The Goa Lawah temple is situated on a slight embankment and the name is derived from the thousands bats that are living at the ceiling and walls of the cave.
This is a very popular tourist attraction and the government protects the bats, so that nobody can disturb them. There is also a beautiful beach south of the cave, which is dotted with huts, built by people who make salt in the traditional way. You can also see Nusa Penida island from this spot. In the 17th century the temple was used as a place of worship by the king of Klungkung and Goa Lawah was also used to test the innocence of people found guilty of breaking the law.
There were nine kingdoms in Bali in the 17th century each possessing autonomous power. But the King of Klungkung was respected and recognized as the highest king. When within the kingdom of Mengwi, a dispute ensued between the king's descendants, I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung and I Gusti Ketut Agung. The latter was not accepted as the descendant of the King of Mengwi. He was delivered to be tried by the King of Klungkung. The King of Klungkung decided that I Gusti Ketut Agung be ordered to enter Goa Lawah, if he came out alive he would be recognized as a descendant. The cave at that time also housed, as well as bats, big snakes and other wild animals. According to history I Gusti Ketut Agung accepted the sentence, entered the cave and finally emerged at Besakih.
True to the judgment of the King of Klungkung, he was recognized as a member of the King of Mengwi's family. When he became a King he was known as I Gusti Ketut Agung Besakih. The records also said that as a result of entering the cave he became deaf. The snakes and other wild animals no longer inhabit the cave, but thousands of bats that remain create a unique and popular attraction. Goa Lawah is on the main road from Denpasar to Candidasa, approximately 50 Km from Denpasar.