The Bat cave temple is also known as the Pura Goa Lawha temple in Indonesia.
It is located in the Pesinggahan, Dawan district, bordering the Klungkung and Karangasem regencies.
Moreover, the construction of the temple is made within a complex structure with bats inhabiting the cave.
The temple is believed to be established in the 11th century by Mpu Kuturan, a Hindu priest.
Above all, Pura Goa Lawha is included among the Sad Kahyangan Jagat, the “six sanctuaries of the world” or the six holiest places of worship in Bali.
It is certainly a popular destination for travelers to visit and learn about the distinctive culture of the people of the island.
Additionally, the locals believe that there is a hidden river of healing water, and with a giant snake wearing a crown.
Similarly, there are several tales regarding the temple of Indonesia. One of which states that there are three passages from the cave, which leads to Mount Agung, Talibeng, and Tangkid.
Additionally, the rumor states that the prince of the Mengwi kingdom chose this place as a refuge to hide from the enemies, but eventually reached Besakih temple on foot from Mount Agung.
In 1963, an eruption occurred from Mount Agung following which local people claimed they saw ashes in the cave of the Goa Lawha temple, but it is still unproven.
According to Balinese beliefs, the temple is in the pivotal points of the island, meant to provide spiritual balance to the people of Bali.
Also, on the top of the cave grows flower trees that stimulate the peace mind of Danghyang Nirartha by its fragrance.
On the other hand, a beautiful view of the coast along with the blue ocean and Nusa Penida island at a backdrop resembles a picturesque view.
We will know more about
- History of the temple
- Ceremony in the Temple
- Architecture of the temple
- Entrance Fees of Pura Goa Lawha
- Location of the temple
- Highlights of the temple in Indonesia
1. History of the first temple in Indonesia
Mpu Kuturan was one of the first Hindu priests on the island, who introduced Hinduism.
He came to Bali in the 10th century, when he discovered many secrets of the island.
Subsequently, in the 11th century, he established the Goa Lawha temple to meditate.
The name Goa means cave, and likewise, Lawha means bats. The two syllables are the reason behind the name.
In 1849 occurred the war of Kumba, where the Dutch attacked the Klungkung kingdom.
The war was between the Royal Netherland East Indies Army led by Andrea Victoria Michiels and the Klungkung kingdom led by Dewa Agung Istri Kanya on the other hand.
The temple proved to be a critical spot then.
Meanwhile, many improvements in the decoration and aesthetics of the temple have taken place.
In the 20th century, ceramic and porcelain were attached to the gates of the shrines of the temple.
The decoration has been demoted with other materials since then. Although the older temples like Pura Kehen still have their elegant decoration.
One of the temples of the special status of Khayangan Jagat is also located in the cave.
Above all, the location of the temple is a perfect blend of sea and hills (Linga-Yoni).
Moreover, there are several pelishing stana of the Gods at the mouth of the cave.
2. Ceremony in the Temple
The Goa Lawha is very pleasant in the morning when the local inhabitants visit the pilgrimage for their prayers.
Being one of the first temples in Indonesia, a large number of people often visit the temple.
It is also the best time to enjoy the magnificent structure of the temple due to crowding at day time.
Moreover, the temple gets more enlightened in the grand temple anniversary of Piodalan.
Therefore, it takes place every 210 days of the Balinese Pawukon calendar, which is celebrated by the Hindu’s of Bali.
The anniversary of Uluwatu Temple is also celebrated on the same day as Goa Lahwa temple.
Hence, the temple is very busy during the celebration, but the authorities control the crowd remarkably to prevent rush.
However, there is a nominal charge for visiting the temple to finance the renovation of the temple.
Sacred antiques and temples are blessed near the sea after long pilgrimages, from various temples, along the coastline.
3. Architecture of the temple
Pure Goa Lawha is one of the most fascinating and remarkable shrines in Bali.
Moreover, the design of the temple gives a strong resemblance to the traditional Balinese style, which features three sanctums.
In the hilly crop field, the compound of Goa Lawha is situated .
The compound is further divided into three areas- the outer sanctums (Jaba Pisan or Nistaning Mandala), the middle sanctum (Jaba Tengah or Madya mandala), and the inner main (Jero or Utamaning Mandela).
Also, the candi benar gate is marked at the entrance of the temple complex.
On the outer sanctum of the temple, musical performance is held occasionally.
A figure of a dragon, called Naga Basuki is clearly visible further inside the temple. It is believed to keep the balance of the universe.
In addition, many small shrines are embellished with gold ornaments in the inner sanctum of the three pagodas like structure.
Also, some of the structure of the gold ornament in the temple is shaped like bats.
The inner main sanctum consists of three Meru towers, among which one is dedicated to Shiva.
However, there are several other shrines in the cave which are not reachable due to the colony of bats.
4. Entrance Fees of Pura Goa Lawha
The visit to the Pura Goa Lawha temple has an entrance fee of IDR 15000 (77 INR) for children, and for adults IDR 25000 (128 INR).
If anyone forgets to bring a sarong, which is mandatory to buy, an extra charge of IDR 5000 (25 INR) must be incurred.
The hawker selling sarong and other offerings will be too persistent to sell at higher prices, but it is advisable to bargain.
Being a ritual place, one must abide by all the rules of the temple while visiting.
Though, the visitor must ensure to cover knees and ankles from sarong. The shoulder and midriff should be covered.
Beware of the monkeys while visiting as they tend to be aggressive. It is better not to carry food in hands or pockets.
5. Location of the temple
It takes 1 hour to visit the temple from the Kuta area, which is about 50 km from Denpasar airport to the east side direction.
This landmark is said to be one of the first tourist spots to Candidasa and further eastern regions within the Karangasem regency.
Pura Goa Lawha is a large complex on the north side of the Jalan Raya Goa Lawha main road.
6. Highlights of the temple in Indonesia
The name of the temple, Goa Lawha signifies the feature of the temple in Indonesia.
The decoration of the temple resembles the culture of the Balinese People.
The temple is divided into three chambers, with every chamber having a different feature.
If you get the chance to visit the temple around the grand anniversary, Don’t Miss It.
Visit the temple early in the morning to see the local village people’s prayers.
The hawkers and sellers must be dealt smartly to get a good deal to buy souvenirs or anything.
Monkeys are very aggressive. Try not to carry food in your hands or pockets.
Please carry your sarong. If forgotten, you can buy it from the outside of the temple, but it is better to carry.
Question 1. Do you need to book in advance to visit Goa Lawha Temple?
Ans 1. Yes, you can book your tickets before 24 hours.
Question 2. Is there a guide for the temple?
Ans 2. There are guides available for hire. They will help know the details of the temples.
Question 3. What are the visiting hours of the temple?
Ans 3. The temple is open 24 hours, but for the tourist, it is open from 7 am to 6 pm.
Question 4. Is the cave connected to Mount Agung?
Ans 4. There are tales regarding this mythology, but it is still unclear whether it is connected or not.
Question 5. Are there shops or restaurants nearby the temple?
Ans 5. There are countless shops for souvenirs and various restaurants which give authentic Bali cuisine.