Elephant Cave Temple Bali (Pura Goa Gajah Bali)
Treasures, Hidden On The Island - Bali's Undiscovered Temples
Pura Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave Temple...
...(in close proximity to the Elephant River) is located west of the Bedulu countryside, in Blah Batuh Sub district in Gianyar Regency, 15 minutes outside of Ubud, about 27km from Denpasar or 1 ½ hour’s drive from Kuta.
Legends tell us that the Elephant Cave Temple was built in the 9th century and the first mention of Pura Goa Gajah was even in the Javanese poem Desawarnana, which was written in 1365. The natural cave forms a tunnel like entry to the main area where the offerings are usually placed.
At Pura Goa Gajah you can see plenty of fantastic stone carvings as well as some Koi Ponds and without doubt some guides hanging out in front of the entrance, which you can hire for a small fee (max 5 USD) and have very interesting stories to tell such as the leading theory that suggests that Goa Gajah Temple was used as a hermitage or sanctuary by Hindu priests who dug the cave entirely by hand.
Goa Gajah Temple is still a place of active worship and if you are lucky you will have the chance to see some of the mystical Balinese ceremonies.
- Tip 1: Pura Goa Gajah is Not suitable for elderly people or people with arthritis or bad knees as you have to manage plenty of stairs and the walk through the jungle is quite challenging.