Intriguing relics from the past time sitting peacefully amidst green lush nature is the top reason, if you need one, to visit Goa Gajah, located in Bedulu Village, Blahbatuh – Gianyar. About 20 minutes drive from central Ubud, this complex of the temple, formerly a spiritual place of retreat, has revealed clues about ancient rituals and the importance of the site, especially due to the existence of both Hindu and Buddhism relics scattered inside the complex.
Visiting Goa Gajah is relatively easy. Turning up the GPS or simply following the road sign will lead you to the correct place. The entrance area, straight on one side of the main road provides an ample parking area, big enough to accommodate many motorbikes to big buses. A souvenir area will first greet visitors along the way until we reach the ticket box.
Before going further to the holy temple sites, some general rules to always keep in mind are that women in menstruation are not allowed to enter temple complex. So, it is better to reschedule the time visit in case your partner or friends are during this period. Next, wearing a sash is mandatory for entering the temple. Some places are providing complimentary or rental sash, but purchasing one (It’s affordable!) before exploring Bali will give you ease.
The complex of Goa Gajah is situated on a hillside. As soon as the visitor passes the checking ticket guy, the view of a huge, tall tree will first catch the eyes, then some of the different beautiful sites under it. Follow the stairs down to reach the area and taking some great snap pictures. Entering the complex, visitors will probably meet a local friendly guide offering the service. This would add the experience as they will tell you a lot of stories about each site and its histories and myths. The only thing is to deal with the price before they are following and guiding around. That’s not a complimentary service.
Spend some time to explore the rectangle area with organized rock ruins, the two ancient bathing pools nearby, and taking a photo before entering the cave. Although some historical notes said that the site is dated back to the 11th century, the cave with a rock-carved entrance was discovered centuries later in 1923. The next phase found the bathing pools and later the back area comprising of Buddhism relics.
In addition, today visitors will also find a small waterfall and a lotus pond at the back area of Goa Gajah. Enjoy a moment of serenity here as you walk along the forest and maybe a stop for selfie stop in under the tree with exotic roots. This trip is worth for a relaxing exploration during your Ubud’s day trip. Don’t miss this one!