Daily Archives: December 16, 2012

Ancient temples that carved into a cliff

There are many temples built by our ancestors in the past. Some of them are unique, because they were built not by making structures in the open but by carving the temples into a cliff. The most popular of such temples is a temple in Jordan known as Petra.

There is also a temple in Indonesia that carved into a cliff. Lies in a narrow valley of Tukad Pakerisan (Pakerisan River), at the north-east of Ubud, Bali, there is a complex of very old pavilions and shrines that carved into the hillside along the river. The complex is known as Pura Gunung Kawi (Gunung Kawi Temples).

part of the gunung kawi temple

part of the gunung kawi temple

Tranquil atmosphere and cool weather surround the complex all year long. Sometimes thin mists floating low in the area. Mystical ambiance is very thick in there. No wonder that the Balinese consider the place as one of their sacred spot. Because of that, one should wear proper attire when entering the place. For travellers who happen to wear shorts or mini-skirts, they should wear a cloth to cover their leg, since shorts or mini-skirts are considered improper attires to enter the sacred compound.

According to ancient scriptures, the Gunung Kawi compound was built in the eleventh century in the honour of King Anak Wungsu and his beloved queen and concubines. There are ten stone temples carved beautifully into the rock face, five temples at each side of the river. An old stone bridge connecting the two sides of the river. There are also man-made caves used for meditation and a compound of old buildings as parts of the temples.

A steep stone staircase leads the travellers down the valley, cutting through terraced rice fields owned by local farmers. When I visited the place, it took me around 15 minutes to reach the temples from the parking lot. On the way to the temples, seeing the farmers activities in the fields will be a bonus for travellers who come to visit Gunung Kawi complex.

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