Posted by Bali Suta on 29 October 2015, last update 29 October 2018
Gunung Kawi Rocky Temple is located at Tampaksiring village at the cross road to Tirta Empul. From this cross road you go down a small path toward Pakerisan River about a quarter of an hour on foot and you get to Gunung Kawi. 34 kilometers from Denpasar. In the bottom of this lush green valley is one of Bali's oldest and largest ancient monuments. Gunung Kawi consists of 10 rock-cut Candi (shrines): memorials cut out of the rock face in imitation of actual statues. They stand in 7m/23ft-high sheltered niches cut into the sheer cliff face.
A solitary Candi stands about a kilometer further down the valley to the south; this is reached by a trek trough the rice paddies on the western side of the river. Each Candi is believed to be a memorial to a member of the 11th century Balinese royalty, but little is known for certain. Legend relate that the whole group of memorials was carved out of the rock face in one hard-working night by the mighty fingernails of Kebo Iwa. On theory is that the whole complex is dedicated to Anak Wungsu, his wives, concubines and in the case of the remote 10th Candi, to a royal minister.