The temple of Taman Ayun, in Bali's Mengwi district, has long been known as a well-frequented tourist spot.
This temple is classified as the central temple of the kingdom, while according to the genealogical
investigations, it is one that for ancestor worship that deviates in form from the temples of Pangelengan temple,
Bukit Bon temple, Sakenan temple, Uluwatu temple, Sada temple and other similar ones.
The name of the temple "Taman Ayun" means
beautiful garden, and we know that I Gusti Agung Anom, a founder of the Mengwi kingdom in 1634, established the temple.
We know also that the temple and grounds were skillfully restored and renovated in later years, giving it the
present appearance which tourists find so attractive and interesting. Actually built on a fairly high tableland
site, which is surrounded by lotus ponds, the temple's position if seen from a far, is as if it's floating on
the surface of the water. The temple faces south, on its eastern side is one of the main roads to Denpasar (the
road that passes through Bedugul on its way to Singaraja), in front of the temple is a road that joins up with the
road to the Sangeh Monkey Forest. A birds-eye view of the temple would reveal an open stage which functions as a place for Balinese cultural performances.
There are many interesting features of both the temple its self,
as well as' the area of the grounds. Many people visit this temple because its an ideal recreation garden, the
air is cool and the place has a calm tranquil feeling about it. The still waters provide a safe protected
environment for all sorts of aquatic life, which live in the ponds. The temple complex comprises of three ground
areas, which rise in levels. In the most external one to the complex, is the "bale wantilan"
(a general purpose hall), this place is used for all sorts of events, religious ceremonies, as well as for
staging performances and for cock fighting. To the west there is a decorative fountain with water pouring down
all around it. Building called Padma Sana, the temple and others. The central section is surrounded by a small
pond, this the complete section of the temple is symbolical of the great Mandhara Mountain (Mandhara Giri), turning in a sea of milk.
The temple buildings are filled with interesting decorations and relief's Because of the fairly recent
restoration in 1937. As previously mentioned. The building, are not of the old style. This tourist
attraction is not difficult to find, it's about 18 km from Denpasar, on the road that goes to Singaraja via Bedugul.
The Mengwi crossroads is just before the. road starts the long
climb upwards towards Bedugul, and it is at this crossroads that you must turn right (assuming, In the central grounds is a building called the
"bale pelik", it is beautifully carved with interesting relief's and statues of the nine gods ("Dewa
Nawa Sanga"). In the innermost courtyard there are 29 buildings, which function as palaces for the gods and goddesses, as well
as other buildings, which house religious regalia used in ceremonies. This is also the case with the multi
roofed structures, (some of them having up toll of these special roofs called "meru meru"), of course, that you are coming up from Denpasar). The
temple and its large grounds will be found on your left, very close to the crossroads. There is temple parking for
all types of transport. To offer some further information, each afternoon a show is held at the temple of Taman Ayun. There you can see the Barong dance, a
cockfight and see and hear the playing of the Balinese "Tektekan" a bamboo percussion instrument).