With the sudden spawning of contemporary architectural pieces like those of Bali luxury hotels, restaurants, and other establishments, it is undeniable that Bali has become a major epitome of modernity in Indonesia. However, this obvious fact does not mean that the beautiful culture of Bali is being set aside. With the presence of the timeless and magnificent structures, there are still a lot of spectacles which manifest the undying heritage of the island.
Situated in a complex made splendid by a well-maintained, sophisticated park, with elegant ponds, it is one of the invincible architectural proofs of Bali's wonderful culture. Known to locals as the Taman Ayun Temple, it has earned its reputation as one of the most attractive temples in Bali.
Taman Ayun, which literally translates to "beautiful garden", was built in 1634 by the Raja of Megawi, I Gusti Agung Putu. It is located within the village of Mengewi in the south of Bali, and is a few kilometres away from Ubud.
The temple is situated in the middle of broad canals, so the only way to enter the temple complex is to pass through a bridge leading to a very ornate candid bentar. A square pond with a fountain welcomes and awes visitors. It has nine water jets which symbolizes the nine major gods of Balinese Hinduism.
Courtyards can also be found inside the complex. Jaba Jero is considered the most holy one, and it is where the most important shrines are located. Situated around this are the unique eleven-tiered, wooden pagodas which are perfectly picturesque in contrast with the lush green background.
Another impressive structure from the past is the Pula Ulun Danu Bratan, a spectacular water temple which is hailed as one of the most important and most beautiful edifices in Bali, and the whole archipelago of Indonesia.
This major water temple stands independently on Lake Bratan, creating the impression that it is floating on the water. It was founded in the 17th century and is dedicated to the goddess of water, Dewi Danu. It boasts beautiful surroundings and it emits a very peaceful atmosphere, especially in the morning before tourist buses begin to arrive.
Aside from the beautiful scenery, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan also amazes its visitors because of its unique and striking architecture. A classical Hindu design is evident. There are several merus which are famous for the odd-numbered roofs. The biggest one has eleven roofs, while the others display only three roofs.
Sadly though, tourists are not allowed to enter the main temple, however they are permitted to take pictures as souvenirs from the outside of the temple. For the sake of the visiting tourists, several dining establishments are set up on the temple grounds.
History geeks need not worry, as these establishments don't affect the cultural value and appearance of the temples. These temples are just two of the many witnesses of Bali's history, remaining as a reminder of the island's beautiful past.