Visiting Goa Gajah Temple in Bali Indonesia

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Goa Gajah Temple in Bali

After visiting Tegallalang Rice Terraces, our next stopover was at Goa Gajah Temple – an archeological heritage site located on the main road Ubud – Kintamani.

Bathing temple figures
Bathing temple figures inside Goa Gajah Temple in Bali

Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, is situated on the island of Bali near Ubud, in Indonesia. The history of Goa Gajah is not known surely and no one knows how old really the site is, but the cave and its surroundings are able to reveal some similarities to the structures that were built in the 11th century.

Balinese Painter inside Goa Gajan Temple
Balinese Painter inside Goa Gajah Temple

This cave is built on the brink of a meeting between two small rivers called Kali Pangkung and Petanu River. The meeting area of two rivers is called Campuhan which is deemed to have a magical power based on concept of Rwabhineda or two differences, thus, Goa Gajah seems to be intentionally built in two rivers.

Bathing temple
Bathing temple in Bali

Goa Gajah Temple boasts stunning sceneries which enable people to enjoy walking over the bridges and along the rivers. Around the temple is a beautiful rice field and is predominantly nearby the historic sites of Yeh Pulu, Samuan Tiga, Gedung Arca, and others.

Entrance to the Elephant Cave or Goa Gajah
Entrance to theElephant Cave or Goa Gajah

Approaching the front of the cave, guests can appreciate the beauty of the mouth of the cave carved with Balinese style. At the façade of the cave is a relief of numerous ominous creatures carved right into the rock at the entrance. These appear to have been built to ward off evil spirits and people away from the cave, or perhaps they represent the passions you need to abandon before entering the sanctuary.

Goa Gajah stupas
Goa Gajah stupas

Inside the T-shaped cave you can see disconnected remains of the lingam, the phallic symbol of the Hindu god Shiva, and its female counterpart the yoni, plus a statue of Shiva’s son, the elephant-headed god Ganesha.

Stone Sculptures at the Bathing Temple
Stone Sculptures at the Bathing Temple

A widespread bathing place near the entrance on the site was not unearthed until the 1950s and six of the seven statues that stand guard around these pools are still in place and a number of the relics sturdily indicate that the site has a Buddhist as well as Hindu past.

Inside the Temple
Inside the Temple

Goa Gajah Temple compound is open daily from 8.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m., but if you want to avoid the heavy arrival of tourists you should try to get there before 10 in the morning. Upon entering this sanctuary visitors are required to wear sarong, the entrance fee is 15,000 rupiah for adults and 7,500 for kids with free sarong hire. People are anticipated to dress modestly and ladies are besought to stay away if it is that time of the month.

Melo at the entrance of Goa Gajah Cave
Melo at the entrance of Goa Gajah Cave

Traveling to Goa Gajah Temple, tourists will find the area easily accessible because it is located on the tourist route of Denpasar – Tampaksiring – Lake Batur – Kintamani. This site is located in the Bedulu Village, about 26 kilometers from the city of Denpasar.

Indeed, Goa Gajah Temple is an archeological site fitted perfectly as a spiritual place for meditation.

Cebu Pacific Air flies direct between Manila and Denpasar (Bali) every Tuesday and Saturday. For the latest seat sales and bookings, go to www.cebupacificair.com, call the reservation hotlines (02) 7020888 or (032) 2308888 or follow Cebu Pacific Air’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.

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