Taman Ayun Temple, also known as the Royal Temple of Mengwi, is one of the most important religious structures in Bali. Built in 1634 by a king of the Mengwi dynasty, the impressive complex stands on an island in a river, with its inner temple surrounded by a moat. Its Balinese name translates to mean ‘Garden Temple in the Water.'
The expansive grounds include a park, garden area and some 50 structures, including multiple tiered shrines (called merus in Balinese), each dedicated to a god. Part of a network of directional temples that protect Bali from evil spirits, the entire complex was designed to symbolize the mythological home of the gods, Mount Meru, floating in the sea of eternity. It’s the largest and most architecturally impressive water temple in the region and part of the Cultural Landscape of Bali Province UNESCO World Heritage site.