The Ancient Heritage, Gunung Kawi Temple
What comes through your mind after hearing the word Bali? Must be the nature: beautiful beaches, stunning sunset view, or the freshness of greenery rice padding. But there are other things to explore. This tropical paradise has a fascinating history and culture that shapes the Balinese norm and society. Hinduism is the most influential in creating such a culture that still be respected and practiced in the present days. One of the ancient heritages of Bali is the Gunung Kawi Temple.
Located in Gianyar, the Gunung Kawi Temple lies in the beautiful scenery of rice padding and clear water river. This site is consisting of 10 stunning reliefs that carved in the stone slope. From a distance, it looks like the temples are submerged in the high stone wall. The temples are divided into two places, 5 temples are on the east side of the river, and the other 5 are across the river. It’s believed that this place is used to be the place for the King Udayana to meditate.
Before you reach the historical site, you have to follow some rules. At the entrance, people are providing you with Sarong, a cloth to cover your legs if you are wearing shorts. Even you are wearing a beautiful long flowy dress on this trip, they’ll give you a long but narrow fabric that you wear as a girdle. These are just a symbolic gesture to respect the holy place. The local people will show you how to wear it properly, it’s super easy. Just wrap it around your waist and tied them tightly, then you are good to go.
It does take time and effort to reach the temple. There are 300 stairs from the entrance to the main scene, so make sure you wear the most comfortable footwear, like hiking shoes or sandals. It sounds a lot, but along the stairs, your eyes are indulged with the stunning view of rice padding. As you walk down the stair, you can hear the stream of the river, some ponds that filled with little fishes, some women shouting off their merchant, because there are many souvenirs stores along the stairs. About 15 – 20 minutes later, all the tiredness is paid off. The beautiful and detailed relief will take tour breath away. You can sense the rich historical and Hinduism culture in this area.
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Try to walk a little further from the temple, you’ll find a hidden waterfall nearby, it’s not too extravagant, but the sounds of the water dropping from the top is calming and turn on all your sense. Definitely, one of the tourist destinations you should visit during your vacations in Bali. You got the historical story, the local culture, and the beautiful nature in one place.
A little tip before you visit this place, the best time to get here is in the morning. It is not too crowded, and you can smell the fresh morning air that is not contaminated with pollution. However, even you are out at 9AM, the sun is already burning, so make sure you put on a hat to avoid sunburn on the facial area. Do not carry too much stuff. A small purse filled with water and sunblock would be enough.
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