This day trip begins to the west of central Bali to Pura Taman Ayun, a temple in the village of Mengwi. Dedicated to the ancestors of the Princes who ruled over Mengwi built in 1634, with Chinese architectural inspirations, and underwent a significant restoration project in 1937. Towering tiers from the temple shrines make up most of the profile of Taman Ayun and are a gesture of the people of Mengwi’s reverence to their deified noble ancestors, for the temple complex is considered the ‘mother temple’ of Mengwi. Comprises four different divisions, one ranking higher than the others, the first is referred to as the ‘Jaba’ or outer division, the next court, a small temple compound by the name of Pura Luhuring Purnama can be seen, and the second also third terraces are slightly higher than the first. The fourth and last court is considered the most sacred, thus ranks the highest, it is referred to as the Utama Mandala The temple’s three grounds denote the three cosmological levels known to Balinese Hinduism, namely the world of man, the realm of gods and deities, and the top most divine level. Taman Ayun literally means “beautiful garden”, this temple complex boasts magnificent traditional architectural features throughout its courtyards and enclosures as well as expansive garden landscapes, located in a water garden with a canals covered with lotus flowers on three sides and fish ponds, the temple is generally considered as one of the most attractive temples of Bali.
Then we continue our trip up into the cool hills wander through the tropical fruit and flower market Candi Kuning, a small village on the southern part of the lake Ulun Danu Temple. Ulun Danu Temple or Bratan Temple is a major water temple in Bali, a significant temple complex located on the western side of the Beratan Lake in Bedugul, central Bali. The smooth reflective surface of the lake surrounding most of the temple’s base creates a unique floating impression, while the mountain range of the Bedugul region encircling the lake provides the temple with a scenic backdrop. The water temples serve the entire region in the outflow area, downstream there are many smaller water temples that are specific to each irrigation association (subak). Known as the Lake of Holy Mountain due to the fertility of this area and location 1200 m above sea level, the sight and cool atmosphere of the Bali uplands have made the lake and this temple a favorite sightseeing and recreational spot as well as the temple complex occupies a rather low lying side of the lake, the floating effect is thus featured when the lake’s water levels rise is the time for the most perfect photo opportunities. Then lunch at local restaurant offer a panoramic view while enjoying your meal.
Then proceed to Jatiluwih, most famous for rice terrace landscapes that are both dramatic and truly exotic. The site is one of the island’s must-see natural panoramas, the cool highlands and the breathtaking scenery of this village at the foot of Mount Batukaru makes for wonderful photo opportunities, and serves as a soothing retreat away from the island’s crowded south. Once a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site candidate, Jatiluwih rice terraces comprises over 600Ha of rice fields that follow the flowing hillside topography of the Batukaru mountain range. These are well-maintained by a traditional water management cooperative known as ‘subak’, which dates back to the 9th century.
Our last visit, before heading back to hotel is Tanah Lot, claimed to be the work of the 16th-century Hindu religious figure Dang Hyang Nirartha during his travels along the south coast. One of Bali’s most important landmarks, famed for its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrops. An ancient Hindu shrine perched on top of an outcrop amidst constantly crashing waves; Tanah Lot Temple is simply among Bali’s not-to-be-missed icons. Arriving early is the best way to avoid the crowds and visit the temple in a quiet seaside setting. At high tide, waves flood the causeways making it impossible to cross. At low tide, you may cross to view the rock base where the legendary ‘guardian’ sea snakes dwell in crevices around the purification “Tirta Pabersihan” fountain. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples would be in sight distance from each other and should form as a chain along the south west coast. At the foot of the rocky island is believed that there are poisonous sea snakes, to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders.