The towering Meru with its tiered sugar palm fiber roofs and elegant silhouette is the prima ballerina of many temple courtyards. This Balinese pagoda, a shrine to the higher deities, always has an odd number of roofs, with a maximum of 11.
The number depends on the status of the divinity in the local hierarchy. That is why, based on the concept of Mandala that the function of each meru are :
1. Meru with 3 tiered roofs are dedicated for Tri Murti (Hindhu Trinity )such as Brahma (creator), Wisnu (preserver) dan Siwa (destroyer/dissolver).
2. Meru with 5 tiered roofs are dedicated to Panca Dewata such as: Iswara, Brahma, Mahadewa, Wisnu dan Siwa.
3. Meru with 7 tiered roofs are dedicated tor: Sapta Dewata such as: Iswara, Brahma, Mahadewa, Wisnu, Siwa, Sada Siwa dan Parama Siwa.
4. Meru with 9 tiered roofs are dedicated to Nawa Sanga Dewata such as: Iswara, Maheswara, Brahma, Rudra, Mahadewa, Sangkara, Wisnu, Sambhu dan Siwa.
5. Meru with 11 tiered roofs are dedicated Eka Dasa Rudra Dewata such as Iswara, Maheswara, Brahma, Rudra, Mahadewa, Sangkara, Wisnu,Sambhu, Siwa, Sada Siwa dan Parama Siwa.
Meru, a shrine with one tiered roof, one with 2 tiered roofs, is not called ‘Meru’ but “Pelinggih Gedong” or “Gedong Jajar /Gedong Sari” functioned to worship “Purusa-Pradana aspects (Male – Female)” it is usually connected with worshiping the ancestors. Note that the number of tiered roof of the Meru doesn’t show the height of the god’ degree the people worship to.