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ELEPHANT CAVE TEMPLE


The temple of Goa Gajah or known as Elephant Cave is situated in the village of Bedulu, Blahbatuh district, in the regency of Gianyar. Only 26 Km from Denpasar, it is just a short drive from the beach resort of Sanur and Kuta. Beside the temple are art shop and restaurants to cater for the needs of visitor.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.
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.
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.
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.



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