Saraswati, Goddess of knowledge learning, literature and art, revered by Hindus since ages, has the same status, love and affection in Bali; this is demonstrated in the temple complex dedicated to Saraswati located in central Ubud. Pura Taman Saraswati is a beautiful water temple in central Ubud, accessible from the Jalan Kajeng sidestreet that’s off the main road of Jalan Raya Ubud. Though not an ancient temple, it features all classical Balinese temple architecture and has a foyer with ponds filled with blooming pink lotuses, a flower that is so closely associated with Saraswati. This temple is very beautiful and artistic. The temple is decorated with so many fine carvings. There are also many frangipani (champa) flower trees on the edge of the pond, the air filled with their aroma. Traditional dance performances are regularly held here in the evenings.
Near the entrance gate is the place of worship called Padmasana. Large statue of Saraswati and that of a giant is located there. At the base of the Padmasana building, there is a turtle-shaped sculpture wrapped around two dragons. The architect of the temple is I Gusti Nyoman Lempad. The temple was constructed in 1952. beautiful carvings and sculptures adorn the temple complex.
Bhagwan Ganesh and Saraswati Devi are the icons representing ‘realisation of knowledge’ and ‘expression of knowledge’. Any concept of life, big or small manifests within, due to ‘cognition’; this is possible due to blessings of Bhagwan Ganesha and ability to express knowledge so realised is acquired with the blessings of Saraswati. Rig Veda is the first compilation of hymns or suktas in Hindu scriptures. In fact it is the first compilation in the history of mankind. In the Rigveda, three suktas or hymns are totally dedicated to river Saraswati. From being an impetuous river in Vedic symbolism, she becomes the embodiment of illumination and inspiration. River Saraswati and civilisation that flourished on her bank is the heritage of Hindus across the world; Pura Taman Saraswati is an expression of this reverence.