Gunung Kawi located in Tampaksiring within the Gianyar Regency is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bali. Surrounded by lush green terraced rice fields and palm trees is a hidden valley just beside the river.The amazing 2 storey rock sculptures that are carved right into the stone are enough to get you staring in awe. Legends has it that the entire rock complex was carved out of the rock face in just one night by the mighty fingernails of Kebo Iwa.
(A short hike from the ticketing entrance, passing through green paddy fields and souvenir shops) Gunung Kawi is a Hindu Temple Complex dating back to the stone era. Built along the Perkerisan River, this 10th century complex is made up of pavilions and rock cut shrines that are carved into the hillside. Gunung Kawi is a sacred place for the Balinese people. Gunung Kawi is the largest and oldest ancient monument in Bali.
(A pavillion just in front of the rock monuments being used by a local holy man for conducting prayers and religious talks)
(7m high rock monuments with functioning flowing aqueduct system running through it)
(Holy Spring water coming out from the mountains. The water originates from the spring within the monuments that flows through a system of aqueducts) There is a sign that says “DO NOT TAKE HOLY WATER“, so don’t get creative!
Gunung Kawi was founded during the Udayana Dynasty around 990M and was built in honor of King Anak Wungsu and his many wives. The term Gunung Kawi literally means “carving in the mount”.
A steep stone staircase usually leads down into a beautiful valley where one can find 10, 7 meter high memorials beautifully carved into the rock face. Four are situated on the west side and five on the east side of the river. The last one is situated to the south across the valley.
(Rock chambers being carved into the rock) Not sure if it is used to store bodies last time. Because we read somewhere that these were tombs.
Gunung Kawi monuments remain open from 8am-6pm daily. The usual admission of 15000Rp is applicable for adults, 6000Rp for children. You don’t need a tour guide to visit this place. Gunung Kawi is about 15 minutes drive/ride from Ubud.
If you are visiting Ubud, make sure you visit this place. It is worth your time and effort.
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