• Temple ceremonies

    You can visit most of the Balinese temples any time you like. But the most spectacular
    moment is when there is a ceremony going on. The whole experience is one not to forget.

  • Ceking Rice fields

    Just outside Ubud, in the village Ceking you can find one of the most popular rice field
    terraces in Bali, as it is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site.

  • Preparing the fields

    Rice is of great importance for the Balinese hence farmers take great care in preparing the
    fields for the fresh new seedlings. Some with a machine others the old fashion way...

  • Monkey Forest

    Ubud Monkey Forest is the most popular place to visit the sacred monkeys. But there
    are other places where you can meet cheeky monkeys such as Sangeh Forest and Uluwatu temple.

The temple of the defeated Mengwi kingdom...


Mengwi is a little town just 18 kilometers northwest from Denpasar and 8 kilometer southwest of Ubud in the Badung Kabupaten (regency) but is historically one of the most important towns on Bali island as it was once an ancient capital.

In the past several royal families have fought over the kingdom of Mengwi which once stretched from Lake Bratan all the way to Jimbaran. However 1891 it was destroyed by the kings of Tabanan, Bangli, Klungkung and Badung. The 4 divided kingdoms were after the rice fields, coffee plantations and, most importantly, opium which was one of Indonesia's successful export products.

 

mengwi tempe pura taman ayun
The beautiful surroundings of the Royal Temple of Mengwi (Pura Taman Ayun)

 

The highlight of Mengwi village is the Pura Taman Ayun without a doubt. It was built by Mengwi's greatest king, Cokorda Munggu, in the 18th century and used as the royal family temple.

Together with the high priests, the kings (raja) of the Mengwi empire conducted offering ceremonies in the temple to maintain the balance between the ‘creator’ and the ‘destroyer’.

By coincidence we drove past the temple of Mengwi on our way from Lovina to Ubud and it is a real eye-catcher because it is looks as if it is set on an island surrounded by lotus flowers.

 

temple gate at mengwi

 

Many Balinese and travellers alike find Taman Ayung temple one of the most beautiful temples on the island and it is easy to see why. It is surrounded by huge pond and a garden so you have to cross a small bridge to reach it.

Taman Ayun means ‘beautiful flower garden’ and it's no wonder why so many people love this place.

After the bridge you're greeted by the huge 'Candi Bentar', which is the huge carved entrance to the temple.

If you visit the temple you will see that it is divided into several courtyards. As a visitor, you are only allowed to enter the first two where you have some kind of view over the wall to have a peek at the third courtyard.

 

monico at mengwi temple bali
The holy courtyard can be admired when glancing over the wall

 

The first two courtyards were used for gatherings and dance performances. In the corner, on the left hand side is a tower in which you can climb to admire the nice view.

The tower was used to place the drums which called the people together on the temple grounds.

The inner courtyard, "jeroan" is the most sacred area of the temple. From over the wall you can clearly see several pavilions and a stone lotus shrine which is dedicated to the gods Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the protector) and Shiva (the destroyer).

 

religious celebration at mengwi temple bali
Pura Taman Ayun is very busy during important days

On the east side there are a number of temples with various numbers of meru (temple roofs).

The three highest temples are dedicated to the mountain gods: 9 meru are for the God of the Bratan Lake, 11 for the God of Mount Agung and the temple with 9 meru is dedicated to the God of Batur Mountain.

The other temples that have 11 merus are dedicated to the rice goddess Dewi Sri and the God of Batukaru Mountain.

 

courtyard and meru mengwi temple bali
The row of merus in the inner courtyard

You can combined your visit to Pura Taman Ayun on a road trip through Central Bali. Other sights are the rice field terraces such as those in Jatiluwih, the sacred monkey forest in Sangeh and the lakes Bratan, Tamblingan and Buyan.


Home > Central Bali Sight Seeing Sights > Mengwi Temple

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