I went to Goa Gajah or the elephant cave just yesterday. Goa Gajah is a monastery built in XI century by the Hindu and Buddhist monks in Bali. Buried in the middle of the forest for centuries, the site was excavated in 1923. Nowadays it is still used as a functional temple. Since it is open for public, there are many visitors who come to this place.Top view of the Goa Gajah site. The cave and the fountains Front opening of the cave with many visitors.
There was no elephant in Bali, as it is only a name. This place was once called the river of elephant.
Entering the cave, you will see that there are holes on the cave wall, big enough for a person to sit cross-legged and meditate. Going deeper inside, the path will end in T junction. Going to the left, you will see a shrines for Lord Ganesh (it's the Hindu God that has elephant head) and going to the right are more shrines for worship.Entering the cave.. Inner area of the cave. There are holes on the cave wall functioned as meditation place. The shrine of Lord Ganesha. The shrines for the three gods.
This cave was man made. So you can imagine how long it took to built in the eleventh century with the tools they used.
Outside of the cave there are fountains that still flowing water. Each of the fountain is a statue of a nymph. Whilst the cave was excavated in 1923, this fountains site was discovered later in 1954 since it was also buried deep in the ground.
There were used to be seven statues, but one statue is missing. The number seven is actually represent the number of rivers in India.
The fountains were used as a place for cleansing ritual. I could still imagine the monks doing the cleansing ritual, and then enter the cave to meditate. Maybe for days.The seven fountains as the place of cleansing ritual. Water is flowing from the seven fountains. The remains of statues.
That's my journey to the elephant cave. Thanks for reading.