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Elephant Cave

This mysterious place just outside of Ubud houses a Hindu temple, statues, ponds and fountains from a time gone by.

The Elephant Cave, also known as Goa Gajah, is an archeologically significant Hindu temple. The stone structure is believed to date back to between the 10th and 14th centuries. The history behind the temple’s name is unconfirmed.

Enter through the dark looming mouth of a demon to step inside the cave. The demon is a kala head and has the bulging eyes typical of these sculptures. The cave itself is only small. See the ancient inscriptions and follow the narrow passageway to the end. On the left is a small alcove with a statue of Ganesh and on the right is a small worship area with representations of lingam, a symbol of Shiva, and yoni, a representation of female creative energy.

Descend the stairs to the gardens with the pond of Patirtaan, which is said to contain holy water and is used for ceremonies. Check out the statues around the fish pond and lily pond; these depict Widyadara-Widyadari angels.

You need less than 15 minutes to see the Elephant Cave complex. It is still worth coming here, however, because the journey is scenic and the surrounding rice paddies and other temples in the area are good photo opportunities. Set out exploring and visit the small waterfall in the valley, stroll through tropical gardens, or inspect the nearby Buddhist temple.

Elephant Cave is open daily and there is a small fee to enter. The site is located west of Bedulu Village in the Blahbatuh District, Gianyar Regency. This is just 4 miles (6 kilometers) from Ubud. To get there, book a tour or rent a vehicle. Free parking is available.

You can pay a local guide to show you around, but if you don’t to do this, it’s useful to know the word “tidak” (no), because the local guides can be persistent. Women need to cover their shoulders and both men and women should wear a sarong. You can buy a sarong at stalls near the entrance.


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Lodging Near Elephant Cave

See all 1,318 Properties near Elephant Cave
The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud $314
The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud

The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud

Jalan Goa Gajah, Ubud
     
    5.0
    of 5, from 92 reviews
    5.0 out of 5.0

    This family-friendly Ubud hotel is located in the mountains, within 1 mi (2 km) of Elephant Cave, Rudana Museum, and Pura Samuan Tiga. Agung Rai Museum of Art and Gajah Mas Gallery are also within 2 mi (3 km).

    Ubud Dedari Villas
    Ubud Dedari Villas

    Ubud Dedari Villas

    Banjar Lebah, Ubud
       
      4.5
      of 5, from 55 reviews
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Situated on a river, this resort is within a 15-minute walk of Yeh Pulu, Elephant Cave, and Pura Samuan Tiga. Rudana Museum and Peliatan Palace are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Kamandalu Ubud
      Kamandalu Ubud

      Kamandalu Ubud

      Jalan Andong, Banjar Nagi, Ubud
         
        4.7
        of 5, from 558 reviews
        5.0 out of 5.0

        This family-friendly Ubud resort is located on a river, within 2 mi (3 km) of Ubud Peliatan Balerung Stage, Ubud Traditional Art Market, and Ubud Royal Palace. Peliatan Palace and Pura Desa are also within 2 mi (3 km).

        Komaneka at Rasa Sayang $104
        Komaneka at Rasa Sayang

        Komaneka at Rasa Sayang

        Jalan Monkey Forest, Ubud Gianyar, Ubud
           
          4.7
          of 5, from 179 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Ubud City-Centre, this spa resort is within a 10-minute walk of Ubud Monkey Forest and Komaneka Fine Art Gallery. Pondok Pekak Library & Learning Centre and Ubud Traditional Art Market are also within 15 minutes.

          Dedary Kriyamaha Ubud
          Dedary Kriyamaha Ubud

          Dedary Kriyamaha Ubud

          Banjar Pinjul, Desa Kendran, Ubud
             
            4.8
            of 5, from 61 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Situated in Ubud, this spa villa is within a 15-minute walk of Yeh Pulu, Elephant Cave, and Pura Samuan Tiga. Rudana Museum and Peliatan Palace are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Nuaja Balinese House 2bedrooms
            Nuaja Balinese House 2bedrooms

            Nuaja Balinese House 2bedrooms

            , sukawati
               
              0.0 out of 5.0

              Situated in Ubud, this spa bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Pura Samuan Tiga and Elephant Cave. Yeh Pulu and Rudana Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Omah Apik
              Omah Apik

              Omah Apik

              Jl. Kenyem bulan, Banjar pande, Ubud
                 
                4.6
                of 5, from 12 reviews
                3.5 out of 5.0

                Situated in Ubud, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Pura Samuan Tiga and Elephant Cave. Yeh Pulu and Rudana Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Bali Dacha
                Bali Dacha

                Bali Dacha

                Bedulu, Blahbatuh, Bedulu, Ubud
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  Situated on a river, this spa bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Pura Samuan Tiga and Yeh Pulu. Elephant Cave and Rudana Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).