The candis of Gunung Kawi are believed to be constructed in the 11th century (1080 AD) by king Anak Wungsu in honor of his father, the great Balinese ruler Udayana. Contrary to what is often believed, the candis are not tombs, for they have never contained human remains or ashes. In this respect they are rather considered to be symbolic secular accommodations to house the members of the defied royal family when they are invited down during temple festivals, similar to the rites that are still held today during the temple festivals of 'modern' Balinese Hinduism, as shaped by Nirartha in the 16th century.
The candis of Gunung Kawi are devided into three separate sections. Four minor candis can be found at one side of the river, five major ones at the other side and, often overlooked by visiors, a tenth candi a little laid back from these major and minor clusters. There is evidence that the candis were probably once protected within two massive rock-hewn cloisters. In shape the candis resemble small buildings surmounted by massive three-tiered roofs bearing nine stylized lingam-yoni fertility symbols. Each candi actually looks like a doorway, carved in relief, but going nowhere. Instead, there is a small chamber beneath the candi, accessed by a sloping shaft from the front, in which a stone plaque (peripih) with nine holes containing symbolic offerings of food and metal objects, representing the necessities of earthly existence, was placed.
Symmetrically flanking the candis are large spaces, often divided into three sections by pillars. Some exceed eight meters in length by three meters deep, with lofty, vaulted ceilings rising to more than two and a half meters in height. Furthermore there are 34 other rock-hewn structures in the area.
Also there is evidence that provisions have been made in its construction for water to be directed towards the candis, and from there into sluices and spouts. As in Balinese Hinduisme it is believed that when water has flowed over a candi it has become imbued with divine properties through contact with the essence of the resident deity, this accounts for the fact that even today Gunung Kawi remains an important source for the holy water that has always been central to Hindu Balinese rites.
The name of Gunung Kawi is the name given on the omission which is related to the complex of temples because the temple on this area is like the symbol from the mount. There are 3 temples which so called the name as Gunung Kawi in Bali those are Gunung Kawi in Sebatu countryside, Gunung Kawi Temple in Keliki countryside and Gunung Kawi Temple in Babitra countryside.
Gunung Kawi is located near Tampak Siring village, around 5 km from well known Tirta Empul Temple. The location is 35 km from Denpasar, city, 50 km from Kuta, and 68 km from Nusa Dua. It is still one route from Gowa Gajah, Pura Pusering Jagat, Gunung Kawi, and Tirta Empul temple. This area preserves many ancient sites, stone sculptures and rock cut structures, especially along the slope of Pakerisan river.
For day or half day tour bookings to the Place please contact Ketut Maryana at DriversBali.com
Phone: +62 81 2397 7705 (Mr. Ketut Maryana)