Pura Taman Ayun @ Bali
Hubby and I visited Bali many years ago and we had been to most of the major tourist attractions such as Tanah Lot, Ubud, Kuta Beach, Tegalalang Rice Terraces and seafood at Jimbaran Bay. So for this recent trip, we only planned a simple itinerary which only covered two temple visits and souvenir shopping on our second day. (Bali Safari was an impromptu plan though)
Picked up by our driver early in the morning and departed to our first destination of Pura Taman Ayun located at Mengwi, Badung which is approximately 50 minutes drive from our hotel at Seminyak.
The entrance – Entering any Hindu temple in Bali requires both men and women to cover their legs below the knee by using a sarong and sarong rental fee is included in the entrance fee (IDR 40k/adult & IDR 10k/kid) at Pura Taman Ayun.
Taman Ayun means beutiful garden in Indonesian and we were greeted by a wide grassy expanse and lush garden landscapes comprised of lotus and fish ponds after pass through the bridge at the entrance.
The temple was built circa 1634 by the then ruler of the Mengwi kingdom, Tjokerda Sakti Blambangan, with a very sophisticated architectural design compared to other temples in Bali. Part of the design was inspired by Chinese architecture and underwent a significant restoration project in 1937.
The large ‘Wantilan’ hall or cockfighting pavilion where the communal gatherings take place.
The temple complex is considered the ‘mother temple’ of Mengwi and it boasts magnificent traditional architectural features. The towering tiers from the temple shrines make up most of the profile of Taman Ayun and those towering tiers are a gesture of the people of Mengwi’s reverence to their deified noble ancestors. It also served as a unifying symbol among the Mengwi royalty and the people.
Walked through a second gate and there is a shelter called Bale Pengubengan with ornamental features that depict the nine Hindu gods that guard the nine points of the compass, referred to as Dewata Nawa Sanga. East of this court is a small temple called Pura Dalem Bekak, while in its western corner is an eight metre-high wooden bell tower known to locals as ‘Bale Kulkul’. A climb up will reveal two hanging rectangular wooden bells, plus a high and spectacular view of the whole complex.
Barong is a lion-like creature and character in the mythology of Bali, Indonesia.
The main sanctum.
The most sacred court – Utama Mandala
The intricately ornate central gate is open only during ceremonies, as the entryway for consecrated heirlooms and other ceremonial paraphernalia. Several tiers of different outlines and sizes rise up into the temple’s skyline. The temple’s three grounds denote the three cosmological levels known to Balinese Hinduism, namely the world of man, the realm of gods and deities, and the topmost divine level. As recounted in the ancient texts of the ‘Adhiparwa’, the whole complex of the Taman Ayun Temple represents Mount Mahameru in the so-called ‘churning of the sea of milk’ or the cosmic formation of the world. The name ‘Taman Ayun’ translates as ‘beautiful garden’. The vast encircling pools were once royal recreational places for the palace maids who would sail small canoes. Now the pools and ponds are fenced and visitors are denied entrance.
Verdict: The unique Balinese architecture such as the gates and towering tiers definitely give Sam a clear glimpse of Hindu sanctuaries. A worth visit temple to put into your Bali itinerary.
Pura Taman Ayun
Jalan Ayodya. No 10. Mengwi village, Mengwi sub district, Badung regency, Bali, Indonesia
Opening Hours: 09:00-16:00
Entrance fee: IDR 40k for adult & IDR 10k for kid