Elephant Cave Temple – Where Elephants Are Nowhere to be Found

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.

Elephant Cave Temple Bali Hindu Buddhist
Elephant Cave Temple in Bali.

Goa Gajah in Bali

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.

Gianyar Bali Things to do
Welcome to Goa Gajah!

Its name, Elephant Cave Temple, comes from the cave where a tiny statue of Ganesh sits inside. FYI: Ganesh is a Hindu god with the face of an elephant.

Ganesh elephant face hindu god Bali
Elephant Cave Temple (Bali, Indonesia).

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?

Elephant Cave Temple Monster stone statue
The monster-like mouth entrance of the Elephant Cave Temple.

If you look at closely the exterior carvings of the cave, you will figure out that it’s a jungle out there!

Elephant Cave Temple Bali Monster statue
Elephant Cave Temple in Bali

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.

Things to do in Bali Ubud

The cave is small, and you will be done in less than a minute or two.

Elephant Cave Temple Bali Water fountain
Tourist Attractions in Bali

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.

Goa Gajah Tourist Attractions in Bali
Tourist Attractions in Bali

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! 😀

Hostel Ubud Hotel Bali
You can go here by joining a Day Trip from Ubud.

Though the cave is the “main attraction”, you should walk around the complex, too.

Day trip Bali Ubud Canggu Seminyak Kuta
The temple complex is in the middle of a dense forest.

You can follow the sound of the streams and enjoy the views of the two cascading waterfalls.

Goa Gajah Waterfalls in Bali Indonesia

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.

waterfalls Bali tourist attractions
Two streams, two waterfalls inside the complex.

It’s a calming hike where you hear the sound of two cascading streams, chirping birds, and the rustling of the leaves.

Hindu altar in Bali Hostel Hostel accommodation

Surrounded by dense forest, the complex is totally my kind of tourist destination I’d never get tired of visiting.

Accommodation Bali Hostel Hotel / Elephant Cave Temple

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.

Goa Gajah Temple Elephant Cave
Goa Gajah in Bali

Where To Stay in Ubud

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 or 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 for everything you’d ask for. You can book it through these websites:  HostelWorldBooking.com, and CTrip.


A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.

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