Taman Ayun, translated literally as “beautiful garden” is probably one of the most underrated temple complexes in Bali. Compared to other Hindu Balinese temples such as Tanah Lot and Uluwatu, Taman Ayun receives far less visitors, which, when you see for yourself, will make you wonder why that is. With its well-kept shrines, ornately designed gates, and beautiful gardens, this temple should be on the top of your list of places to visit in Bali.
1. Taman Ayun Temple was first built in 1634 by I Gusti Agung Putu (later known as Tjokorda Sakti Blambangan), the Raja of Mengwi, who commissioned a Chinese architect for its construction. Due to this, elements of Chinese architectural inspirations can be seen in its design.
2. Taman Ayun is bordered by canals accessible through a bridge which leads to the candid betar–an ornately designed gate at the center of the complex.
3. It was intended to serve as the main worship place for the Mengwi people who need not travel far to larger temples. The temple also serves as a unifying symbol among the Mengwi royalty and the people.
4. Similar to other Hindu Balinese temples, the Taman Ayun complex is divided into different sections with one ranking higher than the other. From the outer courtyard to the most sacred inner courtyard (jeroan).
5. Considered as the most sacred part of Taman Ayun is Utama Mandala, the last courtyard. While the entrance to the central gate is only used during ceremonies, tourists are allowed to use the East gate for daily access. This gives everyone the chance to view daily rituals and appreciate its architectural beauty.
6. Taman Ayun has been restored multiple times, with large scale restorations done in 1937. Succeeding restorations were done in 1945–when a large “wantilan” hall was added for communal gatherings and cockfights. Recent renovations were done in 1972 and 1976 as well.
7. The total size of the complex is measured at 100 meters (length) x 250 meters (width), which does not include the surrounding pools.
The Manila Project
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