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Representative Shrine: Replica of Mountain and Lake  

by on Tuesday, 18 December 2007No Comment | 4,570 views

Yesterday, I accidentally visit the Pura Sadha (Sadha temple) in Kapal village, Badung regency. A feature in this temple quickly arouse my curiosity, this temple has replicas of sacred mountains in form of multi-tiered-roofs shrines known as meru that can be found in the north and east part of inner courtyard of the temple.

As a matter of fact the replica of mountains and lakes in the form of multi-tiered-roofs shrines (meru) are standard features of South Bali temples, but only when I visited Sadha Temple I realized their significant and function. The main purpose of placing replicas of mountains and lakes in temple is to save the time and effort needed to actually visit them since in the yester centuries pilgrimage to the mountains and lakes need a great deal preparation and time. These replicas serve as representative shrines for the gods who resides in the mountains or lakes all over Bali.

Taman Ayun Temple

These representative shrines are always found in form of multi-tiered-roofs shrines (meru) with odd number of roofs, the highest being 11, which of course is only suitable for the most important and highest peak in Bali. In this case it represents Mount Agung.

Taman Ayun Temple

The most complete example of these shrines can be found in Taman Ayun Temple, the royal temple of Mengwi Kingdom, situated in Mengwi village in the heart of Badung regency.

Taman Ayun Temple

There are twenty-nine buildings in the innermost courtyard of this temple, which function as the symbolization of the various God, Goddess, and the power points of the kingdom. Each power point was represented by a meru. The main one is for Mount Agung, the highest mountain in Bali. It has eleven tiers that represented the eight directions, up, down and centre the totality of outer and inner space. The meru for Mount Batukaru also has eleven tiers and a nine tiers meru represents Mount Batur. Other merus represented the dominant natural features in the Mengwi kingdom, or regions of landscape that held special power, such as the mountains, the lakes the slopes, the plains and the ocean.

Taman Ayun Temple

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