Taman Ayun Pura is a beautifully apointed temple, with its own surrounding moat, in the village at Mengwi, Badung Regency, 18 Km. West of Denpasar. The history of this temple is closely associated with the begining of the Rajadom of Mengwi, in 1627 B.C. it was built in 163-1AD. at the time at the rule of the first Raja of Mengwi. I Gusti Agung Ngurah Made Agung, who later become known as Ida Cokorda Sakti Belambangan. As the Royal Family temple of the Raja of Mengwi. This temple is a place to worship the Royal ancestors, who find their rest in a special shrine known as the “Gedong Paibon”.
Following the Pattern of most Balinese temples, Pura Taman Ayun has three connecting temple yards. The innermost sanctum is knows- as “Utama Mandala” (the highest circle), the middle yard as. “Madia Mandala” (the circle in between) and the outer as “Nista Mandala” (the humblest circle). The enter the main sanctum one must pass through a raised Gate- way, known as the Kori Agung (Paduraksa), and the gate- way between the outer and middle connect in a split gate, known as “Candi Bentar”.
Apart from the “Gedong Paibon”, dedicated to one ancestor, the middle courtyard are other shrines dedicated to the various main temples of Bali. These shrines were built by the 5 Raja to ensure that his Kingdom and people would be able to share in the prosperity and fertility of the nation, and also to enable all the people at Mengwi; to conduct the religious ceremonies at the temple, such as “meajar-ajar”, memendak sang Pitara” and to request holy water to protect the rice fields from pestilence, etc.
There is also another shrine on the middle courtyard dedicated to the “Pasek Badak” famous here of by gone days from the Raja’s troops. The extensive temple grounds of Taman Ayun also function as a resting place for the Royal family. Covering 4 Hectares of land. The temple is surrounded by a large most, which used to be full of loins and lily flowers of all color, and around the edges of the moat can be found frangipani, cempaka, kenanga & other pcrftiined flowering trees, as well as mango stein, durian, manggo rambutan fruit trees.
The temple has always been strongly influenced by the ups and downs at the Raja dom of Mengwi. ln l890 here was a war between the Rajas of Badung and Mengwi, and the I0 th. Raja Mengwi “I Gusti Made Agung” lost the battle, and had to retreat to escape with life in to the bordering eastern district. During the rule of the victorious Raja of Badung the temple was never looked after properly, and the temple buildings deteriorated due to lack of care.
ln the year 1911 AD, part of the Royal Family returned to their family seat at Mengwi, and Pura Taman Ayun was restored. However on 20 th, January 1917 a violent earth-quake damaged many of the existing buildings. Repairs have been done in stages to return the temple to its original condition.
The odalan at Pura Taman Ayun falls every 2l0 days on a day known as “Selasa Kliwon Wuku Mendangsia”. Many tourists used to visit the temple, even, before the Second world War. The family of Puri Gede Mengwi still maintain the temple. Assisted by a committee made up of the lokal traditional leaders, such as the village officials from the Mengwi District.