Dutch Historian Praises Taman Ayun Temple Preservation

BADUNG ~

Dutch historian Prof. Henk Schulte admired Badung regency government performance in preserving Taman Ayun Temple so it is able to attract tourists to the richest region in Bali Province.

“The beauty of Taman Ayun today is very much different from the past. However, its architecture is not changed so that they still look beautiful,” he said on the sidelines of a visit to Taman Ayun Temple in Mengwi with Badung Regent Anak Agung Gde Agung, on Sunday.

Henk, who has written the book “The Spell of Power : A History of Balinese Politics 1650-1940” published in 1997 with a focus on the Kingdom of Mengwi, judging that Taman Ayun Temple is a source of history that can never be finished to be explored. “This temple is like a book that is always interesting to be red, interpreted and given meaning in accordance with the developments of era,” he said.

He claimed that during a visit to Badung was like going back to his own home because he had done a long research in Bali.

While in Bali he also presented in the Open Citadel seminar with the theme of The Future of Tourism in Bali, which was held on Monday at Udayana University campus.

Meanwhile, Badung Regent Anak Agung Gde Agung will strive to preserve Taman Ayun Temple.

“We’ve done renovation in accordance with the principles of conservation and architectural style of the original structure and using a similar material,” he said.

During the visit, Gde Agung who is also a figure of Puri Mengwi invited Henk to look closely at the structure and architecture of the wantilan (hall), which is newly refurbished.

In the middle yard of wantilan, there is a tajen (cockfight) diorama and “pekembar” (people holding chickens) to describe one of wantilan’s functions in the past.

Having had time to get into the main mandala temple, the group was invited to see the forest behind the temple. Around more than 100 species of scarce plants are there.

According to Gde Agung, Taman Ayun Temple has economic and social functions because other than as a center of religious worship, Taman Ayun Temple also becomes a cultural tourist attraction in Bali.

Since becoming a UNESCO world heritage, the local and foreign tourist arrivals continue to rise.

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