As ancient and respected site, Goa Gajah is worth a visit. Every tour itinerary in Bali always includes Goa Gajah. Goa Gajah is Indonesian for Elephant Cave, built in the 11th of century as a monastery. Even though the name represents the elephants, but in fact there are lots of bats inside of the cave. Two statues welcome you at the entrance and also there is the statue of Ganesha can be found inside the cave.
Goa Gajah is located in the west side of Bedulu countryside, Gianyar regency. Goa Gajah is only 27 km from Denpasar. This cave is built at crevasse edge from the federation of 2 rills that is called Pangkung River, where the irrigation is mixed with Petanu River flow. The federation area of two rivers is called Campuhan or Mixture. It owns the magical energy on the basis of Rwabineda Concept/two different matters on this basic concept Gua Gajah is intentionally built among two rivers.
When it comes to Goa Gajah, questioning its name will not be missed. The word of Goa Gajah comes from the word of Lwa Gajah, the name of Buddhist Temple or hermitage for Buddhist monk. The Goa Gajah’s name is written on Negara Kertagama papyrus which is compiled by Mpu Prapanca on 1365 M. Lwa or Lwah/loh means the river and it reflects to the meaning that the hermitage is located at Gajah River or in Air Gajah. In the year inscription 944 Saka, it is mentioned with the name of ‘ser ring Air Gajah’ that meant the Subak leader in Air Gajah.
Goa Gajah is not merely about history and ancient things, there are also many things to see here. There is a relief that almost looks like the form of mountain on the entrance of this cave. In the inside, there are lots of reliefs like grove with the stick, close leaf, animals: forest pig, tortoise and specters. The cave mouth is decorated by the bas-relief with the eye turn around to the right or west side. An article of Kediri type was found on the early of 11 century, written on the wall left side or east side.
There is also a pool or Patirtahan as a place to take the holy Tirtha water for Hindu ceremony which is located in the middle of the cave courtyard. This Holy Pool was previously piled up by land and it has been found on 1954 by Krijgsman from the Ancient Department. The Holy pool is equipped by the statue douche which is arranged in two groups. Since it is appointed as tourist destination, Goa Gajah has been visited a lot by tourist everyday due to it is strategically located on the main road Ubud – Kintamani.
Looking Goa Gajah, visitors are obliged to wear shawl provided in the entrance gate. A descend and stepped footpath welcomes you while getting closer to to the main location. Looking from above, Goa Gajah has dazzled its beauty due to its location that is situated underneath the surrounding area. being closer to the mounth of the cave, visitors will be pampered by beautiful Balinese carving reflecting a dense forrest with it inhabitants. There are a lot of cultural heritage left in Goa Gajah, and you will be able to enjoy all beauty provided only if you visit Goa Gajah in Bali.
To be in this Goa Gajah, taking a tour will be practically done. Kintamani volcano tour is one of the famous land tour in Bali. This tour usually puts Goa Gajah as the destination on the tour itinerary. It was well completed by public facilities like toilet, parking area and souvenir shops available.
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