The magical island of Bali always inspires the imagination of the visitor with its attractive natural scenery, ancient monuments and balmy climate. Visitors to the island should make it a point to explore the well-known Gunung Kawi, a noteworthy ancient temple complex. This fascinating location provides an insight into the mode of life and spirituality of the former inhabitants of the island.
This archaeologically significant temple complex dates to as far back as the 11th century and its magnificence and artistry testifies to the skill and technical expertise of the ancient artisans who created it. The structures at the site have been fashioned from solid rock, a difficult endeavour which has been accomplished in an amazing manner.
The site is located within Bali’s countryside, a magical idyllic setting which seems unique to the island. On the way to the location you will see an array of picturesque rice fields which seem to stretch into the distance. To reach the temple compound you must walk along a modest footpath which will take you into the heart of the countryside. Everything around you will seem alluringly beautiful, the only sound to be heard being the farmers working in their fields.
When you reach the actual temple complex, taking centre stage you will notice a number of precisely fashioned monuments. These rock carvings are thought to have been dedicated to the local royalty who reigned in this part of the island many centuries ago. The principal rock monuments are considered as having been dedicated to the monarch Udayana; his queen from Java, Gunapriya; his famous elder son and heir Airlangga; and finally his younger son, Prince Anak Wungsu.
Near the principal temple complex you will see a secluded area with five small cells shaped from the sheer rock face. These are thought to have once been occupied by the caretakers of the temple. Next to a central courtyard you will notice another group of niches, probably intended for travelling pilgrims who wished to rest along their journey.
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Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+