Bali : Goa Gajah


If you travel towards Ubud, make a quick 30 mins stop at Goa Gajah in Bedulu. Goa is cave and gajah is elephant in Indonesian. This cave was built in the 9th century and is located about 2km from east Ubud.  After parking, you will walk thru the normal tourist path = shops.  It is a demon’s mouth and not an elephant’s mouth.  This temple holds both Buddhist and Hindu influence.

Welcome to Goa Gajah.

Come buy, come buy. Please buy, please buy.

Please pay and wear a nice sarong. Sarong is loaned to you for free.

You buy the tickets at a different booth. Facing this picture’s direction, the booth is behind you. Entrance fee is cheap at around 6,000 rupiah. 60 cents USD.  Once purchased, come to this booth and let them see/stamp your ticket.

Rules of entry.

This is the multilingual rules of entry. Do note that women having their monthly cycle are not allowed to enter. There is also a need to be decently dressed. Sarongs are provided for those who come with shorts. Try to wear a sleeved shirt. This is quite common attire to religious sites so keeping it in the car/taxi/backpack would be quite handy. Not all places loan them for free and some places do charge. Thankfully, they do not charge here.

These are small shrines. DO NOT damage or cause them to fall. It is against the law and culture. You can be fined and/or jailed.

This is what you will see as you walk down the steps to the temple. These are small shrines that are sacred and best not be touched. There is a fine and jail time. Unless you want to spend some time in an Indonesian prison after incurring the wrath of gods, I’d advise you to just take a photo and move on.

Entrance to the cave. The cave is in a T shape. About 10 meters in and another 10 meters to the left and right. It is damp and cooling inside but very dark. You can bring a torch light in.

Cool refreshing pool.

The peace and calm of the water. Water is essential to human life and is incorporated much in temples around Bali. The water is holy blessing water and you can go and touch it. Just be careful not to fall in to the small pool.

Statues are placed here to guard the pools.

The sound of flowing water re-energizes you.  There were not many people here possibly due to the off-season. Goa Gajah may be off the normal track that tourist take. You can take your time to stroll and enjoy the cool peace here.

Rocks that fell. There are carvings and images of Buddha.

This is another section of the compound. There is a long walk required. I did not venture far. At this small waterfall, there are rocks and Buddhist carvings on the rocks.

Deep stretching roots.

Peaceful serene garden.

Find your zen here at the botanical gardens.

Supposedly, some significant carvings and the face of Buddha. May be upside down if you can tilt your head.

It takes a short time to cover this small area photographed. You can walk further in and explore the gardens but I was told it is another 20-30 minutes walk minimum. Not wanting to spend much time here, we left.

TRAVEL ADVISORY : Be careful of people who come and offer you a guide tour of this place. They may seem nice and once the short tour is done, you will be asked to pay him some money to support his family..etc. I have heard of people paying SGD10, USD 10 for a tour that basically shows you the obvious.


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