Historical and religious tourism in Goa Gajah

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Goa Gajah is a places of worship for Hindus.

IO – Have you ever heard of Goa Gajah? What comes to your mind? The major- ity of people will think this is a tourist location, where we can see elephants. Well, that is mistaken, because Goa Gajah, which is located in Bedulu Village, Blahbatuh, Gianyar, Bali is a historical tour. A place for Hindus to worship, a temple that also is a tourist destination.

According to research, the cave has been around since the 11th cen- tury. Goa Gajah is a tourist area with many attractions. The area consists of a cave, a temple for worship, a Petir- taan pond, a garden, and a natural river. Archaeological remains such as statues to stupas carved into the stone walls are scattered throughout the area. Not only historical relics, but visitors can also enjoy the natural beauty around.

Keep in mind that this tourist at- traction is a temple for worship. Any- one who wants to enter must be in a state of purity. Therefore, there are re- strictions on entry for female visitors who are menstruating. Besides being holy, visitors must also dress modest- ly. Before entering, visitors must wear a kind of cloth as a sarong. This sa- rong is provided by the Manager.

Goa Gajah is made and carved into a stone wall. The cave complex is in the shape of the letter T with niches in the walls. Each niche is filled with various statues and statues.

Not only inside the cave, but there are also various historical artifacts outside. The entrance to the cave is decorated with statues of Ganesha to Dewa Hariti. Beautiful carvings also adorn the mouth of the 2-meter high cave. The entrance is only enough for one person. The inside of the cave is not too wide and tends to be damp, meaning visitors are unable to linger. Plus, the place is still actively used for worship.

Not far from Goa Gajah, about 11 meters south of the cave, there is a Petirtaan pond. The pool is 3 meters below ground level. The water source comes from the east of the temple area.

he Petirtaan consists of three pools, each is separated by a low wall. There are six statues decorate as water showers.

Initially, there were seven statues, but one statue had to be moved to another location due to an earthquake. The number seven is a symbol of the seven sacred rivers in India. As is well known, India is the cradle of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs.

The seven statues are Widya Dara and Widya Dari statues holding holy water. This shower water is believed to purify a person’s aura. Many visitors try to wash under this shower. If you are satisfied enjoying the historical traces of the cave, you can look for fresh air in the park. There is a beautiful man-made garden not far from the cave location. There is also a waterfall which is located not far from Tukad Pangkung. Visitors can also buy various souvenirs, such as sarongs and other Balinese souvenirs here.

During this pandemic, Goa Gajah is not yet crawling with tourists. However, if you want to have a tour, don’t worry, because before entering the Goa Gajah area, a special place is provided for washing your hands. Well, traveling during a pandemic can be carried out, as long as you adhere to health protocols. Choose domestic  destinations  as  part  of supporting government policies for traveling #diindonesiaaja.” (Dessy Aipipidely)