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In pictures: Gunung Kawi rock temples

Gunung Kawi rock temples, Bali, Indonesia

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

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Looks wonderful, an awe inspiring place :-)

    February 19, 2012
    • 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.

      February 19, 2012
    • Oh wow! The thought of that just gave me goose bumps!

      February 19, 2012
  2. Beautiful photos! Looks like an incredible place to visit.

    February 20, 2012
    • Thanks, I’d never heard of it before but the place we were staying recommended a trip and very glad we did!

      February 20, 2012
  3. I’m Indonesian but I never went to this place, it’s beautiful candi you found there :D
    Gunung kawi is well known for it’s mystical power here.

    February 20, 2012
    • 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.

      February 20, 2012
  4. Great photos, what an amazing place :-)

    February 20, 2012
    • Thanks, we were moaning about sweating up and down all those steps in 90% humidity but it was worth it in the end!

      February 20, 2012
  5. Wonderful! Looks like an incredible place to visit!

    February 20, 2012
    • It was very atmospheric, and amazingly well-preserved considering how long ago it was carved!

      February 20, 2012

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