In pictures

Gunung Kawi rock temples, Bali // 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.

Gunung Kawi rice terraces
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Gunung Kawi rock temples

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Gunung Kawi rock temples, Bali – On the Luce travel blog

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  • Reply
    Kathryn
    February 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Looks wonderful, an awe inspiring place 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      February 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      It was amazing to just emerge amongst them at the bottom of the steps – they were hidden by the jungle until you got right there.

      • Reply
        Kathryn
        February 19, 2012 at 10:55 pm

        Oh wow! The thought of that just gave me goose bumps!

  • Reply
    f-stop mama
    February 20, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Beautiful photos! Looks like an incredible place to visit.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      February 20, 2012 at 11:52 am

      Thanks, I’d never heard of it before but the place we were staying recommended a trip and very glad we did!

  • Reply
    Mila Said
    February 20, 2012 at 4:34 am

    I’m Indonesian but I never went to this place, it’s beautiful candi you found there 😀
    Gunung kawi is well known for it’s mystical power here.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      February 20, 2012 at 11:57 am

      You’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful country! I had such a great trip to Bali and would love to go back and see more of Indonesia one day.

  • Reply
    Alison
    February 20, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Great photos, what an amazing place 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      February 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Thanks, we were moaning about sweating up and down all those steps in 90% humidity but it was worth it in the end!

  • Reply
    nuresma
    February 20, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Wonderful! Looks like an incredible place to visit!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      February 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      It was very atmospheric, and amazingly well-preserved considering how long ago it was carved!

  • Reply
    Reviewed: Balam Bali Villa, near Ubud | On the Luce
    March 15, 2012 at 11:59 am

    […] find out a bit more about Balinese life and take day trips out to Mount Batur and the temples of Gunung Kawi and Tirtha Empul, as well as exploring Ubud […]

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