Thursday, June 20, 2013

Goa Gajah: The Elephant Cave of Bali

All travelers visiting Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali ensure that they visit Goa Gajah. Such is the positive hype around this place. Goa Gajah is actually a temple that is tucked within a cave. It was built in the 9th century and is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.

Cave Temple of Goa Gajah at Bali's Ubud
At first instance, it doesn’t look like a temple and the scary cave entrance with its menacing creatures and demons take center stage. But, once you enter the cave, you see Ganesha, a set of 3 shiva lingas on one end and some other idols of gods. The insides of the cave are not big, but there are some temple like structures outside the cave. In addition to the cave and the temple, there is a bathing site with apsaras. These bathing sites are reminiscent of South Indian Hindu temples.

Goa Gajah Cave Temple of Ubud, Bali
Apart from the stunning cave, the Goa Gajah temple is also known for its dense canopy and waterfalls on the temple campus. There are some jungle temples if you walk down from the temple, cross the waterfall and climb the other side. If you want to visit this temple, remember that the temple is open only from sunrise to sunset, costs 15,000 rupiah per foreigner and is about 5 kms out of Ubud town.