Timings : 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Entry Fee : Adults: IDR 10,000
Children: IDR 5,000
One of the most fascinating shrines in Bali, Pura Goa Lawah is famous for being built around a cave inhabited by bats. Located in the Klungkung regency in Bali, this 11th-century temple was built by Mpu Kuturan, one of the first pioneers of Hinduism in Bali, and is designed in traditional Balinese style featuring three sanctums.
The temple complex is divided into three sections namely the outer sanctum, the inner sanctum and middle sanctum. As soon as one enters the outer courtyard there are three pavilions on the corners and musical performances are occasionally held there. Outer sanctum is marked by a Candi bentar gate.
Moving further inside one can see the figurine of a dragon called Naga Basuki, who is said to keep the balance of the universe. The small shrines in the inner sanctum of Pura Goa Lawah Mark the cave's opening. The inner sanctum has three pagoda-like structures and many small shrines which are embellished with gold ornaments, some of which are shaped like bats. One of the meru towers is dedicated to Lord Shiva, a Hindu God, thus showing the influence of Hinduism in Bali.
The name Goa Lawah translates to 'Bat Cave' and its believed that the high pitched chirping of bats aided meditation and concentration of thoughts of the priests. One can have a view of Nusa Penida Island from Goa Lawah. Piodalan temple anniversaries provide the best and most exotic view of celebrations when the temple is filled with pilgrims and devotees, dressed up in colourful outfits, priests in white temple clothes, chanting mantras and carrying parasols.
The grand anniversary is celebrated every 210 days. The temple is also densely crowded at the Saka New Year's Eve and it is thus a good time to visit the temple to learn about local rituals of Melasti. The temple is visited by locals every morning as they perform their daily prayers and offerings.
The evening is also a good time to visit the temple because of the cool breeze and the trees give the place a calming aura.
Established in the 11th century, the Goa Lawah temple complex served as a place of meditation for the priests. It is one of the holiest sites to visit in Bali. An interesting tale about a prince is famous amongst the locals. It is said that the Prince of Mengwi Kingdom, while trying to escape enemies, hid inside the caves and walked further inside to eventually reach the Besakih temple on the foot of Mount Agung.
It is said that the caves lead to 3 different locations namely Mount Agung, Talibeng and Tangkid bangbang. The temple's look has changed with time. Porcelain ceramic plates were attached to the gates and shrines of the temple in the 20th century.
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