Attraction Pura Goa Lawah, JL. Raya Goa Lawah, Klunkung, Bali, Indonesia Published on: 13-11-2015
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Why Goa Lawah temple is special ?
Goa Lawah is one of Bali’s most important temples. It features a complex built around a cave opening that is inhabited by hordes of bats, and its name translates to 'Bat Cave’. This temple was established in the 11th century by Mpu Kuturan, one of early priests who laid the foundations of Hinduism on the island.
Goa Lawah is located in the village of Pesinggahan, Dawan district, bordering the Klungkung and Karangasem regencies. This landmark is one of the first stops on tours to Candidasa and further eastern regions within the Karangasem regency.
The Goa Lawah Temple is a large complex on the north side of the Jalan Raya Goa Lawah main road. It is a stopover for holidaying locals who come in with offerings and do short prayers before continuing with their journey. For general visitors, it is an included itinerary on temple tours for photo opportunities together with refreshment breaks at the kiosks across the road on Goa Lawah Beach. You can see the outline of Nusa Penida Island on the horizon from here.
What to explore at Goa Lawah temple?
Two large banyan trees stand tall at the main entrance of Goa Lawah. Upon entering the temple’s central courtyard, you will see three bale pavilions in three corners of the complex. These bale are usually where fruit offerings are placed and where gamelan bands play during major ceremonies.
At the centrepiece are age-old shrines which have withstood the hordes of nectar bats (Eonycteris spelaea) chirping in a frenzied din around and behind the shrines at the cave opening. Here is also a Shivaite shrine which has stood for thousands of years, together with a bale adorned with the motifs of Naga Basuki, the mythical dragon who is believed to keep the cosmos at a balance.
Once a place for deep meditation for priests, despite seeming impossible to do so amid the chirping, with the hollow cave opening amplifying the noise. Yet, people believe the constant natural high pitches aided in their focus of thoughts.
- Very special place to explore
- Interesting religious site”
- A huge monument with hectic ceremony
- A fantastic architecture inside the temple
- Intriguing temple for a side trip
Pura Goa Lawah, JL. Raya Goa Lawah, Klunkung, Bali, Indonesia
Tips for you
This is a Bali must see. From the outside an unassuming temple but on the inside, that's a different story. Initially hard to see behind all the architecture of the temple is the cave. When you look closer into the dark depths of it - you realise that the entire ceiling is made up of bats. You can get close to a few of them. There is a funny golden bat statue high up on one of the temple pillars. When I was here there were a lot of people in white waiting to get blessed and splashed with a bit of water. This is one of nine directional temples around the entire Bali coast. If you cross the road there is a small shrine just next to the water. This has something to do with cremations. It costs 6000rp to go in the temple and you have to wear a sarong. The sarong sellers are a bit rude, I was asked if any of the women I were with were currently menstruating - which I thought was a bit personal. You aren't allowed in if it's your time of the month.
On Padang Bai road, Klungkung, this temple is believed to be one prominent temple in Bali. Constructed by Empu Kuturan in 1007, the temple is famous for its bat cave.