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.

Categories: Travel Pictures | Tags: , , | 46 Comments

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46 thoughts on “Ancient temples that carved into a cliff

  1. Che meraviglia…..

  2. I’m really enjoying your photo’s. Would you mind sharing what kind of camera and lens you are using? I currently use a Nikon D5100.


    • Hi Maria, glad that you enjoy my photos. Thanks πŸ™‚
      So far I use my old Canon EOS 350D, and for the lens I usually use Tamron 18-250.

  3. How interesting, and what a beautiful place. Thank you so for posting this

  4. Ely Meyer

    Wow …. foto fotonya mas, bikin saya melongo … membayangkan andai ada di sana, pasti aku juga akan ber wow wow

  5. Enaknya pergi ke sana. .

    Nitip cerita misteri karangan saya,Perkemahan yang terganggu.

  6. Una belleza de fotografΓ­as y una belleza de lugar, abrazos

  7. Gorgeous. I knew Petra was beautiful, but this one is even more and more breathtaking. I really want to go this place once I get to Bali. Thanks for sharing bro. You did a great job πŸ™‚

  8. how beautiful…

  9. petit4chocolatier

    It is mystical. Love the photos! Gorgeous πŸ™‚

  10. Beautiful images. You captured the essence of the temples and leave the viewer curious about the mysteries within. Robyn

  11. Kaki dan napas saya gempor di sini:d

  12. Lost Creek Publishing

    I would love to see that someday. Wow!

  13. Beautiful shots!!!

  14. Itu gunung kawi yang suka buat ambil jimat itu ya pak? Belum pernah kesono, cuman denger namanya aja πŸ™‚

    • Wah bukan Mbak, Yang buat ambil jimat itu kalau gak salah ada di Jawa Timur. Kalau yang ini ada di Bali, dekat Ubud. Memang namanya mirip.

  15. Beautiful photos and a most beautiful place!

  16. temples into a cliff! sounds fascinating! and you’re right, it all seems very mystical..

  17. Interesting article! Sounds like the right place to do some deep thinking… maybe get some nice photographs of the farmers along the path to the temple. Makes me want to go there some day!

    • Thank you. Yes I agree with you, it is the right place for contemplating, and while walking to the temple or from the temple, you can get pictures of farmers doing their daily routine in the fields.

  18. Wah, ini mengingatkan saya pada kenangan tahun 2006 dulu, hehe, what a memory. Thank you for sharing, Pak Chris.. πŸ™‚

    Subhan Zein

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