Indonesia, Bali, Tampaksiring village, Andesite
Most shrines in Bali are bathing places or sprawling, multi-structure courtyards that are interwoven with the natural environment. Unlike in Java and elsewhere in South and Southeast Asia, tower-shaped, single-unit temples are rare. Discreetly placed off the road to Tirta Empul—currently Bali’s most popular bathing place—Pura Mengening preserves both modes of sacred architecture.
Perched high above multi-terraced pools and streaming fountains is a structural temple (prasada) with roots in Indian architectural traditions. It closely resembles Javanese Hindu temples, but on a smaller scale.
Pura Mengening’s bathing places and small shrines are layered into the hillside. Since the water flows down naturally, bathing at the highest levels of the complex is prohibited in order to maintain its purity.
The constant flow of water keeps the site’s flora richly colored and the blossoms robust.