Day 8 : Tuesday 22nd of may
The elegant Pura Taman Ayun is the second largest temple complex on Bali, and one of the island's most beautiful shrines. This impressive garden complex lies only one-half km east of the main highway, accessible by a long walkway.
It's partly surrounded by a wide moat with lotuses, which gives the impression the temple is floating. Unlike the overwhelming majority of temples on Bali, the orientation of Taman Ayun is toward Gunung Batukaru and not Gunung Agung.
Consisting of 50 separate structures, this clan temple evokes a palpable sense of calm and beauty. Constructed in four spacious, rising levels, the 'pura' symbolizes the Hindu divine cosmos. Carved demons stand silhouetted against the sky. Ancient gray stone contrasts against the brick-red plaster. Restored and enlarged in 1937, today Pura Taman Ayun is looked after by descendants of the royal family.
Notice the tall, beautifully crafted split gate with wooden doors and a half kala-face to each side. Inside the older, second courtyard is a long row of 29 shrines where visiting deities can relax and enjoy themselves. The stone altar facing east is dedicated to Ibu Paibon, the royal ancestor. A great number of shrines are replicas of Bali's sacred volcanoes or major temples built by Mengwi's rulers. They sit on moss-covered stone foundations, topped by slender, tiered black-thatched roofs, their small wooden doors masterfully carved.
The replicas are located in the temple so the people of Mengwi can worship and derive benefit from them without the expense and trouble of traveling to the originals. Uluwatu, for example, is symbolized by the 11-tiered 'meru' in the far right-hand corner. This inner court also displays a superbly carved stone trimurti padmasana (three-god throne). To the left are various 'bale' for visitors, dancers, priests, and musicians. Climb the small tower in the lower southwest corner of the complex for the best view of the temple, moat, and surroundings.
Before the entrance is a huge 'wantilan' where cockfights, Barong dances, and other cultural events are staged. Farther on is a big collection of orchids. On the banks of the moat grow fruit trees and perfumed flowering 'cempaka' and frangipani.
Alas Kedotan or monkey forest
Alas Kedaton is situated at Kukuh village, Marga Tabanan.
Tanah Lot (sunset)
One of Bali's most important sea temples is the temple sanctuary at Tanah Lot. Like a delicate Chinese painting, this small, pagoda-like temple is built atop a huge rock which is surrounded by the sea. Incomparably situated off a black volcanic sand shore, Tanah Lot is one of the most photographed and sketched temples in Asia.
Tanah Lot was founded by the 16th-century priest Danghyang Niratha out of sheer
adoration for the natural beauty of the landscape here.
Its rituals include the paying of homage to the guardian spirits of the sea.
Poisonous sea snakes found at the base of the rocky island.
the tide is out, they slither into the temple. They are
believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders.