Welcome to Goa Gajah Temple or Elephant Cave on the western slope of the rural Bedulu, Blahbatuh and Gianyar Regency. It is located about 27 kilometers away from the town of Denpasar.
This cave is built on the edge of the crevasse from the Pangkung River federation of 2 rills, where the irrigation is mixed with the flow of the Petanu River. Campuhan / Mixture is the federation area of two rivers. It owns the magical energy based on Rwabineda Concept / two different issues on this basic concept, so Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) is deliberately built between two rivers.
Goa Gajah’s word is derived from Lwa Gajah’s word, Buddhist Temple’s name or Buddhist monk’s hermitage. The name of the Goa Gajah is written on the papyrus of Negara Kertagama compiled on 1365 M by Mpu Prapanca. The river is meant by Lwa or Lwah / Loh and reflects the meaning that the hermitage is located on Gajah River or in Air Gajah.
It is mentioned with the name of’ ser ring Air Gajah’ in the year inscription 944 Saka, which means the Subak leader in Air Gajah. The word said that Lwa Gajah’s hermitage is in Subak Air Gajah. In 1923, the Goa Gajah Temple was rediscovered, and the bathing pond in front of the cave was rediscovered in 1954; then restored and redeveloped the shower areas, originally located in front of the cave, where their conditions had been incomplete.
There is a carved Cave of Nature in the northern part of the temple in the form of the letter “T.” There is a Ganesha statue inside this cave, which is considered the god of science. In addition, some fragments of statues and a Trilangga surrounded by eight small phallus can also be found at the site.
There are hermitage niches in the cave wall, and Cave’s face is decorated with carvings that depict a jungle with its contents. Similarly, a short inscription reads “Kumon” and “Sahywangsa,” which is supposed to originate in the 11th century AD according to the type of letters.
Meanwhile, there is a building in the west of the cave that holds inside a squating statue and the statue of the Ganesha as well as the statue of the Men Brayut. The latter is known in Buddhist mythology as Hariti, children’s savior.
In front of the cave, with the exception of the guard statues, there are also fragments of the building whose origin was unknown, such as the fragments of the building that are now being collected in the courtyard of the temple located in the west of the bathing pond. Three-piece fountain statues that have again operated in the holy bath pond, are likely to be derived in style from the 11th century AD. The statue fountain in the middle of the pond was unfortunately not found until now.
Two Buddha statues are present in Goa Gajah Temple; one is unheaded, while the other remains good enough with Central Java style. Apparently, the north side of this statue stays on the cliffs, where the cliff temple’s foot has long fallen into the creek. There is a three-pronged relief of stupa on the side of this little one and the ruins of the cliff temple with beautiful carvings.
The Goa Gajah temple is from the 9th to 11th centuries after the archeological finds referred to above. In the past it served as a Buddhist monk and a Shivite priest’s monastery. The unification of Buddhism and Shiva worked out well, too.
For tourists wishing to visit the Goa Gajah Temple, it is necessary to wear a scarf or sarong because other than functioning as archeological attractions, this temple also represents a sacred place or sanctum. Visitors will be provided with sarongs and scarves.