Thursday, May 16, 2013

Elephant Cave “Goa Gajah”

Blahbatuh, Gianyar, Bali

I left two friends of mine in the car and took their cameras with me. I pitied them because they couldn’t see what I would see in the Elephant Cave—the cave of God where Ganesha statue lies. 

Before entering this temple, I had to have my ticket entrance and I had to wrap my under body with sarong. It took me awhile to do this because it was pretty long sarong for a little girl like me. The temple staff had no any smaller size. However, my will to see the cave put me to make more effort to deal with that long sarong. As I finished, I eagerly walked down on the small shady path among the trees. Along the path I could see the main area of the temple where the elephant cave is. 

In this main area, there are four main buildings were seen. Those are the remaining stones which were neatly arranged in some rows. In front of these stones, the 7 holly fountains that are attached on the wall beautifully stand. It is called The Sapta Gangga. The word Sapta means seven and the word Gangga is taken from a name of Hindus sacred river in India. In the southern area, stood a small gallery which provides some explanation and history of this temple. Meanwhile, the Cave is located in the northern part of the temple. When I entered this cave, I felt like walking into a giant mouth. Some Balinese myth states that the frontal part of this cave was curved by Kebo Iwo—a big giant in Hindus mythology. He curved it with his long black nails. Walking in this short tunnel, my nostril smelled the strong scent of incenses which came from the offerings. The lighting adds more spiritual ambience. As I turned right I could see Ganesha statue under the very small electric bulb. In the other parts the trinity God statues steadily stand. 

After pushing some cameras button, I left the cave. I wandered around to the down part of the temple. I walked over a river on a small bridge and up to a hidden building in which Buddhist can pray. In this place stands a Buddha statue. The existence of those statues is the evidences of the strong tolerance between Buddhist and Hindus in the past. 

For girls, if you want to experience the peaceful Balinese temples like I did, you have to make sure that you are not having period when you have your holiday in Bali otherwise you will miss it.

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