Pura Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave Temple – Tampak Siring Bali
Pura Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave Temple is located 6 km from Ubud. 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.
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.
Around the temple beautiful rice field line the ravine through which flows the Petanu River. Nearby can be found the historic sites of Yeh Pulu, Samuan Tiga, Gedung Arca, Arjuna Bertapa, Kebo Edan, Pusering Jagat, the temple of Penataran Sasih, and others.
At the beginning, no bodies know about this temple accept the local people only until finally it was published to the society in 1923. The cave was made in the 11th century between 950M until 1050M when Bali was led by King Udayana. Inside the cave there are holes, as a place to put the luggage while the owners do meditation.
In one side of its end, there is a Ganesha statue, a God of Knowledge, and on the other end there are three sign, as a symbol of the man. In the front yard of the cave there is a water pool as a place to bath, which separated into three parts, decorated with six big statues.
In the courtyard at Goo Gajah Temple can be found and ancient source of holy water, 12 by 2’3 meters in size, devided into 3 compartment. The no them most compartment has ‘3 stonecarved fountains, and so does the southemmost. In the middle area all that remains is the base of the fountain.
Approcimately 13 meters from here, on the northern side, is a cave like meditation niche in T shape, 2 meters in height and and about 2,75 meters wide. In the left and right conners of this niches can be found a fourther 15 meditation. In the easthem most corner are three linggums, and in the western most cotner a statue of Ganesa.
With in the temple yard other fragments of the ancient ruinshave been found, which have not yet been reconstructed the surreunding walls on the western side still remain, forming a compartment around the steep drop beside the temple.
The Hindu Balinese do not use any statues in worshipping God and His manifestation, because they are not perfect Adherences of certain sects as the ones in Hindustan. Ganeca is one Of Shivaistic Gods. Shivaism came to Bali after Budhism. Budhist monks used to lived in caves They do not used Ganeca as well as linggas as their medium of worship.
Conclusion : The image of Ganeca and Trilinggas had to be taken from an other place.
There must have been special hermitage the Hindu Monks. The Image had been brought into the cave after the two religion fused themselves in to the recent Balinese Unique Hindu Religion which does not have any sects in it.
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.