Mengwi is famous for the unique Pura Taman Ayun state temple, which was the most important temple in the Mengwi kingdom before Mengwi was conquered by the neighbouring Badung and Tabanan in 1891. Mengwi was at that time a large kingdom stretching all the way to East Java. Taman Ayun was built in 1634 by King I Gusti Agung Anom and restored in 1937.
The temple consist of an “island” surrounded by water channels and a garden complex, the complex of buildings are made up of about 50 different structures. Contrary to other temples on Bali this one is oriented towards Gunung Batukau, not Gunung Agung.
Taman Ayun means “beautiful garden”, you can easily spend some time walking around here and enjoy the surroundings. The village counsel of elders meet in this temple, gamelan orchestra play their music, and offerings and prayers are made to the many gods. Inside the temple is a large “wantilan”, a building where cultural performances are held almost every evening. Next to Taman Ayun is an art center and a small museum, as well as a restaurant.
Mengwi is located about 18 km from Denpasar. A visit here can be combined with visits to other attractions in this area, easily done on a daytrip from the tourist centers on southern Bali.