The Magnificent Taman Ayun Temple in Bali
Dating back to approximately 1634, the impressive Taman Ayun Temple is a significant Bali landmark and tourist attraction. It impresses with its rich history and cultural value, as well as its beautiful traditional architecture.
Taman Ayun is a complex of historical buildings, ponds and gardens, and it is situated about ten and a half miles northwest of Denpasar, in the village of Mengwi. Considered the “mother temple” of the village, the complex is dominated by towering tiers that pay homage to the noble local ancestors. It once represented a symbol of connection between the people and their royalty, as no man was supposed to travel and live too far from a main temple like this one.
The temple is divided into four different sections of hierarchical importance. The fourth – called Utama Mandala – is the most sacred of all and ranks the highest. Its central gate only opens for ceremonies, leaving daily access only possible through a different gate to the east.
Entrance to the complex is possible if you pay a modest fee. Aside from the remarkable early Balinese architecture, the place also impresses with its lovely fish ponds and gardens. Actually, the name of the temple means “beautiful garden”. You will discover larger surrounding pools in the complex, but access to them is now restricted. They used to be preferred recreational spots among palace maidens, who would sail their small canoes on their waters.
After you’ve taken in all the fascinating views and stories behind the Taman Ayun Temple, you can get an even more in-depth incursion into the local culture at the Manusa Yadnya Museum located opposite the temple. Here you can learn about local Hindu rituals and mystic rites of passage that are captivating to say the least.