Goa Lawah Temple or Bat Cave Temple
The Goa Lawah temple is situated on a slight embankment and the name is derived from the thousands bats that are living at the ceiling and walls of the cave.The cave is also said to lead all the way to Pura Goa in Besakih, some 30 km away, but nobody in recent times has volunteered to confirm this since the fruit bats provide sustenance for the legendary giant snake, Naga Basuki, which is also believed to live in the cave. This ancient reptile is believed to be the caretaker of the earth’s equilibrium, a belief which stems from pre-Hindu animism.
Pura Goa Lawah (the Bat Cave Temple) is one of the island’s nine special Sad Kahyangan Temples, and as such it is the designated holy place to honour the God Maheswara who resides in this section of the island. Religious processions visit the temple every day, and it is a particular focus for religious rites associated with death.
Goa Lawah Temple located along the coast of southeastern Bali just west of Candidasa. The center of the temple is built around a cave filled with thousands of bat that make the roof of the cave their homes. Its entrances are guarded by a temple believed to be found by a sage nine centuries ago.
Pura Goa Lawah is in Kusamba village in Klungkung Regency, Bali. Pura Goa Lawah is one in six representative temples in Bali. This temple is famous as “Bat’s cave temple”.
It is a very old temple said that Saint Mpu Kuturan built in 1007. However, this temple did not have a name then. High priest Danghyang Nirartha was going to the east part of Bali through the coast in 1489. And, he took a rest in this temple where a beautiful coastline was looked at. He will stay at this temple, and started meditating because the evening. The meditation end, When he was about to leave for Gel Gel district, the cave was in the presence.
However, the cave did not exist the day before. Surprised villagers entreated to high priest Nirartha, “We want you stay in this village until the cave temple was built here”. And, the temple was built safety, and named “Pura Goa Lawah”. “Goa” means “Cave”, and “Lawah” means “Bat” in an Indonesian language. Several thousand bats are flying about in the cave as its name suggests. It is very strange atmosphere.
There is a legend that this cave continues to Pura Besakih. Everything from Pura Goa Lawah to Pura Besakih is away to the north by about much as 2,200 yards. There are various anecdotes in this cave. The prince of Mengwi kingdom went a cave exploration and he became missing. The prince returned from Pura Besakih, when everyone was looking for him. The chicken for the cockfight kept in the temple ran away to the cave.
However, it was discovered in Pura Besakih. Therefore, it is said that the holy water of Pura Besakih flows to this cave, and it springs up. Many people who dress up prayer purify his body by the holy water and offer the invocation. It becomes feelings sacred by green ivy and red flowers with wall is covered, and the sound of bell that resounds solemnly.
This is a very popular tourist attraction and the government protects the bats, so that nobody can disturb them. There is also a beautiful beach south of the cave, which is dotted with huts, built by people who make salt in the traditional way. You can also see Nusa Penida island from this spot.
In the 17th century the temple was used as a place of worship by the king of Klungkung and Goa Lawah was also used to test the innocence of people found guilty of breaking the law.
There were nine kingdoms in Bali in the 17th century each possessing autonomous power. But the King of Klungkung was respected and recognized as the highest king. When within the kingdom of Mengwi, a dispute ensued between the king’s descendants, I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung and I Gusti Ketut Agung.
The latter was not accepted as the descendant of the King of Mengwi. He was delivered to be tried by the King of Klungkung. The King of Klungkung decided that I Gusti Ketut Agung be ordered to enter Goa Lawah, if he came out alive he would be recognized as a descendant. The cave at that time also housed, as well as bats, big snakes and other wild animals. According to history I Gusti Ketut Agung accepted the sentence, entered the cave and finally emerged at Besakih.
True to the judgment of the King of Klungkung, he was recognized as a member of the King of Mengwi’s family. When he became a King he was known as I Gusti Ketut Agung Besakih. The records also said that as a result of entering the cave he became deaf.
The snakes and other wild animals no longer inhabit the cave, but thousands of bats that remain create a unique and popular attraction. Goa Lawah is on the main road from Denpasar to Candidasa, approximately 50 Kms from Denpasar.
Now days Goa Lawah temple have been totally change. More wider and more exotic, besides all of the building are totally new, also a new garden has been built in the left side of the Temple.