Bali Bat Cave – Pura Goa Lawah

The Bali Bat Cave has to be seen to be believed...

Hearing of an 11th Century Hindu temple with a cave full of fruit bats, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to check out Pura Goa Lawah – the Bali Bat Cave

Bali Bat Cave

Pura Goa Lawah Bat Cave (Pura = Temple, Goa = cave, Lawah = bat) is one of the oldest Hindu temples on the island. Established by Mpu Kataran, he was one of the earliest priests to bring Hiduism to Bali.  The temple is still used as a place of worship to this day. As well as flying furries, you’re also likely to see prayer ceremonies taking place on your visit.  

Bali Bat Cave Colony Pura Goa Lawah

Guides will ask if you want a tour (we didn’t feel it necessary) and you’re likely to get a hawker or two offering you goods. Upon entry a lady placed a wooden necklace over our heads and insisted we wear it to the cave. Yet when we left and offered her a donation, she wouldn’t take it and insisted we keep the necklace. First time for everything I suppose!

Pura Goa Lawah Bat Cave Candi Bentar
Candi Bentar entrance to the Bal Bat Cave

It’s not possible to enter the cave itself, but you won’t overlook the bats. There’s thousands and they sleep near the mouth of the cave. It’s a surprise they get any sleep at all, as the colony is so noisy. 

Flying around and crashing into each other, jostling for space to hang upside down. It’s worth coming to if you’re in the area, but might not justify a lengthy detour to see.  Although we did enjoy our short visit.

Bali Bat Cave Pura Goa Lawah

Rumours are abound that the cave is also home to two giant snake guardians. Although these are yet to be found.  Others suggest that secret passages in the cave leads all the way to other temples. But this is yet to be explored. It’s nice to imagine the mystery though! 

Bali Bat Cave Pura Goa Lawah tired bat

The cave is small, but besides the bats, it’s worth taking a wander around the complex. Walk around the back of the temple and up the hill, where you’ll see wild monkeys roaming. To keep themselves occupied, they play with the huge amounts of dumped litter. Disturb them at your peril!

Bali Bat Cave Pura Goa Lawah laughing bat

How do I get to the Bali Bat Cave?

Goa Lawah is on the south east coast of Bali, about an hours drive from Ubud. You’ll snake through villages and back roads, until you hit a highway and follow the coastal road. There’s a car park opposite which doesn’t seem to charge you for parking your scooter. There are kiosks, but the attendants perhaps fancied a day off!  

How much does the Bali Bat Cave cost?

15,000 IDR for adults and a little less for children. If desired, a tour can be arranged with a guide at the entrance. Agree a price with them before you start. They’ll want a tip as well. 

How long does it take to see the Bali Bat Cave?

It’s not large a complex and the actual bat cave itself is quite small.  You can see it in half an hour. If you love watching the bats fly about, allow yourself an hour to do that and observe the temples. There’s a black beach opposite if you want to spend some time relaxing.

  • Have you ever seen a colony of bats?
  • What other crazy creatures have you seen up close?

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