Elephant Cave Temple (Pura Goa Gajah)

Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave is located in the southwest of Bedulu village, next to Yeh Pulu relief, 6 Km from Ubud Center. Known only the local villager and the bats during centuries of neglect, the cave was revealed to the public in 1923. The bathing place was discovered and restored only in 1954 during archeological investigations done by Mr. Krijgsman. It had become filled in and a temple built upon it, which had to de moved to its present site. The spring and pond there have given the temple its name Pura Taman.

The history of Goa Gajah is not known definitely. In a literal translation "Goa" means cave and "Gajah" elephant. The name is a fusion of the name Pura Guwa (Temple Cave), as it is called by the local people, and the ancient name as it appears in the scriptures know as Ergajah and Lwa Gajah.
The names Antakujarapada and Ratnakunjarapada, also containing the meaning of elephant (Kunjara), can be found in the scriptures of Negara Kertagama, which date back to between the 10th and 14th centuries. This is validated by ancient relics found in the area.

elephant cave temple or pura goa gajah at bedulu bali

Few artifacts found at the Bali Elephant Cave Temple such as

  • Ganesha statue, in Hindu mythology he is the son of God Siwa with Goddess Parwati / Uma.Ganesha also referred as the God to repellent from danger / Wighnapati, as well as the God of Wisdom / Winayaka.In addition Ganesha who has seven names in accordance function.And Ganesha himself who has Elephants face, human body, and he has 4 arms, each hands carrying different things as become symbol of :
  1. Paracu / Ax which is the emblem/symbol destroyer of all danger, in a sense symbol of our minds how to combat ignorance.
  2. Mangkok / Bowl of Water / Candies and his trunk suction, which become symbol of Science / Knowledge has to look through their studies, where we should studying either at school or in the community for the good future of our live.
  3. Patahan Taring / Broken Tusk / Canine fracture, which is a symbol of ferocity that has been insurmountable, we must be able to control our ferocity / self control to be better person for our future,
  4. Aksamala / Chain become symbol of knowledge without borders, even though we are clever there are still alot of thing that we ought to learn when we still here in the world, because in essence that knowledge is never ending.
  • Lingga statue, there are Tri Linggam symbol of Siwa in general, based in this concepts of Tri Murti (Brahma / the creator, Wishnu / protector, Siva / Destroyer), and each of these Lingga surrounded by 8 small lingga grounding in one place.
  • Widyadara / Widyadari statue with water comes out, is becoming symbol from Spirit Angel from the heaven, also the heritage relics that mainly the water used for purification during the ritual religion ceremony, and the water is symbol Amerta / water of live.And other philosophy about the spring water from the statue also become symbol of Sapta Gangga or 7 Seas, such as: Gangga,Yamuna, Sindhu, Saraswati, Godhawari, Narmada, and Serayu seas.
  • Hariti Statue or Men Brayut, this is the story of  families who has many children / there are also told about the Goddess Hariti, in Buddhist mythology Yaksa was once classified as a predator of children, which named Yaksa Pancika, and her husband named Yaksa Atawaka, but after receiving lesson from Budha, Goddess Hariti eventually become lovers and caregivers of children.
  • Budha statue / Dhyani Budha is a symbol of the Buddhist world Amitaba now, and in concepts Vajradatu, which controls the west with attitude of hands in Meditation Tapa / Dhyana Mudra.

Approximately 100 meters to the south of the holy spring can be found the remains of a candi walls. Part on the base of this shrine still remains, although much of it is in disrepair. Achatra with 13 umbrellas can be found beside this. The body of this candi is connected by attractive stone carved decorations. There also a catra with 3 branches. Two statues of Budda in the Dyanamudra style stand near a stone niche which looks ready to collapse at any time. Another meditation niche can be seen opposite this, with a resting house and pool. The archeological site of Goa Gajah dates back to the 11 th century, at time when Hinduism was relevantly new in Bali.

Photo Elephant Cave Temple

pura goa gajah or elephant cave temple bedulu
pool at elephant cave temple bali
areal of elephant cave temple bali
patung hariti at elephant cave temple
pura goa gajah di desa bedulu gianyar bali
patung lingga yoni in side of elephant cave temple

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