This is the story of the origin of the temple Besakih, the biggest temple in Bali. Previously there was only a massive jungle in this place. The island of Bali and the island of Java was still become one island that has not been separated by the strait Bali (Segara Rupek). And formerly known as Long Island (Pulau Dawa). And be told also that in East Java, in the Rawang mountain (now known as Raung mountain), there is a yogi or hermit named Resi Markandeya.
He comes from Hindustan (India), which is referred to by his followers as a Batara Giri Rawang because he is very wise, spiritual sanctity, and very skillful. Initially Resi Markandeya live as an ascetic at Demulung mountain, then moved to the Hyang mountain (now known as Diyeng mountain in Central Java).
so long he became an ascetic, he received an orders from God ( in Hindu called as Sang Hyang Whidi Wasa) to bring his followers to open the new land at the jungle on the island of dawa, and distribute them to his followers.
Resi Markandeya execute the decree and immediately set off to the east with his followers, approximately 8,000 people. After arriving at the destination place, Resi Markandeya told his followers to begin to cut down the trees at the forest.
While they do their work, many followers of the Resi Markandeya sick and died, and many also dead by wild animal bite. It is believed to be because they start to work without preceded by the ceremony. Encroachment is stopped and Resi Markandeya back to his hermitage. For some time Resi Markandeya living in Raung mountain.
At the time that is considered good, Resi Markandeya want to continue the encroachment , accompanied by other Resi and ascetics to perform a ceremony so the encroachment blessed by God . This time Resi Markandeya invites 4,000 of his followers who came from the Raung mountain and carrying agricultural tools including seeds to be planted in that place.
After reaching that place, Resi Markandeya and the other hermit doing a meditation, presenting the ceremony Dewa Yadnya (offerings to the Gods) and bhuta yadnya (offerings to the Bhuta Kala). After the ceremony was over, they started clearing the forest and this time went very smoothly. And after the new land which opened was enough, Resi Markandeya began to distribute them to his followers. Some opened as new rice fields and plantations.
The place that became the beginning of the encroachment, Resi Markandeya planted a jar of water, and also pancadatu (metal in the form of gold, silver, copper, iron and bronze) accompanied by Permata Mirah Adi (main gem) and a ceremony which is equipped with a splash of holy water (Tirta).
The place where these stuffs are planted called as Basuki which is believed to be the origin of the name Besakih. And commonly now for each Hindus in Bali, before they start to build something like a home, office, temples and others, first they do is a ceremony which is called as Mendem pedagingan.