Saturday, May 23, 2009

Amazing Goa Gajah @ Gianyar, BALI (March '09)

"Goa Gajah" or also known as Elephant Cave in English is located at Gianyar, BALI. Its somewhere near Ubud. Most of the travel agencies include this place for Ubud tour.
However if you want to travel cheap in Bali, my recommendation is to hire a van with driver which cost around 300,000 RP. Normally the driver can speaks fluent English. We usually tipped the driver because they don't really earn much.

Built in the 9th century, it served as a sanctuary.The facade of the cave is a relief of various menacing creatures and demons carved right into the rock at the cave entrance. The primary figure was once thought to be an elephant, hence the nickname Elephant Cave. The site is mentioned in the Javanese poem Desawarnana written in 1365. An extensive bathing place on the site was not excavated until the 1950s. These appear to have been built to ward off evil spirits.This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on October 19, 1995 in the Cultural category. - Wikipedia

We were charged a small entrance fees (sorry, I forgot how much we paid) and we were required to wear a "sarong" (kilt). It's just a formality to respect the religion and the history of the area.


This was the bathing area. It was rumored that the "maharaja" (great king) used to bath here so the water here considered very pure.


Please bear in mind this bathing area is built around 700 years ago. The place was still very much intact.

Since the water here considered very "pure". I took a few sips of the water and washed my face there as well. The water was cooling, clear and refreshing!


This were the rocks formations from the past.


Some of the smaller statues.


The entrance to the cave.


This is how the whole entrance looks like. Amazingly beautiful.

The reason I didn't post the pictures of the inner cave because it would rude to show everything here. It would be nicer to see it by yourself.


This huge tree has been around for centuries. The reason it was wrapped with checker cloth was to protect the tree from curses, magics and evil spirits. It's a religion beliefs.


The Balinese "signature" architecture design. Its everywhere in Bali and here as well.

There were always a few people acting like "guides" inside the compound. They would approached you nicely and talked about the history of the place.

Beware, you have to tip this "guides" as they "cari makan" make a living by such. Normally your actual tour guide will warn you about "them". However, I tipped them always because they told us a great story.

After exiting the place, there will be a small market selling souvenirs, shirts and such. A short shopping spree maybe?


Group Shot!

1 comment:

Viv & Chewie said...

Hi there.. could you email me any contact for driver who will take us to Goa Gajah and Ubud and is reasonable?? Where did you find yours? Thanks!