Pura Taman Ayun

Bali 2010 – Pura Taman Ayun


I have posted on Bali before as I was first blessed with an opportunity to visit the island in 2006. I had earlier written about its Beaches, the handicraft centre and peaceful paddy fields of Ubud and on Balinese Culture.  Do visit the links to enjoy even more photos and info.

As early as the 9th Century AD, it was already recorded that Buddhism and Hinduism had become major influences in what is today, Indonesia.  The height of Hinduism’s influence was during the reign of the Hindu Empire of Majapahit (circa 1290-1500).  Bali fell to the power of the Majapahit empire in 1343.  Later, as the Majapahit Empire began to crumble under pressure from the rise of many small Islamic Kingdoms in Java and finally falling in 1515, many dedicated Hindu believers including priests, craftsmen, artisans and nobles fled to the sanctuary of Bali.  This exodus of talent into Bali helped create Bali’s golden age and its current rich religious, cultural and artistic heritage.

However, Bali’s Hinduism is quite different from other forms of Hinduism.  It has developed its own unique form as it blended Hinduism, Buddhism, animism and local beliefs in spirits and demons.  In their belief system, good and evil (or positive and negative) is always at odds but neither will triumph over the other, instead what is sought after is a balance or equilibrium point between the two forces.  So they seek this balance in their elaborate rituals and in their many temples or puras.

For today’s post, I would like to share with you, my experience of visiting Pura Taman Ayun in the foothills of Western Bali.  It is located about 18 km north-west of  Denpasar and about 8km south-west of Ubud.  Pura Taman Ayun was built in 1634 by the Raja of Mengwi, I Gusti Agung Putu and is known as a ‘Pura Kawiten’ or family temple.  This is a special temple where the deified ancestors of the Raja Dynasty of Mengwi and important gods of other temples are honored.

It also has the reputation of being one of Bali’s prettiest temples and is known as the “Garden Temple”.  In fact, “Taman Ayun” actually means “beautiful garden”.

Key features of the Temple is that it is surrounded by an outer moat.  There is also an inner moat and a low wall which surrounds the inner temple complex.  Tourists are not permitted into the inner complex but the low wall is not an obstacle to good views of the inner complex and there are also a couple of vantage points.  To the front of the temple are some well kept open grass fields and to the rear are some more natural forest and gardens.  Very picturesque with the water filled moat on either side.  It was one of the more peaceful temple sites.  Few tourist venture to the garden and forest at the back which makes it quite a serene experience.

Pura Taman Ayun
Entrance to Pura Taman Ayun (Photo by LGS)
Pura Taman Ayun
Candi or Gate to Inner Temple Courtyard (Photo by LGS)
Pura Taman Ayun
The Front Gardens (Photo by LGS)
Pura Taman Ayun
Inner Temple Court (Photo by LGS)
Inner Moat (Photo by LGS)
Pura Taman Ayun
Outer Moat and Gardens (Photo by LGS)
Pura Taman Ayun
A Balinese Bale in the Temple Gardens (Photo by LGS)
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11 thoughts on “Bali 2010 – Pura Taman Ayun”

  1. Wow LGS your pictures are magnificent and very interesting information. Indonesia is on my list of countries stil to see so now I can fill on more details. Have a good day Here the rain is pouring

  2. What a beautiful place. It looks really, really hot and humid there. Was it? Coincidentally, this weekend’s travel feature in the Globe & Mail newspaper was on Bali!

  3. Joyce,
    Thanks. Glad you like them. Hope you will continue to visit.

    geewits,
    It was one of the best holidays that I have had for awhile.

    XUP,
    It certainly was warm and humid. Temperature was about 32 celsius and I was soaked but there was always a breeze which made it more bearable.

  4. Ohmygoodness, Calvin, that looks absolutely gorgeous…! I can feel the warm air just looking at those pictures.

    One question — why is the water brown?

  5. Jo,
    It was very warm. The water in many tropical countries is brown. Due to heavy rainfall, much of the land consists of highly eroded soils which wash easily into rivers and water bodies. So if there is any exposed land, there will be a great amount of soils that will be washed by the rain which will make the water murky brown.

    Molly,
    You understand me so well. Yes, I needed to uncoil that brain of mine.

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