“Goa Gajah – literally ‘Elephant Cave’ is an archaeological site that holds significant historical value. So it is indeed a special place to visit”.
It is positioned on the western edge of Bedulu village, 6km out of central Ubud and 27km away from Denpasar town. You need approximately one hour to descend to its relic-filled courtyard and view the rock-wall carvings, a central meditational cave, bathing pools and fountains.
The Gua Gajah’s name is written on ‘NegaraKertaGama’ papyrus, which is compiled by Mpu Prapanca on 1365 M. Lwa or Lwah means river and it reflects to the hermitage located at Gajah river or in Sungai Gajah. There is a pool (patirthan) as a place to take the holy Tirtha water for Hindhu ceremony, which is placed in the middle of the cave courtyard. This holy pool was previously piled up by land and only discovered back in 1954.
Various structures in the cavern reveals heavy Hindhu influences dating back to the 10th century, and some relics featured elements if Buddhism dating even earlier to the 8th century. The cave is shallow; inside are three stone idols each wrapped in red, yellow and black cloths. Black sooth lines on the cave’s wall are the result of current-day incense burning.
#Adopted from : The Traveler