In pictures: Gunung Kawi rock temples

Tucked away in a deep valley 20 minutes north of the city of Ubud are the Balinese rock temples of Gunung Kawi. From the entrance to the site you walk down 315 steps lined with souvenir stalls and vivid green rice terraces. Then at the bottom of the valley you cross the sacred River Pakrisan and emerge amongst the palm trees into a scene from an Indiana Jones film. Huge seven-metre tall shrines have been carved into the sheer rock faces of the valley. These ten temples, known as candi, were carved in the 11th century. Their purpose is still a bit of a mystery, but it’s thought that they were built as memorial towers for members of the royal family. They’re still amazingly well preserved and tower over the visitors below.

Rice terraces at Gunung Kawi, Bali, Indonesia

Gunung Kawi rock temples, Bali, Indonesia

Gunung Kawi rock temples, Bali, Indonesia

Gunung Kawi rock temples, Bali, Indonesia

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