Best MonthsDecember - May
Places to stay near Goa Gajah
Reviews of Goa Gajah • 8
The next tourist attraction to visit in Kintamani highland volcano tour is Goa Gajah Temple or commonly known as Elephant Cave Temple. It is situated in Bedulu village close to Ubud town, built in the 9th century and it offered as a sanctuary. At the facade or outside of the cave is a relief of varied scary creatures and demons carved within the rock at the cave front. The main figure was once regarded as an elephant, that is why the nickname is Elephant Cave.
Did you know- Goa Gajah was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on October 19, 1995, in the cultural category?
Goa Gajah Temple: Just six Kms. away from central Ubud, this cave is nestled in thick forested hills. It is a famous archeological site with great historical importance. The centuries old rock carving is still unspoiled and maintained to its original glory. Inside the narrow, dark cave there are three Lingams dedicated to Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. Outside the cave lies a pool featuring statues of six Hindu angels holding vases, flowing out small fountains and making pool at the bottom.
Goa Gajah Elephant Cave is an archeological site famous for its collection of historical sites. The most popular part here is a cave dating back to the ninth century with an ornately carved demon's mouth as its entrance. Inside are some fragmented lingas and yonis, a statue of Ganesha and some Buddhist stupa fragments. Wearing a sarong or a waist sash before entering the temple is compulsory. The same are available in shops at the entrance of the temple.Opening hours: All days, 8am to 4pmCost: Rp 15,000 (₹75) for adults, Rp 7,500 (₹36) for children.
After starting the day at Goa Gajah in Ubud, Bali, we started for our next destination – the Tirta Empul Temple or the Holy Spring Temple as it is often referred as. Built in 962 AD over a natural spring, this temple is dedicated to Lord Indra, the Hindu God of rain. Agni, Varuna and Indra were ancient gods in India who somehow lost their position to Vishnu and Shiva when the civilization flipped a page in its long course of history. It was in fact the only temple of Indra which we had ever seen.
At Goa Gajah, an old woman invites us and gestures to join our hands and pray to Buddha. She dips a bamboo stick into the holy water and sprinkles onto our hands and suggests to drink the water. She then takes raw rice and dabs them onto our forehead. Finally, she keeps a frangipaani on our ears.When I begin to feel that it’s for a godly cause, she points to a tiny glass box loaded with money. After all nothing comes for free. Blessings in bali comes with a price.
This is a Hindu temple, and a popular tourist attraction. To get there, buy your ticket, and walk (run?) past the numerous vendors selling the usual range of tourist trinkets. Then descend some steps and you are in the temple area. There are numerous Hindu structures, figures and symbols, all in stone. What you are looking for is the entrance to the cave. This is immediately obvious, due to the large, demonic figure carved in and around the cave entrance. Walk in, take a little care as the floor is slippery, and you will come to a T junction a few metres in. At both ends of the T are lingam and yoni statues, and a statue of Ganesha. Feel free to take a photo, everyone else, including the locals does. You can take a short jungle hike on several paths leading from the temple.