In every village in Bali, there are several temples and at least one small one in each home. One can therefore safely say that there are more temples than homes in Bali. Most of these temples are shrines and might not be regarded as actual temples, but the number of walled compounds is believed to reach to a total of 10,000.
The historically important area of Tampaksiring is about 20 km northeast from Ubud town centre. 300 metres north of the bemo terminal in Tampsaksiring on the main road, the entrance track to Gunung Kawi ('poet mountain') is signposted. Dating from the 11th century, this is presumed to be the burial complex of King Anak Wungsu and his many wives.
Reached by climbing down 371 steps, the location at the bottom of the steep Pakrisan River valley is stunning. The smaller complex on the south side of the river is presumed to be for the king's wives, while the larger complex is thought to be for the King himself and perhaps his favourite concubines. About one km downriver there are further tomb cloisters.
On the way back up, take a break at Cafe Kawi, which has cold drinks (Rp 10,000 & up) and fresh breezes which are free. Entrance is Rp 6,000, open daily 8.00 AM to 4.00 PM except during major religious hoildays.
Location map of Gunung Kawi temple
Last revised on January 07, 2010
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