Ubud, a small town located in the heart of Bali, is known for its rich culture and stunning natural beauty. It is a popular destination for travelers seeking an authentic Balinese experience, with its lush rice fields, traditional villages, and ancient temples. One of the most intriguing temples in Ubud is the Pura Goa Gajah, also known as the Elephant Cave temple. This 9th century Hindu cave temple has been a source of fascination for tourists and locals alike, with its unique architecture and mysterious history. In this article, we will delve into the secrets of Goa Gajah and provide you with a complete guide to exploring this fascinating temple.
Where To Stay
Ubud offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly homestays to luxurious resorts. If you want to be close to Goa Gajah temple, there are several hotels and guesthouses within walking distance. Some popular options include:
Ubud Village Resort Spa
Located just a 10-minute drive from Goa Gajah, this resort offers traditional Balinese villas surrounded by lush gardens. The rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated, with modern amenities such as air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. The resort also has a spa, swimming pool, and on-site restaurant serving delicious local cuisine.
Ubud Green Resort Villas
For a more secluded stay, check out Ubud Green Resort Villas, which is situated in the middle of a rice field. The villas are designed in traditional Balinese style and offer stunning views of the surrounding nature. The resort also has a spa, swimming pool, and restaurant serving both local and international dishes.
Goa Gajah Cave Temple
The main attraction of Goa Gajah temple is the cave itself, which is carved into a rock face and features a large stone entrance in the shape of a demon’s mouth. The cave is believed to have been built as a hermitage for meditation and religious ceremonies. Inside, you will find several statues and shrines dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses.
The temple complex also includes a bathing pool, which was used for purification rituals. The water flows from a nearby spring and is considered holy by the locals. Visitors are welcome to take a dip in the pool, but it is recommended to wear a sarong (a traditional Balinese garment) out of respect for the sacredness of the site.
Hours Entrance Fee
Goa Gajah temple is open daily from 8am to 4pm. The entrance fee is IDR 50,000 (approximately $3.50 USD) for adults and IDR 25,000 (approximately $1.75 USD) for children. This fee also includes a sarong rental if needed. It is best to visit the temple early in the morning to avoid crowds and the heat of the day.
What To Wear To Temples In Bali
As with any temple in Bali, it is important to dress respectfully when visiting Goa Gajah. This means covering your shoulders and knees, and avoiding revealing clothing. Sarongs are usually provided at the entrance of the temple, but it is recommended to bring your own to ensure a proper fit. If you plan on visiting multiple temples during your trip, it may be worth investing in your own sarong.
How To Get To Goa Gajah
Goa Gajah is located just 6km from central Ubud, making it easily accessible by car or motorbike. If you are staying in Ubud, you can hire a private driver or rent a motorbike to get there. Alternatively, you can join a tour that includes a stop at Goa Gajah along with other popular attractions in Ubud.
More Bali Temples
If you are interested in exploring more temples in Bali, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are a few other popular temples in the Ubud area:
Pura Tirta Empul
Located just 20 minutes from Goa Gajah, this temple is famous for its holy spring water. Visitors can participate in a purification ritual by bathing in the water, which is believed to have healing powers.
Pura Gunung Kawi
This temple complex features 10 rock-cut shrines carved into a cliff face. It is surrounded by lush rice fields and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Known as the “Mother Temple” of Bali, Pura Besakih is the largest and most important Hindu temple on the island. It is located on the slopes of Mount Agung and consists of over 80 individual temples.
Bali Private Driver Motorbike Rental
As mentioned earlier, hiring a private driver or renting a motorbike is a convenient way to get around Bali and visit multiple temples in one day. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a driver or renting a motorbike:
- Make sure to negotiate the price beforehand to avoid any surprises.
- Check the condition of the vehicle before agreeing to rent it.
- Wear a helmet at all times when riding a motorbike.
- Be aware of traffic rules and drive carefully, as roads in Bali can be chaotic.
Aside from the two hotels mentioned earlier, here are some other highly-rated accommodations in Ubud:
- The Kayon Resort
- Alaya Resort Ubud
- Bisma Eight
- Komaneka at Bisma
- Viceroy Bali
Ubud’s Goa Gajah temple is a must-visit for anyone interested in Balinese culture and history. Its unique architecture, mysterious cave, and tranquil surroundings make it a popular attraction for tourists. By following this guide, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to this ancient temple. Don’t forget to also explore other temples in the area and immerse yourself in the rich culture of Bali. Happy travels!