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Destination: Taman Ayun, The Royal Temple of Mengwi

Destination: Taman Ayun, The Royal Temple of Mengwi

Taman Ayun Temple is a landmark in the village of Mengwi, Badung regency, which is also known as the Royal Temple of Mengwi. It is one of the most known and important temples on the island. This temple complex displays incredible traditional architectural features, made even more charming by the extensive garden landscapes and ponds.


Aside from the beauty, this temple also owns significant historical values that the local government decided to propose to UNESCO to consider Taman Ayun Temple to make it to the World Heritage List.
Ever since it was built, Taman Ayun Temple has performed the sacred role of a Mother Temple to the people of the area which was once known as the Mengwi Kingdom.


This temple was built by the king who ruled Mengwi circa 1634. In 1937, Tjokorda Sakti Blambangan, who was then the ruler of the Mengwi royal family, decided on a huge restoration and renovation project for the temple. Combining Chinese architectural inspirations with the Balinese traditional features, the restoration and renovation has brought us to the today’s version of this unique temple.


The temple underwent two more renovations in 1949 and 1972 which on some level makes this temple seem to be a bit new to date all the way back to 17th century when it was originally built.


Being the Mother Temple to the communities who live in the area, Taman Ayun Temple was to serve as a main site of worship among the Mengwi people, so they had another option than to travel the distance to Besakih ‘mother temple’ in Karangasem, Batukaru Temple in Tabanan, or Batur Temple in Kintamani. It also symbolized the unity between the Mengwi royalty and the people.


As most Balinese Hindu temples, this temple also consists of four courts. This beautiful site consists of a forecourt a central court and an inner court. A stone gateway separated the forecourt from the central court. The inner court is protected by stone walls.


The outer yard is referred to as ‘Jaba’. This is where we find ourselves once entering the temple area right after we pass the grass and ponds. This part of the temple has a small guardian shrine as well as a hall called wantilan, which is used for offering preparations or gatherings before ceremonies.

The next part of the temple consists of a small temple compound which is called Pura Luhuring Purnama. Moving on to the inner part of the temple, you would notice that the surface of the structure is slightly higher than the previous ones. On the east side of the compound there is a small temple called Pura Dalem Bekak. And in the corner west from the temple, you can see a Bale Kulkul, which is a traditional wooden bell tower.
 

The temple shelters a total of 50 shrines and pavilions, dedicated to different spirits and gods.

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