Photo: Atmospheric within.

Goa Giri Putri

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Pura Gua Giri Putri is a temple within a limestone cave high in the cliffs on the east coast of Nusa Penida.

As this is a sacred site for Balinese, visitors are required to wear a sarong and sash which can be hired from the beachside warungs for 10,000 rupiah—if you haven’t packed your temple gear. Menstruating women as well as those who have recently given birth or recently bereaved (both men and women) are requested not to enter the temple. Nor are you permitted to carry “magical charms”.

The entrance is perfectly sized for small people. Photo taken in or around Goa Giri Putri, Nusa Penida, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

The entrance is perfectly sized for small people. Photo: Stuart McDonald

A steep cement stairway leads about 50 metres up the hill to the temple entrance. Here you are required to sign the visitors book and leave a “donation” of 20,000 rupiah—please refuse the single-use plastic cup of water you’ll be offered. A white-garbed pemangku (temple priest) will then sprinkle you with holy water before you enter the cave.

The entrance is a quite narrow aperture in the rocks to the left of the central shrine. If you’ve had a few too many Bintangs or filled up on Balinese cakes, you may have to give this a miss, as it’s a tight squeeze, but the cave soon opens up, although you’ll need to watch your head for the first couple of metres.

One of a number of alters within Goa Giri Putri. Photo taken in or around Goa Giri Putri, Nusa Penida, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

One of a number of alters within Goa Giri Putri. Photo: Sally Arnold

A paved path leads you deep into the dimly lit cavern filled with shrines and flickering candlelight. Thick, fragrant incense smoke pervades and the stifling atmosphere will cause bespectacled visitors to be blinded by foggy glasses and camera lenses to mist over. You may wish to take a torch—we found the lighting too dim to see where we were stepping, and the temperature in the cave caused the torch function on our phone to overheat and be disabled.

The vast interior is much larger than we expected, around 300 metres in length, peppered with several shrines adorned with umbrellas, temple flags and offerings and though it can allegedly accommodate 5,000 worshippers, we wouldn’t want to be there with that many ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Goa Giri Putri
Around 7km past Sampalan

Location map for Goa Giri Putri

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