Gunung Kawi is the largest and maybe also the most impressive of the old monuments on Bali. Like Goa Gajah this site is around 1.000 years old, probably built at the end of the 11th century. Gunung Kawi was first discovered by Europeans in 1920, even if the local population had knowledge of it a long time before that.
This important temple one km north of the Tampaksiring village was founded as early as 962 AD. It is not as spectacular as Gunung Kawi a few km’s away, but absolutely worth a visit. Even if this is one of the oldest sites on Bali much of the structures are relatively new, it was completely restored in 1969. People from all over Bali come here to take a bath in the holy water for good health and good luck. The crystal clear water surfaces in a pool which, according to old traditions, is the Balinese Fountain of Eternal Youth. The pool is therefore protected by a wall. The surfacing water origins from the Batur lake via underground rivers.
Tampaksiring was long time ago a center for the Hindu religion on Bali, and has within it’s borders two of the most sacred temples and relics on the island; Tirta Empul and Gunung Kawi. The Tampaksiring area is part of the Gianyar district and located about 40 km north of Denpasar and 14 km northeast of Ubud, along a road leading all the way to the Batur mountain. Gunung Kawi is two km south of the city center, while Tirta Empul is one km to the north. The direction to both sites are properly marked.