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Taman Ayun means ‘beautiful garden’, it is a compound of Balinese temples located in the village of Mengwi 17 kilometers west of Ubud (approximately 40 min drive). It also comprises gardens with lotus and fish ponds . It was built around 1634 largely restored in 1937. There are four different division in the temple complex each ranking higher than the other. The fourth and last court is considered the most sacred, it is called the Utama Mandala. The temple’s three grounds denote the three cosmological levels known to Balinese Hinduism : the world of man, the realm of gods and deities and the topmost divine level. The vast pools were once royal recreational places for the palace maids who would sail small canoes.
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan is a major temple lake in Bali, located on the shores of Lake Bratan, 1 200 meter above sea level, near the nothern mountains of Bedugul area. Built in 1633 the temple is used for offerings ceremony to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu. There are four gates facing each of the four points of the compass. This is one of Bali’s most iconic sanctuary as 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.
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are a must-see truly exotic panorama located north-west of Bali. The site comprises over 600Ha of rice fields that follow the flowing hillside topography of the Batukaru mountain range. It has been well appointed as one of UNESCO World Heritages since it has been able to maintain the traditional water management cooperative known as ‘subak’, which dates back to the 9th century. The breathtaking scenery makes for wonderful photo opportunities as they are the largest and most picturesque expanse of paddies in Bali and perhaps in whole of Indonesia. Entering the village, you will have a breathtaking 180 degrees view of gently sloping terraces as far as the eye can see and nature lover can also take a hike through the rice fields.
Pura Tanah Lot is a landmark of Bali and popular destination located on the south-west coast, it means “Land [in the] Sea” in Balinese language. It is one of the seven sea temples of the Balinese coast. This ancient Hindu shrine perched on top of an outcrop amidst constantly crashing waves is a perfect spot for sunset photography. It is believed that a high priest named Dang Hyang Nirartha, who travelled to Bali in 1489 to spread Hinduism, arrived at the beautiful area and established a site to honor the Balinese sea gods. The main deity of the temple is Dewa Baruna or Bhatara Segara, who is the sea god or sea power and these days, Nirartha is also worshipped here. In 1980, the temple’s rock face was starting to crumble. The authorities carried out preservation efforts with aid from the Japanese government. Fully restored, a third of the present Tanah Lot is actually cleverly disguised artificial rock.