Bali is full of jaw dropping scenery and landscapes. Gunung Kawi Temple is one of those places. It was not even on our radar but when our Balinese friend Jantuk told us about it we had to go see it. It is one of the oldest temple complexes in Bali. It is an 11th century funerary complex located on the eastern part of Bali. Architecturally it is absolutely stunning.
You must travel down hundreds of steps to get to the carved monuments however the walk down has amazing views of rice fields and beautiful lush jungles. You must also wear a sarong as parts of the temple are holy.
Making your way down the concrete steps leads to many local merchants selling homemade goods from their shops. The sellers were not as aggressive here as in some other parts we had been to so it was nice to walk through unbothered but also being able to admire what they had to offer.
When you finally reach the bottom of the valley after walking down the many steps the first thing you come to is a magnificent cliff with beautiful carvings. It is amazing to see the hand-made beauty that sits in front of you, so much time and hard work was put into creating these shrines.
There are many temples located throughout the area and they sit low down in the valley and the beautiful Pakerisan River runs through it. It is so peaceful and calming to listen and watch the water flowing through the path it follows.
The carvings are so grandiose and large, over 25 feet in height that they are truly remarkable and towering works of art.
Exploring the grounds you will come across many temples and areas of insane beauty. What is nice about this temple is that it is not teeming with tourists and is relatively quiet so you are able to enjoy the surroundings and explore freely.
Once you have soaked in all the majesty and beauty that Gunung Kawi has to offer it is time to make the journey back up. It is a difficult trek going up hundreds and hundreds of steps in the Bali heat so be sure you are prepared. You can always stop for a nice cold Bintang Beer or water on your way up as most of the shops sell cold beverages.