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Bali Blog - Article About Bali Holiday Island

Taman Ayun Temple Bali

24 July 2010

Pura Taman Ayun is a beautifully appointed temple, with its own surrounding moat, in the village at Mengwi, 18 kilometers west of Denpasar Bali, take about 1 hour drive from Ngurah Rai Airport, Bali. The history of this temple is closely associated with the beginning of the Kingdom of Mengwi, in 1627 B.C. It was built in 1634 AD at the time at the rule of the first Raja of Mengwi, I Gusti Agung Ngurah Made Agung, who later become known as Ida Cokorda Sakti Belambangan.

As the Royal Family temple of the Raja of Mengwi, this temple is a place to worship the Royal ancestors, who find their rest in a special shrine known as the “Gedong Paibon”. Following the Pattern of most Balinese temples, Pura Taman Ayun has three connecting temple yards. The innermost sanctum is known as “Utama Mandala’ (the highest circle), the middle yard as “Madia Mandala” (the circle in between) and the outer yard as ‘Nista Mandala (the humblest circle). To enter the main sanctum one must pass through a raised Gateway, known as the Kori Agung (Paduraksa), and the gateway between the outer and middle connect in a split gate, known as “Candi Bentar”.

Apart from the “Gedong Paibon”, dedicated to one ancestor, in the middle courtyard are other shrines dedicated to the various main temples of Bali. These shrines were built by the Raja to ensure that his Kingdom and people would be able to share in the prosperity and fertility of the nation, and also to enable all the people at Mengwi; to conduct the religious ceremonies at the temple, such as “meajar-ajar”, memendak sang Pitara” and to request holy water to protect the rice fields from pestilence, etc.

There is also another shrine on the middle courtyard dedicated to the “Pasek Badak” a famous here of bygone days from the Raja’s troops. The extensive temple grounds of Tarnan Ayun also function as a resting place for the Royal family. Covering 4 hectares of land, the temple surrounded by a large most, which used to be full of lotus and lily flowers of all colors, and around the edges of the moat can be found frangipani, cempaka, kenanga & other perfumed flowering trees, as well as mango stein, durian, mango and rambutan fruit trees.

The temple has always been strongly influenced by the ups and downs at the Kingdom of Mengwi. In 1890 there was a war between the Rajas of Badung and Mengwi. Raja Mengwi “I Gusti Made Agung” lost the battle, and had to retreat to escape with life in to the bordering eastern district. During the rule of the victorious Raja of Badung the temple was never looked after properly, and the temple buildings deteriorated due to lack of care. In the year 1911 AD, part of the Royal Family returned to their family seat at Mengwi, and Pura Taman Ayun was restored. However at 20 January 1917 a violent earth-quake damaged many of the existing buildings. Repairs have been done in stages to return the temple to its original condition. The temple festival at Pura Taman Ayun falls every 210 days on a day known as “Selasa Kliwon Wuku Mendangsia”. Many tourists used to visit the temple.

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