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18.11.16

Bali - Gunung Kawi Temple


Bali ancient temple carved in stone Gunung Kawi

Despite the effort - you have to walk 600m and then 315 stone steps to get there and it ain't easy on that heat - I am extremely thankful to our driver for bringing us to Gunung Kawi, the ancient temple of Bali carved on stone. This was the first temple that felt truly off the beaten track. It was not packed with Chinese tourists on their all-inclusive holiday, so we could explore it in silence, letting the holiness of the spot come into us.

The temple is carved in rock and was built back on the 11th century. Can you imagine how much effort it took? The environment is also amazing as the rice terraces and green palm trees make a beautiful contrast against the dark rock. The only sound you will hear is with that of water trickling along the irrigation channels at the bottom of a valley, combined with some farmers who work on their rice fields on the distance.

The monuments you first see are in relief directly on a solid rock hill. The shape is that of a burial tower, as it seems to honor a king that reigned Bali 1050-1077 but then gave up to become a religious hermit. When you cross the river, there is cloister with 5 cells carved out of rock, where the temple caretakers used to reside. Then, there is a second hermitage that might have served as sleeping spot for visiting pilgrims. In order to get in, you have to remove your shoes.




Bali ancient temple carved in stone Gunung Kawi
Bali ancient temple carved in stone Gunung Kawi
The river
Bali ancient temple carved in stone Gunung Kawi
Bali ancient temple carved in stone Gunung Kawi
The area for pilgrims
Bali ancient temple carved in stone Gunung Kawi
Bali ancient temple carved in stone Gunung Kawi
So peaceful and true.
Bali ancient temple carved in stone Gunung Kawi
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