Most of the Bali-which is saying something, considering how many beautiful places there are to see in Bali. When you are traveling the cultural and artistic area in and around Ubud you'll be amazed quite often. Offering more than five beautiful temple areas, rice terraces and more. Still the Goa Gajah cave and surrounding sanctuary is something special.
Although there is not actually an elephant in sight, nor was this place once inhabited by elephants, Goa Gajah is an important historical site for the Bali people and is a great place for a day trip. The rock carvings alone are with a visit, but when coupled with the relics, the cave, and the bathing pools, there is plenty to see and do in this location.
What to Expect
Probably this place was built in the middle of the 11th century. A set of ancient steps lead up from the parking lot, up into the jungle. There are a couple of shops and food stands around in case you are looking for something to eat or want to buy a souvenir, but the main attraction is at the top of the steps.
Once you get to the base of the site, you are greeted by ancient stone carvings. Many of these have been thoughtfully restored, so visitors can get a better idea about what the site looked like when it was originally built. There are obvious Hindu influences when it comes to the architecture and relics, especially those around the mouth of the cave. This cave was and still is used for meditation.
Along the southern edge of Goa Gajah are rice fields and a few streams. The entire area has a very reverent atmosphere, and it is still considered sacred by many of the local people. Because of this, men and women are expected to be clothed modestly when visiting the site.
When to Visit
The best time of day to visit is usually early in the morning. The complex opens at 8:00 in the morning and closes at 4:00 in the afternoon. There is usually a rush of visitors in the later morning and early afternoon, which can crow Goa Gajah, making it difficult to get a good look at anything the area has to offer. If you do not mind the crowds, any time of day will work for visiting this beautiful area!