Made more than 1,000 years ago, one of the holiest Hindu sites in Bali which was also opened as the most popular tourist attraction is Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave. Goa which has a mythological creature above its entrance has a very uncertain origin, this cave is believed to be the place of asceticism of Hindu priests who dug it by hand.
Visitors to Goa Gajah Temple enter the cave by mouth gaping from mythological creatures and into a small T-shaped room with several carved parts of the wall. The statue of Ganesha was added after the cave was first excavated. In the courtyard outside the cave entrance there is a series of bathing pools decorated with carvings of women who pour water from jars.
At present the temple in the cave area remains a place of worship for Hindus and a popular stopover on tours around Bali. Visitors can take several choices to visit the Goa Gajah tour, including visits to small and private groups to Ubud, usually to Goa. Elephant tourists visit Ubud Monkey Reserve Forest, Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple and Penglipuran Village. A visit to Goa Gajah can also be part of a tour to visit some of the main temples in Bali such as combining a visit to Goa Gajah with a trip to Mount Batur volcano or to Tegenungan Waterfall.
Goa Gajah is a must visit for all spiritual tourists, history enthusiasts, and visitors who come to Bali for the first time. Visitors are asked to use trousers or bring a sarong to cover their knees while visiting the temple. Tourists were also asked to respect the people who worshiped in a narrow cave by standing behind and refraining from photographing them. When entering the cave, give a little time to adjust to the almost non-existent lighting because there is no artificial light that illuminates the inside of the cave.