Exploring Bali
The Unique Gunung Kawi Temple Complex
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

If we are discussing about Bali, we must be thinking of its culture, its friendly people, its tourists destinations like Kuta and Gunung Kawi temple and the last but not least is the beauty of the green paddy fields. Many people say that Bali is like heaven on earth because of the combinations of those things. What makes Bali different from another tourist destination in Indonesia is its culture. The culture of Bali is unique if compared to other regions of Indonesia because most of the Balinese are Hindu and they still have a good practice of the culture like Ngaben, the corpse burning ceremony in Bali and also Nyepi day, one of so many religious days in Bali when people do not go out of their house for one day.

Where is Gunung Kawi?

Many tourists, especially foreign tourists only know some famous places in Bali like Kuta Beach, Tanah Lot, Ubud and Pura Besakih, but actually Bali has more than that and there still so many places tourists can go in Bali like the Taman Ujung in Karangasem, Lovina Beach, the place to see wild dolphins and Gunung Kawi temple. If you are getting bored with beaches, because there are so many beaches in Bali, you change your next destination to visit Gunung Kawi Temple. Gunung Kawi temple is located near ubud, so for those who stay in Ubud during their visit to Bali, you can just rent a motorcycle and ride it to Gunung Kawi but do not forget to ask the directions to the hotel’s staff.  Gunung Kawi is a temple complex that has 10 temples in total separated into five temples in the west side and 5 temples in the east side.

What’s in Gunung Kawi?

According to the history, this temple complex was built in the 11th century and it initially served as a funeral monuments. What makes this temple unique, unlike the other temples in Bali, is that the temples are carved into some covered or sheltered cliff face, so its like the temples are enclosed under some kind of roof on the cliff.  The temples were presented to the King Anak Wungsu from the Udayana Dynasty. The eastern temples are dedicated to the King Anak Wungsu of Udayana, His Wife, Queen Mahendradatta, king’s son, Airlangga, Anak Wungsu and Marakata. While he western temples of Gunung Kawi temple complex were presented to the king’s minor queens.

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