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  • Writer's pictureMonica Beth

Best Things to do in Ubud: Elephant Cave Temple

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

Well, it was morning time once again and we were having our usual conversation- what are we going to do today? And often I scroll through Pinterest to see what other people say you should check out in Ubud or the surrounding area. We decided to go to the Elephant Cave Temple or Goa Gajah. We picked this particular temple for several reasons.

  1. It was little bit of a ride to get there in a direction we hadn't been in

  2. It's supposed to be one of the less tourist filled places

  3. The history behind it pretty cool

The History (I'll keep it short.)

It was built in the 9th century some folklore says by the fingernail of a giant. It's a cave and the opening is carved to be the mouth of a demon (to keep away evil spirits- kind of like gargoyles during the Renaissance.) It has both Buddhist and Hindu imagery and contained a bathing area so one can purify themselves with the holy water. There were 7 statues of women holding pitchers with flowing water and these were to represent the 7 holy rivers in India. The water still springs from the statues though one is missing now and you can still cleanse yourself. Anyway I guess the jungle kind of crept back into the complex and took it back because it was hidden and the cave was rediscovered in the 1920's and then the bathing site wasn't discovered until the 1950's.

So we got to explore Goa Gajah and the surrounding areas included many walkways through the jungle and down to the river. We received a blessing from a monk and then we were on our way. All in all it was a beautiful experience- definitely one of the best things to do in Ubud.

If you want to check out our drive through Ubud go to the video library

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