June 15, 2017

Goa Lawah - Bat Cave Temple Bali

Goa Lawah Temple is a beautiful temple, unique, magical and full of mystery. This holy temple is built just in front of a cave opening in coastal cliff. The cave is teeming with fruit bats. There are million of them, fly around, and hang upside down at the entrance and inside the cave.

The temple is located at Pesinggahan Village, District of Dawan, Klungkung Regency, Bali. The place is close to several other tourist attractions such as Kusamba, Padang Bay, and Candidasa.

Goa Lawah Bat Cave Temple Bali, History Of Goa Lawah Temple

History Of Goa Lawah Temple

Historical sources such as Lontar Usana Bali states that Pura Goa Lawah was built base on the idea of Mpu Kuturan. Mpu Kuturan came to Bali and arrived at Teluk Padang (Silayukti/Padang Bay) in the year 923 Caka or 1001 AD (11 century).

Furthermore mentioned in Lontar Dwijendra Tattwa, this sacred temple was extended back by Dang Hyang Nirartha who came to Bali during the fall of the Majapahit Kingdom. At the time, Bali was under the reign of King Dalem Waturenggong (1460 - 1550 AD).

Goa Lawah Bat Cave Temple Bali, History Of Goa Lawah Temple Goa Lawah Bat Cave Temple Bali, History Of Goa Lawah Temple

In Lontar Prakempa mentioned about the incarnation of the Three (3) Mythical Python (Snake-Dragon or Naga) to save the world, namely Naga Ananta Boga (Hyang Brahma), Naga Basuki (Hyang Wisnu), and Naga Tatsaka (Hyang Iswara).

The Naga Basuki moves the ocean with his head, forms steam, and creates overcast. While his tail becomes a mountain and its scales turn into trees and forest. The head of Naga Basuki symbolize the Goa Lawah while its tail as the Mount Agung. The local believes that the cave extends all the way to the Besakih Temple.

This sacred place also became a part of the history of "Kusamba War", between the Dutch and Klungkung Kingdom during the Dutch intervention in Bali (1849).

Goa Lawah Bat Cave Temple Bali, History Of Goa Lawah Temple

Pura Goa Lawah Bali

This temple is one of the six key temples of Bali or "Sad Kahyangan". The Sad Kahyangan is consists of: Pura Besakih (Karangasem), Lempuyang Luhur Temple (Karangasem), Uluwatu Temple (Badung), Batukaru Temple (Tabanan), Pusering Jagat Temple (Gianyar) and Goa Lawah (Klungkung).

Pura Goa Lawah is devoted to worship Hyang Maheswara and Hyang Basukih. The piodalan ceremony takes place every 210 days (6 months Balinese Calendar) on Tuesday or Anggara Wage Medangsia.

Goa Lawah Bat Cave Temple Bali, Goa Lawah Beach Goa Lawah Bat Cave Temple Bali, History Of Goa Lawah Temple

In the south of the temple (across the road) is a black sand beach and the site to performing the death rites for ancestors called "Meajar-ajar" or "Nyegara Gunung" ceremony. This ceremony symbolizes the sea and mountain (lingga and yoni) which can not be separated.

A peaceful surroundings, sacred temple, black sandy beach, direct views to Nusa Penida, rows of traditional fishing boat, coconut trees, blue sea-water, and the curling-wave rolls up to the frothy edge.

Several facilities scattered around such as: food stalls, souvenirs booths and many booth that sell offerings, also the parking lot. This is an amazing place, very sacred, and worth a visit!


  1. google.co.id
  2. wikipedia.org _ Balinese Temple _ on June 10, 2017
  3. wikipedia.org _ Dutch Intervention in Bali (1849) _ on June 10, 2017
  4. Ottersen, Carl (Feb 11, 2016). “The Great Guide to Bali: For Tablets". No Trees Publishing Ltd. Accessed on June 10, 2017.
  5. Wiener, Margaret J. (Apr 15, 1995). “Visible and Invisible Realms: Power, Magic, and Colonial Conquest in Bali". University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226885803. Accessed on June 10, 2017.
  6. Image : Original Collection

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