Bali is known as the island of a million temples. In addition to being a place of worship for Hindus, pura or temple is also a tourist spot that is targeted by tourists, both local and foreign. Although this place of worship is also used as a tourist site, there are still some written rules that must be followed by visitors. One of the most common rules is the prohibition of entering temples for women who are on their periods or menstruating.
In fact, it is not only Hinduism which forbids women from entering places of worship. There are also other religions that teach the same thing. The main reason, menstrual blood is considered ‘dirty’, so that it can make the temple become impure. Not only women during menstruation that are prohibited from entering the temple. Men or women who are in "cuntaka", or recently having a deceased family member, also may not enter the temple. They were only allowed to enter the temple again 12 days after the Ngaben ceremony. Also, couples who have babies under the age of 6 months, are also not allowed to enter the temple.
According to the story from generation to generation, there are negative effects if you are determined to enter the temple during menstruation or during cuntaka. Many women experience pain and faint while in the temple. Reportedly, there are also mystical events that can befall menstruating women in temples, such as possession. According to the Balinese, these negative things happened because Dewa and Bhatara were angry if their house was dirty.
In fact, the negative incident did not only happen to women who entered the temple during menstruation, but also the residents around. The residents around the temple could be affected by natural disasters and diseases. To overcome these negative effects, the community must perform a ritual of guru piduka as a form of apology, with the considerable sacrifice of material.
After reading the information above, now you understand why women who are menstruating aren’t allowed to enter the temple. Wherever we are, we certainly have to obey and respect every existing belief. As good tourists, we should maintain our attitude towards the prevailing local culture and maintain the cleanliness of the surrounding environment.
If you are menstruating while on holiday in Bali, don't worry! There are many other entertainment spots around the temple, such as watching traditional dance performances.