I already visited this temple for couple of times, but always and always feel the amusement every time I step enter the temple and see the tombs.
Yes, Gunung Kawi Tampaksiring Temple actually is a funerary complex for Anak Wungsu, king of Bali from 1029-1077 as the Tampaksiring became the center of royal palace at that era, and also a tomb for his dad, the King of Udayana.
Gunung Kawi Tampaksiring temple is one of the important temple which discovered on 1920, even the temple built on 11th century by Marakatapangkaja and finished by Anak Wungsu, even by the local legend there is a story that Kebo Iwa, the powerful figure from Bali was made the temple by carving the tombs with his nails in one night. Yes, because he is so powerful, so the temple finished in one day. There is always a fascinating feeling to hear about the local legend, no matter whether you believe on it or not.
There is 9 tombs in total that I can see, even they said it’s 10 tombs, but I can’t find the other one…. Is it a mystery? Or maybe I can’t recognize it.
Anyway, the first time when I came to this temple, I still remember that we want to go to Gunung Kawi Sebatu temple and ended up here. We almost got back to find a way to Gunung Kawi Sebatu but thinking we already there so need to give a try. But then, we were trapped under the rain for 3 hours that time, before we were able to enter the temple. But it was fun and beautiful time, even we were cold and wet.
In total, now I already been there for 5 times! Yes, 5 times! And I am still amazed with the place. Always every time I am there, I can sense the thick energy from the place. The 7 meters tombs are looking so giant and powerful, even it’s was built hundred and hundred years ago.
In the east side, there is a huge temple complex with beautiful meditation area and serene Pakerisan river flow under the bridge. The temple area actually divided by that river, which I always love to stop for a while on the bridge just to admire the scenery and the atmosphere of the temple.
Gunung Kawi originally means The Carving Stone on Mountain (Gunung = Mountain, Kawi = Carving), to enter this temple, we need to pay 15k idr for the entrance fee (Foreigners/Local same price) and then if we don’t bring sarong, we can borrow sarong and anteng (belt) there, which later we pay it by donation.
Get ready to climb down and up 315 stairs to reach the temple. Even we will pass beautiful rice field and some souvenir shop, for me climb down wasn’t a problem, until I need to climb up! Almost losing my breath because of that 315 stairs! Hahaha.
Actually, I can recommend you to buy souvenir in this area, because they made it themselves and so cheap! Even you don’t feel to shop, you also can stop for a while after long climb up and enjoy a whole Coconut for 15-20k each. Making local people happy wasn’t cost that much too.
Until now, people (especially Balinese) still come there and pray. There is a Mangku (priest) that you can ask for give the blessing to you.
Just a kindly reminder for you who want to visit this place, please kindly use your sarong in proper way. Even you think you have a beach sarong to use, the small beach sarong isn’t really proper to cover your legs, especially if you wear hot pants. Another thing is, please don’t use tank tops, Balinese might not say anything about this, but it is disrespect for their culture. Just obey the rule with you are in other country, it won’t hurt you and it will give you better experience here, in Bali.