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This temple is very unique because usually the temple is a solid rock made of red bricks or mountain stones, but this temple is not like that but carving on a rock cliff wall on the river bank. The name Gunung Kawi Temple itself is said to have come from the words Gunung and Kawi. Gunung means Mountain or Mountains and Kawi Means Carved So Gunung Kawi Temple means temple carved on a mountain. This temple is located about 40 kilometers from Denpasar City with a journey of about 1 hour by car or motorbike. Meanwhile, from Gianyar City it is about 21 kilometers or about half an hour's drive. If you don't bring a private vehicle, from Denpasar or Gianyar, tourists can take advantage of taxi services, tour buses, or travel agent services.

Gunung Kawi Temple was built around the 11th century AD during the reign of King Udayana to the reign of Anak Wungsu. King Udayana is one of the famous kings in Bali who came from the Warmadewa dynasty. Through his marriage to a daughter from Java named Gunapriya Dharma Patni, he had Erlangga and Anak Wungsu. As an adult, Erlangga later became king in East Java, while Anak Wungsu ruled in Bali. At this time, it is estimated that the Kawi Cliff Temple was built. One of the archaeological evidence to support this assumption is the writing on the pseudo-door which uses the Kediri letters which reads "Haji Lumah Ing Jalu" which means the king who (symbolically) was buried in Jalu. The king in question is King Udayana. While the word jalu, which is the name for a spur (weapon) on a rooster, can also be associated with a Keris or Pakerisan River. The name Sungai Pakerisan or Tukad Pakerisan is now known as the name of the river that divides the two cliffs of the Gunung Kawi Temple. This temple was rediscovered by Dutch researchers around 1920.

Another version
According to the folklore of the area, Tebing Kawi Temple was made by a powerful person named Kebo Iwa. With his supernatural powers, it is said that Kebo Iwa broke his sharp and strong nails on the rock wall in Tukad Pakerisan. The rock walls seem to be chiseled smoothly and well, thus forming a beautiful cluster of temple walls. It is said that the work that should have been done by many people in a relatively long time was able to be completed by Kebo Iwa for one day and one night.

The Uniqueness of the Building
The priest prays at Gunung Kawi Temple, Gunung Kawi Temple has about 315 steps at the edge of the Pakerisan River. The beautiful atmosphere that can be seen from the grove of trees on the banks of the river, as well as the gurgling of water from this sacred river in Bali makes visitors feel welcomed by a symphony of nature. The steps to get to Gunung Kawi Temple are made of solid stone framed with stone walls.

Arriving at the temple complex, tourists will witness two groups of bathing separated by the Pakerisan River. The first temple is located on the west side of the river, facing east, totaling four. Meanwhile, the second temple is located on the east side of the river, facing west, with a total of five. In the temple complex in the west, it is also equipped with bathing pools and water showers. Witnessing these two temple complexes, tourists will be amazed by the sight of the neatly carved rock walls to form curved spaces in which there is a temple. These temples are deliberately made in the basin to protect it from the threat of erosion.

There are 4 groups of sculptures, 3 temples and one temple at Gunung Kawi Temple. In the temple complex in the west there is a kind of hermitage "room" which is also called a Wihara. The temple is carved into a solid cliff and is equipped with a courtyard, small rooms (such as rooms) equipped with windows, as well as air circulation holes in the roof that also function as sunlight. The rooms in this monastery may have been used as a place for meditation or a meeting place for priests or other royal figures.

Other sites that are still in the same complex as Gunung Kawi Temple are the gate and a hermitage called Geria Pedanda. In this place tourists can see several gates and hermitage. Experts call this place the "10th Tomb". The naming by these experts is based on short writing in Kediri letters which reads "rakryan", which if interpreted is the place of a prime minister or high royal official. Meanwhile, in another part, some distance to the southeast from the Gunung Kawi Temple complex, passing through verdant rice fields, there are several niches of a hermitage and a monastery which seems partially unfinished by its maker.

Entrance Ticket Domestic : IDR 30,000
Entrance Ticket Foreigners : IDR 50,000

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