In the life of religious Balinese people, there are several temples which are considered very important for all Hindus on the island. One of the six most important temples in Bali is Goa Lawah Temple.
This temple is located in Klungkung and has its own uniqueness even when compared to various other temples on the island. This temple was built at the opening of a cave that is inhabited by a group of nectar bats.
The origin of Goa Lawah Temple
Goa Lawah Temple was built in the 11th century by Mpu Kuturan, one of the earliest Hindu priests who laid the foundation of Hinduism on the island of Bali. Mpu Kuturan was looking for the most proper locations to build temples in order to spread and unite all Hindu sects that existed in Bali at that time. This temple was built in the mouth of the cave inhabited by bats. Goa Lawah itself in the local language means ‘a bat cave’.
Legend of Goa Lawah
There is a tale about this cave. Once upon a time, a prince from Mengwi kingdom hid from the pursuing enemies in this cave. He continued to explore the cave and in the end, he came out at the Besakih Temple, located at the foot of Mount Agung, about 20 km northwest of the cave.
According to the beliefs of the surrounding community, this cave can lead you to three different locations; Besakih temple on Mount Agung, Talibeng, and Tangkid Bangbang.
The well-kept temple
As with most temples in Bali, you can find many merus (towers with terraced roofs), bale pavilions, and many places of worship to place fruit offerings. There is a Shivaite shrine that is thousands of years old and also a bale pavilions decorated with Naga Basuki motifs.
Although almost all the buildings here are quite old, the conditions are still very well maintained. Each item looks clean and well-maintained even though there are many nectar bats that inhabit this place. Formerly, Goa Lawah Temple was a place for deep meditation for Hindus who wanted peace.
The best time to visit Goa Lawah
Morning is the best time to visit Goa Lawah Temple because you can see local residents coming to do their daily prayers here. Aside from that, coming in the afternoon is also quite pleasant with large trees providing protection from the hot sun. Goa Lawah holds an anniversary every 210 days, on the same day as the anniversary of Uluwatu Temple.
Goa Lawah Temple is one of the most popular places of worship in Bali. You will always see pilgrims and visitors who want to say a prayer at this sacred temple. Next