Long, Long Ago , back in the far misty memory of time, there was an East Indian priest named Rsi Markandeya. It was in the 8th century that this priest, according to a “Lontar” (traditional palm leaf book), set off on spiritual journey, walking across the island of Java to spread the teachings of Hinduism.
Eventually, he and his large group of followers reached the island of Bali and attempted to settle in the vicinity of Taro (a locale north of Ubud). Unluckily, they were struck down by a cholera epidemic and many perished. Rsi Markandeya led the surviving devotees back to Java, where they re-grouped and after a while made their way to Bali again, although this time their number was somewhat diminished.
Upon returning to Bali, the priest was drawn to a place where the two branches of the river Wos converged, pulled there by the intense energy and light which emanated from this spot. Rsi Markandeya was inspired to meditate there and while doing so, received a strong message from the Gods. They told him to proceed to Mount Agung (Bali’s center of spirituality), and there he was to bury five precious metals (Panca Datu) in the ground as a foundation of power for the temple of Besakih (known in Bali as the Mother Temple).
This he and his followers did, and afterwards they returned to settle in the spiritually potent location where the two rivers joined, known as Campuhan. There, in that mystical vortex of nature, he and his faithful followers constructed a temple and they named it Pura Gunung Lebah.
Now growing along the banks of the two rivers were many kinds of plants with marvelous healing qualities, so they christened their new home UBAD, which translated to the healing place or medicine.
Through the following centuries and continuing up to the present time, many Hindu devotees have come regularly to this special place to meditate, bathe and take some of the holy water for cleansing rituals and temple ceremonies. With the passing of time, the name UBAD gradually evolved to the name UBUD.
(c) Written by Debora Crowley