Gunung Kawi is an 11th-century temple in Tampaksiring that is spread across either side of the Pakerisan river. It comprises 10 rock-cut shrines that are carved into 7-metre-high. Sheltered niches of the sheer cliff face. Carved by hand into the hillside rocks a thousand years ago, this temple showcased the worshipers’ determination in an ancient time.
There are four groups of buildings sculptured, three temples and a Buddhist temple on the Gunung Kawi. This is presumed to be the burial complex of King Anak Wungsu and his wives. This temple, known as the “Valley of the Kings” is beautifully located in a river valley surrounded by beautiful rice fields, forest and river.
You first along a steep staircase to walk down. Along the way you will have stunning views of the valley and rice fields. As you walk through the stone entrance turn left to view five magnificent 7 meter high statutes. If you look directly across the boulder strewn creek, you’ll see the other four shrines. Reached by climbing down 300 steps, the location at the bottom of a steep valley lined with paddy fields is quite stunning. The structures are carved into the sides of a steep river valley, and the river crossed by twisting trees and vines
After arriving at the parking lot, we continued by walking past several shops with shopkeepers occasionally encouraging us to buy. It took 100 meters to reach the ticket booth where we paid IDR 15,000/person and they gave us sarong to use before entering the temple. From there we continued walking down the concrete stairs with several shops on the left side and rice fields on the right side. At that time the rice fields had been growing so everything looked green and beautiful. After 15 minutes of walking, we arrived at the gate of the temple where we poured holy water into our bodies. We arrived there at 10 am and there were not many tourists around. A long trip with many steps may be one of the reasons why the tourist agency did not include this temple into the tour package, instead they placed the Tirta Empul temple which is located nearby.
Gunung Kawi is one of the favorite Bali Temple. Detailed carvings right on the hill are stunning and lush nature surrounds you. As a hidden bonus, when you make it all the way to the “end” of the temple grounds (when you turn left after the bridge) follow the little path on the left until you see a sign that says “Stop” – but keep going. You’ll have a short but beautiful walk in the rice fields, forest and will eventually reach a secluded waterfall where you can go for a swim!
See also Ubud Romance Sweet Escape Day Tour which can be combined with a trip to visit Gunung Kawi Temple.
Tirta Empul Temple, Tegallalang Rice Terraces, Elephant Safari Park at Taro Village
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“Know the history of your place and be proud” Putu Bulan @putubulan