Bali have many unique stones carvings. One of which is Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave. Goa Gajah ‘Elephant Cave’ is an archaeological site of significant historical value that makes it a special place to visit. Located on the cool western edge of Bedulu Village, six kilometers out of central Ubud, you do not need more than an hour to descend to its relic-filled courtyard and view the rock-wall carvings, a central meditation cave, bathing pools and fountains. From Ngurah Rai International Airport spend time around 1 hour 30 minutes.
Goa Gajah dates back to the 11th century, built as a spiritual place for meditation. The main grounds are down a flight of steps from the roadside and parking area, which is lined with various art and souvenir shops and refreshment kiosks. Upon reaching the base you will come across a large ‘wantilan’ meeting hall and an assortment of large old stone carvings, some restored to their former full glory.
At the southern end are beautiful rice fields and small streams that lead to the Petanu River another natural site entwined in local legends. Goa Gajah was built on a hillside and as two small streams met here forming a campuhan or ‘river junction’, the site was considered sacred and was built for hermetic meditation and prayers.
As with any temple in Bali, women during their periods are forbidden entrance and wearing a sarong and waist sash is a must. These are available for rent at the entrance. Goa Gajah temple celebrates its ‘piodalan’ temple anniversary on an ‘Anggara Kasih Prangbakat’ Tuesday on the Balinese 210-day Pawukon calendar, corresponding to different dates on the Gregorian calendar each year (consult a local). Entry tickets are 15,000 rupiah for adults and 7,500 for children.
- Open from: 08:00 am – 16.00 pm
- Location: Bedulu Village, Jalan Raya Goa Gajah, Blahbatuh, Gianyar
- How to get there: Go east from Ubud approximately 3 km towards Jalan Raya Goa Gajah