Pura Taman Ayun is a compound of Balinese temple and garden with water features located in Mengwi subdistrict in Badung Regency, Bali. Bali being the only Hindu island in Indonesia has preserved the minute details of the religion to such an extent which is often neglected in the religion’s birth place >India. Maybe the identity crisis as a result of loss of a rich Hindu culture gradually over centuries in the rest of the country has paved the way for overprotection, but any way it is exemplary .
The Balinese temples have a typical architecture meru (multi-tiered shrines), and this temple is not an exception. Taman hyun meaning the beautiful garden, is appropriate for the vast green serene piece of earth. The inner courtyard has a multitude of meru . Lotus-blossoms fill the pools; the temple is part of the subak (complex rice-field irrigation system) sites recognised by Unesco in 2012
Jaba jero, the third and most holy courtyard of the temple in which the most important shrines are located, is only accessible during important religious ceremonies, such as the odalan – the day on which the inauguration of the temple is commemorated. The odalan of the Taman Ayun temple takes place every 210 days on a day called Anggara Kasih, the Tuesday of the week Medangsia of the Balinese Pawukon calendar.
Built in circa 1634 by the then ruler of the Mengwi kingdom, the tiers from the temple shrines make up most of the profile of Taman Ayun and are a gesture of the people of Mengwi’s reverence to their deified noble ancestors. The temple complex is considered the ‘mother temple’ of Mengwi. The Taman Ayun Temple was to serve as a main site of worship among the Mengwi people who need not travel too far to the main large temples It also served as a unifying symbol among the Mengwi royalty and the people. As a place rich in cultural, religious and ethnical traditions, Hindu temples of Bali are unmissable attractions. There is a nominal entrance fee , collected to maintain the premises.
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