Goa Gajah Temple

Our bali nature holiday package offer and will visit one of  famous temple in Bali called Elephant Cave Temple. About a mile due east from southern Peliatan, the road crosses a stone bridge over the long-accursed Petanu River and reaches the vast bus-park and gauntlet of souvenir stalls which must be negotiated before climbing down to the great head hewn from living rock Goa Gajah. No one is sure what the figure represents, but the monstrous face, whose fanged mouth is the entrance to a man-made cave, appears to represent an earth spirit clawing its way out of the cosmical array of animals and phantoms. According to 14th-century Javanese scribes, this was one of Bali’s principal Buddhist santuaries. Yet in the dark tunnels of it’s cave we find Hindu linggas and a statue of Siwa’s son Ganesha, the elephant God of Hinduism. At every turn one is confronted with elements of both religions, ranging from the 8th to 14th centuries, suggesting that Bali’s religiuos syncretism goes back a very long way. To the left of the cave is small shrine housing a 1000-year-old statue of the Buddhist goddess Hariti, protector of children, surrounded by a brood of her young charges. Hariti had been a notorious baby-eating ogress until Buddhism changed her wicked ways. At the bottom of the ravine some unusual broken fragments of collapsed cliff have been found with very old and rare relief carvings of delicate stupas in the style of 8th-century Java. Farther on are two small Buddhas in the lotus position, also tentatively dated to the time of the great Javanese monument, Borobodur. Beyond the Buddhas lies the entrance to what may have been a hermit’s cave. So far, it has been excavated to a depth of only 30 feet; whatever lies beyond that remains a mystery.


Elephant Cave

In the 1920’s, the first Westerner seeing the head carved at Goa Gajah thought it was the face of an elephant. From this the site earned its name “Elephant Cave” , although the name Lwa Gajah meaning “Elephant Water” is far more ancient. Many Balinese insist the carving is a self-portrait of the giant,Kebo Iwa.


Bathing Pool

The top halves of several life-sized nymphs, clearly water spouts, once guarded the mouth of the Goa Gajah cave, but a 1954 excavation revealed the rest of their bodies some distance away in a large sunken bathing place that had been buried for centuries.


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