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Elephant Cave

This mysterious place just outside of Ubud houses a Hindu temple, statues, ponds and fountains from a time gone by.

The Elephant Cave, also known as Goa Gajah, is an archeologically significant Hindu temple. The stone structure is believed to date back to between the 10th and 14th centuries. The history behind the temple’s name is unconfirmed.

Enter through the dark looming mouth of a demon to step inside the cave. The demon is a kala head and has the bulging eyes typical of these sculptures. The cave itself is only small. See the ancient inscriptions and follow the narrow passageway to the end. On the left is a small alcove with a statue of Ganesh and on the right is a small worship area with representations of lingam, a symbol of Shiva, and yoni, a representation of female creative energy.

Descend the stairs to the gardens with the pond of Patirtaan, which is said to contain holy water and is used for ceremonies. Check out the statues around the fish pond and lily pond; these depict Widyadara-Widyadari angels.

You need less than 15 minutes to see the Elephant Cave complex. It is still worth coming here, however, because the journey is scenic and the surrounding rice paddies and other temples in the area are good photo opportunities. Set out exploring and visit the small waterfall in the valley, stroll through tropical gardens, or inspect the nearby Buddhist temple.

Elephant Cave is open daily and there is a small fee to enter. The site is located west of Bedulu Village in the Blahbatuh District, Gianyar Regency. This is just 4 miles (6 kilometers) from Ubud. To get there, book a tour or rent a vehicle. Free parking is available.

You can pay a local guide to show you around, but if you don’t to do this, it’s useful to know the word “tidak” (no), because the local guides can be persistent. Women need to cover their shoulders and both men and women should wear a sarong. You can buy a sarong at stalls near the entrance.


Guide to Exploring around Goa Gajah


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Goa Gajah

See all 2,706 Properties near Goa Gajah
Udhiana Resort Ubud NT$5,061
Udhiana Resort Ubud

Udhiana Resort Ubud

Jalan Raya Andong, Banjar Nagi, Ubud, Bali
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Andong, this villa is within 2 mi (3 km) of Ubud Peliatan Balerung Stage, Ubud Royal Palace, and Ubud Traditional Art Market. Ubud Monkey Forest and Campuhan Ridge Walk are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Alaya Ubud NT$3,613
    Alaya Ubud

    Alaya Ubud

    Jl. Hanoman, Ubud, Bali
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Ubud resort is located in Pengosekan, within 1 mi (2 km) of Ubud Monkey Forest, Ubud Royal Palace, and Ubud Traditional Art Market. Campuhan Ridge Walk and Bali Zoo are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Dedary Kriyamaha Ubud by Pramana NT$5,178
      Dedary Kriyamaha Ubud by Pramana

      Dedary Kriyamaha Ubud by Pramana

      Banjar Pinjul, Desa Kendran, Tegalalang, Ubud, Bali
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Ubud, this spa villa is within 1 mi (2 km) of Goa Gajah and Puser Tasik Temple. Ubud Peliatan Balerung Stage and Agung Rai Museum of Art are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud NT$11,268
        The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud

        The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud

        Jalan Goa Gajah, Tengkulak Kaja, Gianyar, Ubud, Bali
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Ubud hotel is located in the historical district, within 3 mi (5 km) of Goa Gajah, Ubud Monkey Forest and Ubud Royal Palace. Ubud Traditional Art Market and Pura Dalem Ubud are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Nuaja Balinese Guest House NT$326
          Nuaja Balinese Guest House

          Nuaja Balinese Guest House

          Jalan Raya Goa Gajah, Bedulu, Ubud, Ubud
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Ubud, this hotel is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Goa Gajah and within 3 mi (5 km) of Ubud Monkey Forest and Ubud Royal Palace. Ubud Traditional Art Market is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) away.

            Sairam House
            Sairam House

            Sairam House

            Jalan Gianyar goa gajah, bedulu, Ubud, Bali
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Ubud, this guesthouse is 0.2 mi (0.2 km) from Goa Gajah and within 3 mi (5 km) of Ubud Monkey Forest and Ubud Royal Palace. Ubud Traditional Art Market is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) away.

              SereS Springs Resort & Spa Singakerta NT$2,258
              SereS Springs Resort & Spa Singakerta

              SereS Springs Resort & Spa Singakerta

              Banjar Jukut Paku Singakerta, Ubud
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Ubud hotel is located on a river, within 2 mi (3 km) of Candi Tebing Jukut Paku and Ubud Monkey Forest. Ubud Traditional Art Market and Bali Zoo are also within 6 mi (10 km).

                Ubud Dedari Villas NT$1,811
                Ubud Dedari Villas

                Ubud Dedari Villas

                Banjar Lebah, Bedulu.Gianyar, Ubud, Bali
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated on a river, this resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Goa Gajah and Puser Tasik Temple. Ubud Peliatan Balerung Stage and Agung Rai Museum of Art are also within 3 mi (5 km).