Information before you go
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
If you are driving from Ubud to Lovina you will pass Bedugul. Why not stop and visit this park were you can climb up the trees and admire the world from above.Read more
This temple is not fully accessible for visitors but there are three reasons why you should still go: the cheeky monkeys, the Kecak performance and the amazing view.Read more
It might be the most famous temple in Bali due to its location close to the big tourist villages and also for being built right in the sea. Accessible at low tide only.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.