Places of Interest in Gajah Cave (Goa Gajah), Bali

Goa Gajah, literally means 'Elephant Cave”. Although named by
'elephant' it doesn't mean there is any real elephant live or ever live
here. The name Goa Gajah derived from 'Lawa Gajah', which is mentioned
in the manuscripts that found in this site. This temple complex was
built for the first time around 11 century based on epigraph found in
this site.


A seven-meters deep cave with a shape of T-letter is the major
attraction of this Bedulu village's local temple. The cave it self is
carved in a solid stone hill of the river valley. The main figure of the
carving at the cave entrance is 'boma', a barong face, accompanied with
big clapping fingers on its side. Leaf, flower, and some horror figures
can be noticed if we give more attention look to the rest of the
carving. Some holes that are considered to be used as meditation or
sleeping quarters can be found in the wall of the cave. Nowadays, those
holes are used to place offerings whenever there is ceremonies taking
place. On the left end side of the cave is Ganesha statue, believe it as
'the God of knowledge'. Meanwhile on the right end side can be found
three 'linggas', that each of them dedicated to the three common God
manifestations in Bali, Brahma, Wisnu, and Siwa. There are other three
stone carvings in the centre wall, one of them figuring head and face.


Three other statues of Ganesha, demons and Men Brayut, a
legendary lady with her beloved children, are placed on a high building
located on the left side of cave entrance. It is considered that these
statues are 1000 years old. In the middle of the complex, in front of
the cave, there is bathing place that is not any longer used by the
local people. The angle figures within the bathing complex are about
similar to common figures found in India. On the south part of the
complex, there are along flight of step leads down the lower part of the
valley. After crossing a bridge above a small creek and follow another
flight of steps up to eastern side of the valley, a headless sitting
Buddha statue can be seen. This is the evident of a close relationship
between the two religions.

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