Taman Ayun Temple was built by I Gusti Agung Anom, the founder of the Mengwi Kingdom, a powerful kingdom in the district of Mengwi, in central Bali, until 1891. I Gusti Agung Anom was also the builder of Ulun Danu Temple. He established Taman Ayun Temple in 1634, when he moved his palace from Balahayu to Mengwi. Taman Ayun Temple means Temple of the Beautiful Gardens. The date of construction is carved on the door with chronogram reading “Sad Bhuta Yaksa Dewa”, meaning 1634AD. The temple is a penyawangan, or place to worship other sacred sites, with shrines to worship Bali’s mountain peaks of Agung, Batukau and Batur, as well as shrine to Pura Sada, another important temple in Mengwi. Unlike the majority of temples in Bali, the orientation of Taman Ayun is towards Gunung Batukau, and not Gunung Agung.
Taman Ayun Temple covers an area of 250m by 100m. Originally dating from 1634, it was restored and enlarged in 1937. The gates, split gates and walls were renovated in 1949, and a pavillion, called bale bengong was added. In 1972, the black fiber roofs were replaced, and in 1976, a pavillion tower, called bale kulkul was added. Taman Ayun Temple consists of a forecourt, a central court and a spacious inner court. The temple is surrounded by a moat with lotuses, giving it the feel of a garden sanctuary. Beyond the moat, the temple lies on a slightly raised ground. A tall stone gateway separates the forecourt from the central court, while the inner court is surrounded by a stone wall. Frangipanni are grown in profusion all around the wall. Within the inner court are merus, dedicated to various deities and spirits. In total, there are 50 shrines and pavillions in the temple complex.
On its festival day, Balinese women would will the temple bearing colourful offerings which they place before the merus