Taman Ayun Temple is situated in Mengwi Village of Badung District, around 18 km to the west of Denpasar. It is a very beautiful temple, as the name tells (Taman Ayun means temple in a beautiful garden). In addition to its beauty, Taman Ayun Temple is also considered to have historical values, which makes the regional government of Bali suggests the UNESCO in 2002 that this temple is included in World Heritage List.
Taman Ayun Temple is a Mother Temple (Paibon) to Mengwi Kingdom. Taman Ayun Temple was built by Mengwi King, I Gusti Agung Putu, in the Javanese year of 1556 (1634 AD). Initially, I Gusti Agung Putu built a temple to the north of Mengwi village to the worship of his ancestors. Taman Ayun Temple was named Genter Park. When Mengwi grew into a big kingdom, I Gusti Agung Putu moved Genter Park eastward and expand the compound. The expanded Taman Ayun Temple was officially declared on Kliwon Tuesday – Medangsia the fourth month in the Javanese year of 1556. Until today, each Kliwon Tuesday of wuku Medangsia in Javanese calendar (Saka), a piodalan (ceremony) is held in Taman Ayun Temple to celebrate the temple’s anniversary.
Taman Ayun Temple has gone through a number of restoration works. Large scale restoration was implemented in 1937. In 1949, restoration work was done to the kori agung (the grand room), Bentar temple. A big wantilan was also constructed during the time. The third restoration was implemented in 1972, followed by the final restoration in 1976. Taman Ayun Temple complex is 100 meters in length and 250 meters in width. The complex comprises an outer court and three inner courts. The inner courts, sided with stone fences, have different elevations, and the inner most is the highest one.
The outer court Taman Ayun Temple, also known as Jaba, is situated at the outer side of the pool. There is a bridge over the pool to connect the outer court to the inner ones. At the end of the bridge, on the inner court side, there is a Bentar gate followed by a pathway leading to the inner courts. There are two giant statues at each end of the bridge. At the left side of the pathway Taman Ayun Temple, near the gate, there is some sort of a small guardhouse. Here, at the first inner court, there is a Wantilan (a sort of hall) at which some ceremonies usually take place, including a cockfight, which is also part the ritual ceremonies at the temple.
There is a pathway lying across the first inner court and dividing it into two parts, connecting the gate into the first inner court to the one into the second inner court. To the southwest, there is a round gazebo at which one can have a rest and enjoy the beauty of the temple. There is a pond near the gazebo covered with water lilies. Right at the center of the pond, there is a small post that sprinkles water to nine different directions. To the east, there is a cluster of small temples called Luhuring Purnama Temples.
There is a gate at the end of the pathway Taman Ayun Temple dividing the first inner court into two. The gate leads to the second inner court, which is situated on a higher ground than the first one. Across from the gate, on the second inner court, there is a building functioning as a partition. The partition Taman Ayun Temple decorated with relief sculpture depicting nine guardian gods of compass points.
To the east, there is a small temple called Dalem Bekak Temple. To the west, around the corner, there is a balai Kulkul with its roof rising high. The third inner court, which is also the inner most and the highest one, is the most sacred area. Its main door, which is called pintu gelung, is placed right in the middle and it is opened only during ceremonies. The main door, however, Taman Ayun Temple is flanked by two gates through which people can access the court to do daily routines at Taman Ayun Temple. The court houses several Merus, a temple, a Gedong, a Padmasana, a Padma Rong Telu, and other religious buildings.