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9.12.16

Bali - Pura Goa Lawah

Pura Goa Lawah, bat cave temple in Bali

One of nine sacred temples on the island of Bali, the cave temple known as Pura Goa Lawah is home to thousands of bats. Local legend says that it hides a river of healing waters, a titanic snake called Vasuki wearing a crown while feeding on bats and also, that the cave connects to the largest and holiest temple in Bali, Pura Besakih - that cannot be visited though as the area is controlled by the mafia, who'll either charge tourists a lot of money or beat the hell out of them.

Created sometime around 1007 by an Indonesian saint, the structure revolves around the cave entrance, being ministered to and provided with prayer on a daily basis. The temple did not really have a name when it was built but because of the thousands of bats that live in the cave, the temple was called Goa Lawah - meaning "cave" and "bat" respectively. The extent of the sacred cave has never been explored but Pura Goa Lawah is host to devout worshippers from all around, who come to pray at the mouth of this impressive bat cave.

It is possible to explore the area near the cave but also another temple which is located at the top of the mountain.




Pura Goa Lawah, bat cave temple in Bali
Pura Goa Lawah, bat cave temple in Bali

Pura Goa Lawah, bat cave temple in Bali
Pura Goa Lawah, bat cave temple in Bali
Worshippers pray by the entrance of the cave.
Pura Goa Lawah, bat cave temple in Bali
Pura Goa Lawah, bat cave temple in Bali
Pura Goa Lawah, bat cave temple in Bali

See video to get a feeling of the amount of bats in there. Disregard the wrong temple name - it was a typo in my brain :)


The temple on top of the hill is much more pleasant and less smelly.
Pura Goa Lawah, bat cave temple in Bali
Pura Goa Lawah, bat cave temple in Bali
Staircases are decorated with snakes, as Vasuki is said to live within the mountain.
Pura Goa Lawah, bat cave temple in Bali
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