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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pura Goa Lawah

Pura Goa Lawah is one which is considered the most sacred temple in Bali.

It's situated in the Pesinggahan village , District of Dawan, Klungkung regency, or approximately 49 kilometers from Denpasar. This temple is located to the left of the road to Padang Bai, or several miles before entering the area of Karangasem.

Goa Lawah means ‘bat cave‘ in Balinese, and in Bali, Goa lawah is a famous tourist attraction, as well as a place of religious importance to the Balinese people. The temple was founded in 1007, by Empu Kuteran. Though the temple is small, it is considered very auspicious and is one of the 9 kayangan jagat (directional temples)
that protect Bali from evil spirits. The temple at Goa Lawah protects Bali from the SE.
Balinese people often stop when driving along thius part of the coast, to give offerings. This is the case all over the island. On special days, raod side shrines may attract a large crowd of Balinese, dressed in ceremonial gear, stopping on their way to a major temple, to give offerings and pray. The parking area and souvenir sellers are in front of the temple, which itself is quite small. There is a 11 tier meru inside, donating its importance, but the actuall temple is quite small. It is possible to visit Goa Lawah during ceremonies, and I managed to get inside to watch people giving offerings and praying. The cave itself is in the rear of the temple, up against the cliff. Inside are hundreds of fruit bats and legend has it that the cave extends all the way underground Pura Goa, at Besakih temple 30 kms away. The cave is the dwelling of Balinese naga, Basuki. Bearing in mind the people at Tirtaganga believe the waters of the Ganges (in India) flow through there, I’d take that with a pinch of salt.

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