Gunung Kawi Temple Bali

Gunung Kawi Temple Bali (Pura Gunung Kawi Bali) at Tapak Siring


Gunung Kawi Temple (Pura Gunung Kawi)... another unique Balinese temple complex, carved into the mountain, which is located on Pakerisan River, close to the village of Tampak Siring and the Tampak Siring Palace in the regency of Gianyar.

Gunung Kawi temple dates back to the 11th century and the creation of this temple was started by Raja Marakatapangkaja (reign: 1024 – 1028 AD) and then finished by Raja Anak Wungsu (reign: 1050 – 1077) who in the end actually gave up his kingdom to become a religious eremite. Another legend says that the monuments were carved out of the mountain by the Giant Kebo Iwo within one night.

Pura Gunung Kawi bears a resemblance to the South American Mayan Temples as it is surrounded by a lush green tropical rainforest and situated on a mountain river.

Each of the 10 seven meters high niches Gunung Kawi Temple is very popular for, contains a different tomb dedicated to long forgotten kings, which additionally makes this place both unique and incredibly spiritual. The tombs are spread within a distance of 1 km2 which means it only takes a short relaxing stroll to see them all.

  • Tip 1: Gunung Kawi Temple is well worth the visit! It is highly recommended to go there, especially if you are interested in art and/or culture.
  • Tip 2: More than 300 stairs have to be managed, so only go there if you are willing to do a little exercise.
  • Tip 3: You don’t have to buy a sarong from the vendors in the shop area before the entrance, borrow it at the ticket counter.
  • Tip 4: Give yourself time and try to find out the hidden meanings of all the carvings.
  • Additional Information 1: The complex was discovered by Europeans in the 1920’s even they had arrived more than a decade ago.
  • Additional Information 2: Gunung Kawi is derived from the words gunung (mountain) and kawi (carving) – If we were to use the American Indian language, we could finally come up with a translation as follows “The Carvings which have been made into the mountain”! It makes sense, right?

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