Jakarta. The mystery of the alleged discovery of an impressive underwater temple off Bali’s coast has been solved — the “temple” was built as part of a recent environmental conservation program.
Paul M Turley, the owner of Sea Rovers Dive Center in Pemuteran, Bali, told the Jakarta Globe that the temple site did in fact exist but that the location, named Taman Pura (Temple Garden) was created five years ago.
Consisting of ten statues and a temple structure, the project was in addition to a number of bio-wreck dive sites and a Reef Gardiners reef conservation project funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid).
Jakarta-based Internet news portals and television stations have been running stories of the alleged archeological discovery, prompting Surya Helmi, director of undersea archeological division at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, to promise a full investigation.
A brochure from Reef Gardiners said the site was “somewhat of an engineering feat” with more than ten large stone statues resting on stone plinths and a four-meter-tall temple gateway that had been lowered to a depth of 29 meters.
“The ‘garden’ is covered in gorgonian fans and must be seen to be believed,” the pamphlet read.
“In 2006, a second stage to these temples was constructed at a depth of 15 meters to allow less experienced divers to be able to dive the location.”