Bali Temple to Be Added to World Heritage List

Taman Ayun TempleMENGWI ~ Centuries-old Pura Taman Ayun in Bali’s Mengwi district is to be declared a World Heritage site, in recognition of its historical and cultural significance, an official said this week.

The temple was constructed in 1634 during the Mengwi Kingdom, by King I Gusti Agung Ngurah Made Agung and sits on 40,000 square meters of land, encapsulating large ponds.

This week, Koichiro Matsura, head of UNESCO – the United Nation’s educational, cultural and science arm – visited the temple and said it would be declared a World Heritage site later this year, Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik told reporters.

“The plan is that Pura Taman Ayun will be declared a World Heritage site in July. The matter will be discussed at the UNESCO General Assembly in Quebec, Canada, in June,” he said.

“The process is already up to 90-percent complete,” said the minister.

Up to 600 domestic and foreigner tourists visit the temple each day, temple officials said. The proposal to declare it a World Heritage site was first touted since 2002, and follows other attractions in Bali that are also being considered for the prized accolade, among them the Jatiluwih rice terraces in Tabanan and temples in Pakerisan and Petanu, in Gianyar.

Already listed in Indonesia are Borobudur Temple in Yogyakarta, Central Java; Komodo National Park, on Komodo Island, east of Bali; Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta; Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java; the Sangiran Early Man Site in Solo, Central Java; the Lorentz National Park in Papua; and the tropical rainforests of Sumatra.

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