Goa Gajah

Popular archaeological site

Photo of , , Ubud

What we say: 3.5 stars

The incredibly popular Goa Gajah is both a place of archaeological and cultural significance to the people of Bali and was first reported to the West by the Dutch colonial powers in 1923.

Dating from the 10th or 11th century, this complex contains a cave, a couple of temples, some ancient bathing ponds and some collapsed Buddhist relics all within a stunning jungle setting.

The cave, the main attraction here, has a beautifully carved facade in the shape of a demon, of which the mouth is the opening to the cave. The cave is quite small inside and features an ancient statue of Ganesha and trilingga which should see you buzzing through in about five minutes.

Just outside of the cave are two ancient bathing ponds with water pouring from the spouts of six female statues -- these weren't uncovered until 1954. A walk down the steps towards the river gets you deeper into the forest where massive trees provide ample shade from the sun and create a stunning picture with their gnarly roots. In this area are the remnants of some Buddhist relics, but to the untrained eye they may just look like a pile of rocks.

It is possible to walk to the nearby Yeh Pulu from Goa Gajah along the river, but the track is not clearly marked and it is best to take the offer of a guide if you choose this option.

Bemos heading to and from Gianyar ply this route and flagging one down to get to Ubud market should be no problem before midday. Expect to pay 5,000 rupiah.

More details
Jalan Raya Goa Gajah
Last updated: 1st June, 2011

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