Gunung Kawi Temple is located in the village of Tampaksiring not so far from Tampaksiring market. Before arriving to this object we must go down a lot of step stairways. The object itself is after the river of Pakerisan. Gunung Kawi is an ancient monument that was made on the 11th century. The ancient monument was carved on the wall of hard stone. It is believed as the burial of Erlangga King’s younger brother whose name is Anak Wungsu. It is sometimes considered as the burial of King’s Prime minister and by the local people is considered as priest house on that age.
From the lookout above a long stairway, ghostly habitations appear on the far side of the valley. The young River Pakerisan bubbles down over boulders, as it winds through the rice terraces. This is the striking setting of Gunung Kawi, a complex of rock-hevvn candis and monks’ cells
Legend has it that the gigantic strongman Kebo lwa carved out all the monuments one night with his fingernails. Remarkably preserved in their deep niches over 7 meters high, they are only facades without interior chambers. There are ten in all-the main group of five east of the river, a group of four west of the river, and one by itself at the southern end of the valley.
Each has a complex of monks’calls nearby. The candis however were not places of burial, but served as memorials to deified royalty. Short inscriptions on some of the candis have enabled archaeologists to attribute them to the end of the 1 1 th century, soon after the death of Anak Wungsu in about 1077. But the identity of the kings and royal spouses honored there has not been determined with certainty. One theory says the main group of five candis honored Udayana, his queen, his concubine, and his two sons, Marakata and Anak Wungsu. Another theory suggests they honored Anak Wungsu and his royal wives; Thegroup of fourcandis isthoughttoenshrine Anak Wungsu’s concubines. The tenth candi honors a high state official.
Perhaps Anak Wungsu ordered the Gunung Kawi monuments sculpted at a place where he himself used to meditate. Similar though smaller rock-hewn candis and monks’ cells have been discovered in other parts of this central heartland of the Pejeng kffigdom, several of them also on the River Pakrisan. By the suspension bridge at Campuan, Ubud, are a couple of cells. In th6se times the monastic tradition must have been strong
A candi complex dating from the 11th century, in which the candis have been carved directly out of the rock. The surrounding area is very picturesque. Not as dramatic as the other nearby candis and caves are Garba Cave and Candi Krobokan, two 12th century monuments, worth visiting if just to get off the beaten track.