Pura Gunung Kawi

Pura Gunung Kawi is an 11th century temple located 15 kilometers north of Ubud (about 35min drive) that spreads accross both sides of a river. It is one of Bali’s largest and oldest monuments and what makes it so unique is that it consists of 10 shrines (called candi) each 7 meters high and carved in the rock.

To get there, you will first have to get down about 300 stone steps. Along the way you will find crafts shops and little warungs where you can buy souvenirs or refreshments. These steps will then lead you through beautiful terraced rice fields.

 

 

At the end of the stairway, you will reach an impressive stone archway with vases filled with holy water you can sprinkle onto yourself before entering.

 

 

The two complexes of the temple with five shrines each, are joined by a stone bridge where you can stop to enjoy the murmuring of the river and the incredible lush greenery of this sacred site.

 

Tips before you plan to visit Pura Gunung Kawi :

  • You should dress respectfully and rent warongs and scarves at the entrance
  • Bring enough water for the visit and save some for the way back up the 300 steps 😉

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Pura Tirta Empul

Tirta Empul means Holy Spring in Balinese. It is a Hindu Balinese water temple located in the village of Manukaya, 15 kilometers north of Ubud (about 35 min drive).

The temple is famous for its holy spring water used for purification. There are three different sections with several baths, two pools and fish ponds filled with koi.

When you first arrive, you will find a beautiful lush entrance with statues and majestical trees that lead you to the rectangular bathing pool where 11 sculpted spouts are lined on one side. Visitors who intend to follow the purification ritual enter the bath after bringing an offering and saying a prayer. They then bow, with their hands joined, under each spout letting the mountain clear water run over their heads.

Tirta Empul

 

Here are a few tips if you plan to visit Pura Tirta Empul :

  • You should dress respectfully and rent a sarong and a scarf at the entrance
  • Follow the protocol if you wish to participate to the water purification ritual
  • Bring a change of clothes and bag to put your wet belongings
  • Women are not allowed to enter the temple (and therefore the baths) during their periods

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