Click to explore the ancient Balinese temple Gunung Kawi

Bali Temple Guide: Pura Gunung Kawi

What is Gunung Kawi?

Pura Gunung Kawi is one of the most awe-inspiring archeological sites we have ever visited. This Balinese temple is built into a steep valley overlooking the Pakserian River. Just up the road, this river also snakes its way past the sacred Pura Tirta Empul.

Man working in the rice terraces at Gunung Kawi temple overlooking the Pakerisan river

The Pakerisan river flowing past Gunung Kawi temple in Tampak Siring, Bali
Pakerisan River

More than 100 steps will lead you through the temple where you will find dozens of ancient shrines and alters dating back to the 11th century.

The lush landscape is made even more spectacular by the green rice paddies and moss covered statues that dominate this temple complex.

Ancient shrines dating back to the 11th century at Gunung Kawi temple

Where is Gunung Kawi in Bali?

Gunung Kawi is located in the heart of the village of Tampak Siring about 1 KM away from Tirta Empul. Roughly 15 KM from Ubud.

TJ of Life Is Meant For Exploring marveling at the ancient shrines at Gunung Kawi temple

The main street of the village is usually quite busy with traffic during the day from tour groups coming to visit the temple.

From the parking area, you will be directed into the temple complex by friendly locals from the village.

Daily offerings left by the Balinese people at Gunung Kawi temple
Offerings Made by Local Balinese at Gunung Kawi Temple

There are lots of local shops selling handicrafts and warungs to stop for lunch before or after you explore Gunung Kawi.

TJ of Life Is Meant For Exploring taking a photo at the pirate ship cafe at Gunung Kawi temple
Be Sure to Check Out the Pirate Ship Cafe!

How to Get to Gunung Kawi From Ubud?

Hire a Driver

Hiring a driver for the day will probably be the most convenient way to visit Gunung Kawi.

We recommend contacting our friend Wayan (Remy) who actually lives in Tampak Siring and can give you a truly local experience.

He’s fluent in English, an excellent tour guide, and a wonderful friend.

TJ and Remy goofing around at Gunung Kawi temple
TJ and Remy

We stayed with Remy and his family for 5 days on our last visit to Bali and had some of the most memorable local experiences of our lives.

Hail a Grab

For those of you not familiar, Grab is like Uber in SE Asia.

It will probably be your cheapest option for getting to Tampak Siring, but you may want to arrange for the same driver to wait and take you back to Ubud if that is your plan.

Or, if no Grabs are available you can always hire a normal Taxi for the ride back.

Arrange a Visit Through a Tour Agency

If you have already been to Ubud, then I’m sure you know how many tour agencies there are.

Shop around and you will be able to find a good price for your group to make an entire day of visiting the temples in Tampak Siring.

Path leading to the main temple path at Pura Gunung kawi

Alli of Life Is Meant For Exploring marveling at the shrines of Gunung Kawi temple

Gunung Kawi is not the only major temple site in Tampak Siring.

For those who really want to spend a day exploring some of Bali’s most sacred and awe inspiring temple sites be sure to take a short trip up the road to Pura Mengening and Pura Tirta Empul.

Don’t take our word for it though see for yourself below 😉

Local balinese and tourists performing the water purification ritual inside the pools at Tirta Empul Temple
Tirta Empul – Photo Credit: Discover Your Indonesia
Pura Mengening in Tampak Siring, Bali
Pura Mengening a Temple You Should Not Skip

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