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Elephant Cave Temple Bali

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Fountain water in Bathing pond at Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Goa Gajah is locally called for Elephant cave, “Goa” means cave and “Gajah” means elephant is a place with the archeological heritage in form of a cave ornamented by the beautiful relief on the outside wall of cave. This place is formerly used as a park, a place of retreat for Shiva Priest and Buddhist monks. Elephant cave is located in the village Bedulu, sub Blahbatuh, Gianyar regency. This place can be taken approximately 45 minutes from the city of Denpasar or about 27 km distance. It is about 4 km from Ubud center to south east direction. This cave is built on the brink of a meeting between two small rivers,  those are called by Kali Pangkung then it water mixing with Petanu River flows under it. The meeting area of two rivers is called by Campuhan/mixed which is deemed to have a magical power based on concept of Rwabhineda (two differences). Based on this concept seems Goa Gajah is intentionally built in two rivers.

Elephant cave is a historic sights such as cave with artifacts-artifacts. This place became attractive because it is surrounded by rice fields and small rivers. Elephant cave is basically a cave where there are relics of the past history of Bali. But not only that there are historical artifacts but also the natural atmosphere is so beautiful and alluring. This attraction is also surrounded by rice fields and rivers with water that always flows. There are four complexes in Elephant cave complex of caves with reliefs Ganesha, Trilingga, Petirtaan (bathing place), and the valley where there Pangkung Tukad stupa three-pronged relief, relief umbrella composite 13, and statues of Buddha. In this area, the complex can be found two worship of two religions. The layout of these two complexes worship side by side. The existence of both a proof that the religious harmony has existed in the country since centuries ago.

Elephant Cave is an area that stores archaeological heritage of future developments in the Bali Hindu and Buddhist. The existence of this site was first noticed by an official of the Dutch East Indies government, LC Heyting, in 1923. Heyting in the report mentioned the existence of a cave with the outside wall of ornate carvings. Ornamented cave that is the source of naming “Elephant Cave”. Elephant Cave has a depth as far as 9 meters. At the end, the hall cave split into right and left side – form the letter “T”. From the west end (left) to the east end (right), the length of this corridor is 13.5 meters, with a width of 2.5 meters and height of almost 2 meters. At the mouth of the cave, there is a giant sculpture shaped stone face with eyes glancing to the right, a large nose, and mouth gaping. The sculptured motif decorated foliage, giant, pigs, and monkeys.

On the east side of the mouth of the cave, there are two lines of text, “Kumon” and “Sahy (w) geese”, which was written by ancient script Kadiri squared. This script is estimated to come from around the 11th century. While, in front of the mouth of the cave, was found six statues of women who later reconstructed as an “petirtaan” or holy bathing pool.  The pool is separated by wall with shower which is taking place holy water for ceremonial purposes. Pool which was originally buried, only discovered in 1954 by the Department of Antiquities Krijgsman of the time. And statues contained in the shower is a statue of angels which may amount actually there are 7 pieces but found only 5 pieces. The statue was divided into two groups, each of which there are three showers and one lined up in the middle of nothing. Seven shower as a take holy water takes the concept of ‘sapta tirta’ the 7 holy water that has a value equal to the sanctity of ‘sapta pulse’ of 7 rivers that washed away in India, among others, the Ganges, the Indus, the river Saraswati, the river Yamuna, Godavari river , Serayu rivers, and streams Darmada. At this time, Elephant cave ancient relics became a temple of Pura Goa Gajah which is preserved and serviced by the local community.

Historically of Elephant Cave
Elephant cave origins can not be known with certainty. According to the ancient Javanese book, written by the MPU Negarakertagama Prapanca in 1365 AD, the name Goa Gajah derived from the word “Lwa Gajah ‘, Lwa derived from lwah or tablets, which means water or a river and elephant is the name of the river is now called Petanu river. Others say the name Goa Gajah derived from Ganesha statue inside the cave on the northwest corner where the Ganesha statue head wear like an elephant’s trunk. In the year 975 Saka inscriptions Dawan and Pandak Bandung inscription mentions the name of the Hermitage “Antakunjarapada”. When viewed from the meaning of the word ‘Kunjara’ which means elephant, and ‘anta’ which means the end or limit, while the ‘on’ means the place or region. Thus Antakunjarapada means hermitage located on the borders of the Air elephant, which is now called Elephant cave. Hermitage Elephant cave which in Sanskrit is called Antakunjarapada can be linked to the Hermitage Kunjarakunja located in southern India on the slopes of Mount Kunjara, the residence of the sage Agastya is now called the Agastya-panicle. The neighborhood around the hermitage Kunjarakunja in the mountains on the banks of the river flow is estimated to be Tamraparni naming concept hermitage of Elephant cave.

Based searches conducted by archaeologists, the site Elephant Cave is thought to have existed since the 11th century. This is reinforced by the information contained in Badung inscription to the year 1071 AD. On this inscription, there is a description of antakunjarapadda (“Kunjara” means elephant) as a place of worship of Hindus and Buddhists Dynasty Warmadewa – in power between 10 to 14 century AD. Meanwhile, the complex is expected Tukad Pangkung older. It is based on the similarity between the statues of Buddha in Tukad Pangkung with Dyani Buddha statue at Borobudur. Based on this, Tukad Pangkung probably built in the 9th century AD.

Another reinforcing existing evidence on Blanjong inscription in the Sanur area. In the inscription to the year 917 AD, there are ornaments in the form of a three-pronged stupa. Stupa branched three sites can be found the Elephant Cave.

Historical evidence shows Elephant Cave is the center of activity of two different religions, namely Hinduism Shiva and Buddha. Dozens of the past century, the complex was once a hermitage for the people of both religions. Hindu priests and Buddhist monks have lived side by side.

As a Famous visited place in Bali
Since it is appointed as tourist destination, Gua Gajah is many visited by tourist everyday due to it is strategically located on the main road Ubud – Kintamani. Kintamani Volcano Tour is one of the famous land tour in Bali usually put this tourist destination on the tour itinerary. It was well completed by public facilities like toilet, parking area and souvenir shops available. This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on October 19, 1995 in the Cultural category.
It is Rp 15.000 / adult for entrance fee includes using the sarung. Long skirt / pant and neatly dressed is required.

 The following are photos of Elephant Cave Temple in Bedulu village, Bali – Indonesia

Elephant Cave temple in Bedulu village, Gianyar - Indonesia - Bali Hello Travel

Welcome sign at Elephant Cave temple in Bedulu village, Gianyar – Indonesia – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Overview of Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, historical remains stone in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Historical remains collections at Elephant Cave temple, historical remains stone in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple-Bali Hello Travel

Tourist visit at Elephant Cave temple, Bedulu village, Gianyar, Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Bathing ponds at Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Bathing pond with statues at Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Mouth Ornaments of Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Beautiful stunning look of Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Tourist having picture in front of Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Inside the cave of Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Decorative temple during the ceremony at Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Little bridge to Buddhist temple at Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Huge tree at Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

At the park of Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Stairway to rice field and little shop at Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel

Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali - Bali Hello Travel

Pathway to temple at Elephant Cave temple, in Bedulu village, Gianyar-Bali – Bali Hello Travel