Gunung kawi of Tampaksiring is located in Banjar Penaka, Tampaksiring Sub-District, Gianyar Regency. Gunung Kawi Temple is an archaeological site in the form of a very lovely and beautiful temple carved on the sandstone wall at the cliff of Pakerisan River.
Historically, Gunung Kawi temple of Tampaksiring is the shrine (sthana)/place of worship of Balinese King called Anak Wungsu, the son of King Udayana. It was told that the King Udayana and his queen Gunapriya Dharmapatni had 3 sons, namely Airlangga as the eldest son and become the King of Kediri in East Java, White Marakata and Anak Wungsu continued the throne of King Udayana in Bali.
After the death of King Udayana he was replaced by Marakata in the year 1025 AD, later Marakata was superseded by his brother Anak Wungsu (1049 AD) until the year 1080 AD. These King after their death were enshrined in Gunung Kawi Temple ofTampaksiring.
On the wall of the Temple, it was found Kediri Kwadrat writing which reads ” Haji Lumah ing Jalu” which means the king who was enshrined in Jalu, while in the second temple, there is a writing which says “Rwa nak ira” which means “his two sons” so it can be concluded that the largest temple is the shrine of Udayana and the second temple was the shrine of his sons.
In tengkulak Inscription dated 945 Saka (1023 D), created during the reign of Sri Haji Paduka Dharmawangsa Marakata PAngkaja Stanattunggadewa, tells about the circumstance of the Hermitage (Kantyangan) Amarawati located around Pakerisan River, which in the inscription, was referred to as the area of Gunung Kawi Temple of Tampaksiring. In addition to as the ancestral shrine, Gunung kawi Temple is also a centre of spiritual and religious training.
In The southern part of Gunung Kawi Temple, there is a Campuhan which is the meeting of two river, namely Pakerisan and Bulan River, according to Hindu community belief, this Campuhan is believed as place for self purification.
Until now, people still believe and use the holy water/ Tirta available in Gunung Kawi Temple for the purpose of religious ceremonies.