Goa Gajah-The heart of Bali 

Tripoto
Photo of Goa Gajah-The heart of Bali by Shilpi

Bali has an enticing, rich cultural history that has been the source of attraction for everyone. The place never fails to surprise you. One such place in the paradise island is Goa Gajah.

Photo of Goa Gajah-The heart of Bali  1/8 by Shilpi
Photo of Goa Gajah-The heart of Bali  2/8 by Shilpi

Located in the heart of Ubud, just three kilometers away from sacred monkey forest, Goa Gajah got its name from the elephant carving at the entrance of the cave. Gajah or elephant, is the primary carving besides other demon looking figures. The cave is said to date back since 11th century.

The dim lit cave houses the idols of Lord Shiva, and Ganesha. Rest of the complex has both Hindu and Buddhist imagery.

Photo of Goa Gajah-The heart of Bali  3/8 by Shilpi

Spread over a large area in an untouched, lush green forest, Goa Gajah besides the iconic cave has a cemetery, Buddhist temples, gorgeous gardens, sacred pools, a tiny waterfall, colorful flea market and religious structures resembling Hindu architecture. I loved the well maintained garden.

Photo of Goa Gajah-The heart of Bali  4/8 by Shilpi
Photo of Goa Gajah-The heart of Bali  5/8 by Shilpi
Photo of Goa Gajah-The heart of Bali  6/8 by Shilpi

The path to Buddhist temple is a long stairway dotted with bright hued flowers.

Photo of Goa Gajah-The heart of Bali  7/8 by Shilpi

A huge Banayn Tree which I suppose is a century old, got my attention.The humongous tree has its magnificent roots spread across a large diameter and the arial roots resemble a lifestyle sized harp. Sheer brilliance of nature. And a noteworthy thing is the respect people have for nature. No deforestation or harm to flora is allowed in Bali. I salute their spirit and love for the Earth’s natural wonders.

Photo of Goa Gajah-The heart of Bali  8/8 by Shilpi

Goa Gajah is a vast area to cover on foot. Advisable to wear flats or sports shoes and avoid heels. Also, not wheelchair friendly.

Entry tickets- 15000 IDR

Rule- Like all sacred places in Bali, Goa Gajah too follows the rule of covering legs strictly. Sarongs are available free of cost in case you are not dressed as per the custom. They asked me to tie a scarf around a waist since I was dressed in full length pants.

Parking available- Yes

Total time to spend- 1-2 hours

Day 5

Did you know- Goa Gajah was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on October 19, 1995, in the cultural category?

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