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Goa Gajah "The Elephant Cave"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mysterious Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave, a fantastically carved entrance depicts entangling leaves, rocks, animals, ocean waves and demonic human shapes running from the gaping mouth which forms the entrance to the cave. is located in west side of Bedulu countryside, Blah Batuh Sub district and Gianyar Regency. It is about 27 km from Denpasar town. This cave is built at crevasse edge from the federation of 2 rills that is called Pangkung River , where the irrigation is mixed with Petanu River flow. The federation area of two rivers is called Campuhan/Mixture. It owns the magical energy on the basis of Rwabineda Concept/two different matters on this basic concept hence Gua Gajah (Elephant Cave) is intentionally built among two rivers. The monstrous Kala head that looms above the entrance seems to part the rock with her hands. Similarly decorated hermit cells are also found in Java. The large earrings indicate that the figure is that of a woman. The T-shaped interior of the rock-hewn cave contained niches which probably served as compartments for ascetics.
Recent excavations carried out in 1954 unearthed bathing places in front of the cave with six female figures, representing. nymphs or goddesses holding water spouts.

The word of Gua Gajah is anticipated coming from the word of Lwa Gajah, the name of Buddhist Temple or hermitage for Buddhist monk. The Gua Gajah's name is written on Negarakeertagama papyrus which is compiled by Mpu Prapanca on 1365 M. Lwa or Lwah/loh mean the river and it reflect to the meaning that the hermitage is located at Gajah River or in Air Gajah. In the year inscription 944 Saka, it is mentioned with the name of ‘ser ring Air Gajah' that is meaning the Subak leader in Air Gajah. The word has mentioned that the hermitage of Lwa Gajah is located in Subak Air Gajah.

There is a relief which is almost looking like the form of mountain on the entrance of this cave. It was carved many designed on the relief like grove with the stick, close leaf, animal for example forest pig, tortoise and specters. The cave mouth is decorated by the bas-relief with the eye turn around to the right or west side. There is an article letter of Kediri type from the early of 11 century was written on the wall left side or east side. There is a pool (Patirthaan) as a place to take the holy Tirtha water for Hindu ceremony which is located in the middle of the cave courtyard. This Holy Pool is previously piled up by land and it has been found on 1954 by Krijgsman from the Ancient Department. The Holy pool is equipped by the statue douche which is parallel arranged in two groups.

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