Goa Gajah Temple

Goa Gajah is archeological site that built in the hillside of  river junction. Goa Gajah or known as Elephant Cave temple probably derived from word Lwa Gajah that had been written on Palm-leaf manuscript of Negarakertagama on 1365 AD. From some inscriptions that have been raised in Bali none of which mention directly the name Goa Gajah, but the inscription of Songan issued by King Marakata on 1022 AD and the inscription Cempaga issued by King Sri Maha Guru on 1324 AD both mention Er Gajah. Dawan inscriptions on 1053 AD and Pandak Badung inscription on 1071 AD mention shrine Antakunjarapadda (Kunjara = elephant).

While the Palm-leaf manuscript in 1365 AD Negarakertagama listed Badahulu and Lwa Gajah are two places in Bali that is controlled by the Kingdom of Majapahit.

Goa Gajah known as place of retreat or meditation for Buddhist monk and Shiva priest. The mouth cave of Goa Gajah ornamented by beautiful devil head carving as entrance to the cave and there is also carved Kediri letter type from beginning of 11th century. Inside the cave there are Lord Ganesha statue and 3 Phallus.

Originated from official reports by Dutch East Indies officer, LC. Heyting in 1923 who found statues of Lord Ganesh, as well as statues Hariti  and Trilingga to the Dutch government. This was followed up by Dr. WF. Stuterhiem to conduct further research in 1925. In 1950, J.L Krijgman conduct research and excavations in 1954 until 1979 and was discovered ancient Petirtaan place or spiritual bath pond with six statues of women with a water fountain in the chest. In 1931 Mr. Conrat Spies also found relics are quite important in the complex “Tukad Pangkung” in the form of a three-pronged stupa carved on a stone wall in the bottom of Tukad Pangkung.

Goa Gajah complex consists of two main parts, the complex of the northern part is the heritage of Shiva, with evidence of Trilingga and Lord Ganesh statue in the cave, a place of Hindus to do worship. Southern complex is called “Pangkung Tukad”, there was Buddhist stupas of Dhyani Buddha Amitabha 13 stupas and stupa tiered branching 3 carved on a boulder.

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