Our first temple stop was the Taman Ayun temple, or more correctly Puri Taman Ayun ("Puri" means temple), a 17-th century temple built by the Mengwi royal family in typical Balinese style. surrounded and bisected by man-made waterways. We wandered around with some printed material that we had downloaded earlier and managed to get a sense of the history of the temple. It was an overcast drizzly sort of day but we enjoyed sauntering all around the pretty temple. Couldn't quite figure out where the deity was which was being prayed to (this happened in most of our temple visits!) because Balinese Hinduism and it's rituals seem quite different from what's experienced in India, but what exactly the differences were, was difficult to pinpoint as in many temples we were not allowed to go into the sanctum sanctorum, being off-limits to foreigners.In the one temple where we managed to catch glimpses of the prayer, all we could figure out was that some Sanskrit shlokas were being chanted (lots of women priests in Bali) and there was a lot of bending, getting up and re-bending to the deity (Ganesha in this case). What we did understand that while the Balinese pray to the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, they also pray to many lesser gods for e.g there is Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice and many gods and goddesses associated with wind, sun, rain, sea, mountains etc. Every shop, business and home has a shrine outside to which offerings are made daily and even multiple times in a day. It seems that any offering goes - we found sweets, Mentos, beedis and even a cup of coffee (this outside the Starbucks outlet:))
|Black coffee and flowers for God :)
Next stop was Puru Ulun Danu, one of the most lovely temples we visited. This is a major Shaivite and water temple in Bali, gorgeously situated on misty lake Bratan. Check it out.
We were fortunate to have no rain but just misty cool Scotland-ish type weather until then, but by the time we headed out from Ulun Danu, it was raining hard. The twin lakes, Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan, looked stunning but we stopped only to take a few pics before being driven into the car by a deluge from the heavens. We were cold and weary by this time (I was not more than a little pissed off with the rain, I must admit!) and ready to head home. End of an eventful and wet day 3 :)
|Twin lakes, though we couldn't manage to get both in the same frame.
|The lovely rice terraces at Jatiluwih, seen through a fine sheet of water :)