Discover the Mystical Charm of Pura Gunung Kawi
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As a frequent traveler to Bali, I have been enchanted by the rich cultural heritage of the island.
One of my favourite places to visit is Pura Gunung Kawi, a stunning temple complex that is tucked away in a lush green valley. This historic site has captured my imagination with its breathtaking beauty and deep spiritual significance.
From the moment you step onto the well-manicured grounds, you are transported back in time to an era of ancient kings and powerful dynasties. The temple complex is comprised of ten rock-cut shrines, each one carved into the sheer cliffs that tower over the river below.
The intricate carvings and beautiful offerings left at each shrine are a testament to the deep reverence that the Balinese people have for this sacred site.
As I wander through the temples, I am struck by the serenity and peacefulness that pervades the area. The sound of the river rushing below, the fragrance of incense in the air, and the soft murmur of prayers being offered by visiting devotees all contribute to an atmosphere that is truly otherworldly.
Whether you are seeking a spiritual experience or simply a chance to immerse yourself in the rich culture of Bali, Pura Gunung Kawi is a must-visit destination.
Nestled in the lush Gianyar Regency of Bali, Indonesia, Pura Gunung Kawi Temple is a truly unique and beautiful landmark that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
This breathtaking temple is carved into a cliff face and surrounded by rice paddies and lush greenery, making for a truly enchanting and peaceful setting.
In addition to visiting Pura Gunung Kawi, there are a number of other notable attractions in the surrounding area that are worth checking out.
For example, the Tirta Empul Temple is a historic site that features a series of pools used for ritual purification and is a popular spot for both tourists and local Balinese people.
Another nearby landmark is the stunning Ubud Monkey Forest, which is a nature reserve and sanctuary for over 700 monkeys.
Visitors can observe the playful primates in their natural habitat, and take in the beautiful, tropical landscape of the reserve.
How To Get There
Pura Gunung Kawi is located in the rural village of Tampaksiring, around 30km from Ubud in central Bali. The temple is easily accessible by car or motorbike, and there is a car park located near the entrance for visitors who drive.
Just a short drive from the temple is the famous Pura Tirta Empul, which is known for its holy spring water and is a popular place for visitors to purify themselves in the spring.
- From Ubud: 45 minutes by car/motorbike, 1 hour and 15 minutes by bemo
- From south Bali (Kuta and Denpasar): 2 hours by car/motorbike, tour buses available.
Visiting Pura Gunung Kawi can be a seamless experience with the various transportation options available from different locations in Bali.
Motorbike or Scooter Rental
- Available in Ubud and southern tourist areas like Kuta and Denpasar
- Cost: $5-7 USD per day
- Convenient option, widely available in Ubud and southern tourist areas
- Cost: $20-25 USD (from Ubud), $50-60 USD (from Kuta/Denpasar)
- The budget-friendly option runs regularly from Ubud
- Cost: $1-2 USD
- Provides local cultural experience and interaction with locals
It is important to note that in Bali, it is common to negotiate the fare before the journey begins to avoid any misunderstandings or surprises at the end of the ride.
- Adults: $3.50
- Children (5-11): $1.75
Visiting hours are from 8 AM to 6 PM, and it is recommended to arrive early to avoid the crowds and make the most of your visit. The entrance fee includes a traditional Balinese sarong, which is required to be worn while visiting the temple, ensuring a culturally respectful experience.
Best Time To Visit
Visiting Pura Gunung Kawi is an incredible experience, and the time you choose to go can impact the overall enjoyment of your trip.
With Bali’s tropical climate, there are 2 main seasons to consider when planning your visit: the dry season and the rainy season.
- The Dry Season (April-September): clear skies and low humidity, less crowded, comfortable for exploring
- The Rainy Season (October-March): less crowded, lush green landscape, occasional short rains
No matter what time you choose to visit, Pura Gunung Kawi is always an awe-inspiring experience.
Nestled in the heart of Bali’s tropical landscape, Pura Gunung Kawi stands as a testament to the island’s rich history and cultural heritage.
This historic temple is home to 10 mysterious monuments, each intricately carved out of the cliff face and dedicated to a different member of the ancient Balinese royal family.
The shrines, known as candi, were created during the 11th century and serve as a unique testament to the island’s rich cultural heritage.
You’ll be invited to explore the monuments and discover their secrets, as you wind your way through the lush green valley and along the sacred Pakerisan River.
Pura Gunung Kawi boasts some of the most impressive ancient architectural feats in all of Bali.
The 10 shrines/tombs were carved out of the sheer rock cliffs in the 11th century, making them truly unique and awe-inspiring to behold.
The skill and attention to detail that went into carving these monuments are truly remarkable, with intricate designs and patterns etched into the rock.
The temples are not just a testament to the incredible architectural prowess of the ancient Balinese people, but also serve as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage that still exists in Bali today.
As you wander through the temple grounds, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with these magnificent structures, taking in their beauty and contemplating the rich history behind them.
Whether you’re an architecture aficionado or simply appreciate the beauty of historic monuments, Pura Gunung Kawi is not to be missed.
Do’s and Don’ts
When visiting the ancient temple of Pura Gunung Kawi, it is important to be respectful of the local culture and traditions.
To ensure a positive experience, be sure to follow these do’s and don’ts:
- Wear appropriate attire. A traditional Balinese sarong is provided with an entrance fee and must be worn while visiting the temple. It is also recommended to wear modest clothing that covers your legs and shoulders.
- Take off your shoes. Visitors must remove their shoes before entering the temple complex and walking up the steps to the shrines.
- Respect the local customs. Balinese Hinduism is still a dominant religion in the area, and visitors should show respect for religious customs and practices.
- Enjoy peace and tranquillity. Pura Gunung Kawi is a peaceful and serene place to visit, and it is advisable to take the time to immerse yourself in the atmosphere and enjoy the experience.
- Litter. Keep the temple complex and surrounding area clean and litter-free.
- Take photographs of the shrines. Photography is not allowed inside the temple complex, so it is best to put your camera away and just enjoy the experience with your own two eyes.
- Touch or lean on the monuments. The monuments at Pura Gunung Kawi are thousands of years old and delicate. It is best to admire them from a distance and avoid touching or leaning on them.
- Be loud or disruptive. Respect the peaceful atmosphere of the temple complex and avoid being loud or disruptive.
By following these do’s and don’ts, you can ensure that your visit to Pura Gunung Kawi is a positive and respectful experience. So, take a step back in time, soak in the rich history, and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of this ancient temple.
Here are some of the hotels near the Pura Gunung Kawi:
- Padma Resort Ubud
- Aksari Resort Ubud
- K Club Ubud
If you want more options, check out Where to Stay in Ubud.
Make sure to stop by one of these places to eat near the Pura Gunung Kawi:
- Warung Prapen [Asian, Indonesian]
- Basanta Agro Organic [Coffee & Tea, Cafe]
- Waroeng Sabatoe [Asian, Indonesian]
For more mouth-watering options, check out the Best Ubud Restaurants.
You can add other destinations to your Tibumana waterfall trip and visit them as well:
- Tegallalang Rice Terrace
- Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
- Pura Tirta Empul
While you’re exploring Ubud, take some time to visit other fun spots. I have listed The Best Things To Do in Ubud that you should check out.