This temple cannot be separated from the story of the spiritual journey of a great sage named Rsi Markandeya (9th century BC), together with his followers of around 400 people who traveled from Taro Village to Mount Agung.
During a trip with his followers, Rsi Markandeya traveled a very long distance with blazing hot weather which made his followers tired. He and his followers rested in this place, because they felt a calm while resting, he took the time to make carvings and worship, begging Sang Hyang Giri Pati (God of Soul) and Sang Hyang Ari Murti (God of Vishnu) to be willing to give a tirta. amerta as a quencher of thirst and medicine for followers who feel tired.
During the worship period, water came out from the midst of the dawa, the name of this valley, which was later given the name Tirta Dawa Gunung Kawi. While the name Gunung Kawi comes from the word Carvings made in a place of worship that symbolizes the mountains.
At the time when the Supreme Rsi was still diligently carrying out his worship, again appeared water / tirta from the ground which was then called Tirta empul. Tirta Empul here is meant to be the mixing of water sourced from several springs and according to religious and customary beliefs here are believed to have properties to purify oneself and cure various diseases. Purifying oneself is meant to purify negative qualities both outward and inward.
This place of worship cannot be separated from Tirta Empul Temple and Mengening Temple in Tampaksiring, which also has a very large spring. Water for Hindu beliefs has an important meaning, water as a spiritual force, water as a source of life, and water as a source of fertility.
This spring source irrigates approximately 100 ha of rice fields consisting of 3 subaks, namely the Delod Belumbang subak, the Cebok subak and the Central Padang subak in the Tegalalang District area. This temple was promoted by the Sebatu people, and the subak community (approximately 200 families).
The Piodalan ceremony in this temple falls on every Purnamaning sasih kasa (1 year of Balinese calendar or July). This temple is a place of worship to worship Ida Shanghyang Widhi Waca with its manifestation as Lord Vishnu. which has a function in the belief of Hinduism as a God of Preserver.
Gunung Kawi Sebatu on map :