Goa Gajah Elephant Cave – Monster and Mystery

Goa Gajah Elephant Cave

At Goa Gajah Elephant Cave you can enter an ancient monster’s mouth carved from stone!

Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Bali - Hand Carved Stone Mouth Entrance
A demonic face greets and dares you to enter the cave

We saw a picture of the gaping demonic mouth that opens up the Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) and had to visit in person. It looked so unique! With it only being 10 minutes from the centre of Ubud, we recommend that you visit it too!

Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Bali Entrance
The hand carved entrance to Goa Gajah Elephant Cave in Bali

Discovered in 1922, the complex is actually thought to date back to the 11th century. No-one is sure why the cave was carved out of the rock, but it has a wonderful mixture of Hindu and Buddhist imagery. It’s thought that the cave could have been a shrine for Hindu priests.

Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Bali Bathing Pool Hindu Statues
You can only imagine the elegance of the bathing pools hundreds of years ago

The name might suggest elephants roamed the area, but it actually relates to the large open mouth. Others have also suggested it is due to the proximity of nearby Sungai Petanu (Elephant River). Whatever the reason, it’s quite a site. You can also enter the long hand carved cave where there are tributes to Ganesha and Lord Shiva.

Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Bali Sunset Between Temples
Sunset is a great time to visit the complex

The complex also features bathing pools (not open to bathe in) and some some small temples. We were fortunate enough to see as the sun set between them.

Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Bali Forest Walkways
Pristine walk ways lead you deep in to the forest

After exploring the Goa Gajah Elephant Cave, you can venture past the temples and in to a forest with stone walkways. It’s worth taking the time to explore around here, as it’s very beautiful.

Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Bali Tree Roots Across A Hill
Even the trees are special in Bali

The images here show some of the beautiful scenery and if you look carefully you may even spot a giant spider or two!

Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Bali Tall Tree and Sky
The trees here are huge!
Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Bali Tree Vines in The Forest
Vines hang from the lofty heights of the trees
Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Bali Forest Lake and Trees In The Forest
An ideal place to sit and rest...
Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Bali Large Indonesian Spider With Yellow And Black Back Close Up
...as long as you don't sit by one of these giant spiders!


How do I get to the Goa Gajah Elephant Cave in Bali?

Only a ten minute drive from the centre of Ubud, head east on Jl. Raya Ubudb, right on to Jl. Cok Gede Rai for five minutes and then left on to Jl. Raya Teges for a further five minutes until you arrive.  There’s sings en route as well, so you won’t miss it.

A large car park leads to a market, where you can buy standard tourist gifts, or rent a sarong. Both males and females need one to enter the complex.


How Long Should I Spend at the Goa Gajah Elephant Cave in Bali?

You can explore the complex in an hour, at a leisurely pace.

How Much Does The Goa Gajah Elephant Cave in Bali Cost?

15,00 IDR for adults and slightly less for children.  Factor in roughly 5,000 for the hire of a sarong if you don’t own one. Haggle to get the best price for a sarong as the first price offered will be high.

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