At Elephant Cave Temple, the elephants are nowhere to be found. Nada. Zero. Nil. This is a sacred place for Hindus in Bali and it is rich in cultural and archaeological importance. Not far from central Ubud, the temple is just a few minutes away via a scooter. It’s also one of the tourist attractions you will visit if you take the Ubud Tour from travel agents.
The locals in Bali call it Goa Gajah. No one knows the origin of the cave, but historical records show that it was built in the 8th-11th century.
Its name, Elephant Cave Temple, comes from the cave where a tiny statue of Ganesh sitting inside. FYI: Ganesh is a Hindu god with the face of an elephant.
You can only enter the cave by passing through the open wide mouth of a monster-like statue. Some people believed it’s the face of an elephant but I just couldn’t see the similarities. 😀 It could be an angry deity, maybe?
As soon as you are inside, you will find a carved alley formed like letter T. On the left side, you will find the statue of Ganesh. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see what’s on the right side because there was no light. It’s really dark.
The cave is small, and you will be done in less than a minute or two.
Across the cave, there lies a pond with statues of women holding cleansing fountains. Up to this day, people are still using it for religious rituals.
One of the things that I noticed here is that the temple complex has both elements of Hinduism and Buddhism. And when I checked online, on my way to the next destination, I found out that I was right in my observations! Yaayaayy! 😀
Though the cave is the “main attraction”, you should walk around the complex, too.
If you have more time, take a short hike by following the trail. It leads to a Buddhist temple, a pond, an outside Buddhist altar, etc.
It’s a calming hike where you hear the sound of two cascading streams, chirping birds, and the rustling of the leaves.
Surrounded by dense forest, the complex is totally my kind of tourist destination I’d never get tired of visiting.
Since this is a sacred place for meditation and prayer, visitors are encouraged to wear proper clothes. If arms and legs are exposed, ask for a sarong from the gatekeeper at the entrance.
While in Ubud, I stayed at Tegar Guest House for two weeks. It’s affordable for a long stay and the owners are very accommodating. Their breakfast is good and it comes with tropical fruits. No TV and fridge, but it’s really cozy and clean. I have my own balcony facing the birds of paradise flowers. The location is perfect! It’s in a quiet area, but so close (26 steps) to the main road. Downtown is just a few steps away. The guest house is convenient to everything you’d ask for. You can book it through Booking, TripAdvisor, and Expedia. For hostels, some options are found via HostelWorld. If you want to join this tour, click HERE.