One of the places I have visited in Bali Indonesia is the Goa Gajah Temple in Bedulu Village in Blahbatuh District about 27 km from Kuta. This is included in the itinerary of the Bali full day tour package I availed while on holiday in Bali Indonesia. Goa Gajah is an archaeological site but still an active worship place. It is located on a steep valley beside the main road. You have to descend from the stone steps to reach the complex.
Goa Gajah which literally translates Elephant Cave is carved into a rock face in a shaped of the letter T. At the mouth of the cave as the entry point is decorated with sculptured 'barong' face accompanied with big clapping fingers on its side. Leaves, flowers, and some horror figures completes the rest of the carving. Inside the cave, there are statues in placed at both ends. One on the left is a bodied man with a head of an elephant, and on the other end are three 'linggas' which is a phallic symbol of Hindu God Shiva. Along the inside walls are niches functioned for sleeping and meditation place of the monks.
Aside from the cave, the real attraction of the complex is its beautiful surroundings. In the courtyard fronting the cave are two bathing pool with water gushing out from waterspouts held by females figures of nymphs or goddesses. These pools were no longer used by the local people. Adjacent to it is the remains of a crumbled Buddhist temple. Rice paddies, gardens, stone steps that leads to other settings completes the whole complex.
Landmark along the main road
View of the complex from descending stair
The Elephant Cave facade
View of the left wing of the cave
The opposite wing
View of the narrow entrance from the inside
The bath pool turned into a fishpond
Remains of the crumbled Buddhist temple. The complex houses the Buddhist and Hindu temples.
Gardens within the complex
The Goa Gajah is definitely a must see to experience how it was then the old times of the island, as it is a significant Hindu archaeological site. The place is open from 8am to 4:30pm everyday and has an entrance fee of Rp15,000. Proper dress is required: covered knees for both men and women. Sarongs are available on loan at the entrance.