Bali, the holy and magical land, has not only beautiful natural attractions, but is also full of ancient religious places. Belief in Hindu gods is the power of the ancient Balinese to construct magnificent architecture in order to pay respect to their gods. Pura Goa Gajah is one of the archaeological sites that has indicated the powerful faith and has influenced the belief of Balinese people until present.
Pura Goa Gajah or elephant cave temple is located in Bali, Indonesia. It is in the west of Bedulu Village in Blahbatuh District, Gianyar regency and far from Ubud Town 6 kilometres. Pura Goa Gajah was discovered by Dutch archaeologist in 1923. In the temple, there is, among Indonesian art, the most famous cave dug by human. Rahu that looks savage was carved in front of the cave. It is the art of East Java-Bali. The reason why Rahu was carved in savage way like scowling elephant’s face is to eliminate the forces of evil. The surrounding area was sculpted into nature form with different species of animal. The narrow cave was dug into T shape with 13-metre walkway toward the intersection with 15 metre wide. There is a statue of Ganesha at one side of the intersection. At the other was placed 3 Lingams that are the representative of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. According to the belief of Hindu, it was the place for hermit’s hibernation.
Pura Goa Gajah is a rock cave built in the 10th -14th century. The history of the cave is now debated. Since there are Ganesha who is the son of Shiva and Ligam for worshipping him in this cave, it is believed that Pura Goa Gajah is temple. On the other hand, it is probably the place of hibernation and archaeological site of Buddhist that lived outside near a river. Because the statue of Indian female giant Harati in Buddha Era was found at the entrance of the cave. In front of the cave, there is a holy pool with the sculpture of 6 ladies, 3 for each side. Water is spouted from the opening. Balinese people believe that we will have a child if we pray, drink water and take a bath in this pool.
If tourists do not spend much time for visiting the cave, they can walk around the temple to see the view of beautiful paddy field. It is good for taking a photo. The temple open every day for free. Tourists can come with a tour guide or rent a vehicle for travelling by themselves. There is a parking lot for free in the temple. The suggestion for visiting temples in Bali is that visitors, both men and women, should be properly attired. And the important thing is that tourists must wear a sarong that is available all Indonesia.