular bamboo forests is in Penglipuran Village, the cleanest village in the world. The bamboo forest there has been kept for centuries.
In Balinese, gedang means papaya. Not all papaya variant is sacred. Only the renteng one is sacred. The easiest way to notice a gedang renteng is that there are many flowers coming from a long stem. In normal papaya, the flower, as well as the fruit, tend to be really close with the main trunk. Balinese believe that gedang renteng tree is the resting place of leak, a sinister spiritual being.