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This temple was made by King Marakata Near as an altar for King Udayana; an inscription dates the temple to A.D. 945. In the Balinese Hindu faith, death consists of three phases. The first is the cremation of the body, the second is setting free the holy spirit from the spiritual body, and the third is seating the holy body in a sacred abode. Temples (candi) were built as the spiritual abodes of deceased kings. Here the Dewa Pitara of King Udayana is seated at the Candi Gunung Kawi temple; other altars were built for his descendants. Today the god Vishnu and goddess Sri are worshiped here as farmers and their subak (rice irrigation organizations) come to pray for prosperity.