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Goa Lawah - Bat Cave in 360°
The bat cave sanctuary of Goa Lawah is one of the six royal temples on Bali. The cave of Goa Lawah is considered by local people to be the hiding place of one of the two snakes of the underworld. They also say that there is a secret underground tunnel between the temple of Besakih (the center of the upper world) and Goa Lawah, the center of the underworld.
1. What to see
Goa Lawah has received its name because of the thousands of small bats that cling in dense masses to the walls and the mouth of the cave.
The temple was founded by a priest called Empu Kuturan in the 11th century. By the 17th century, it became a place of worship by the King of Klungkung in the 17th century. According to local legends, a dispute happened between the King of Mengwi's sons, I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung and I Gusti Ketut Agung at that time. I Gusti Ketut Agung was not accepted as the descendant of the King of Mengwi. Since the King of Klungkung was respected as the highest king, he was sent to the king to be tested. The King of Klungkung asked I Gusti Ketut Agung to enter Goa Lawah. If he came out alive he would be acknowledged as a descendant. I Gusti Ketut Agung accepted the challenge, entered the cave and finally came out in Besakih. It is said that he became deaf because of entering the cave.
2. When to see
Goa Lawah is open daily 7am-6:00pm except for Nyepi day. Please note that you are not allowed to get close to the cave during ceremonies. Alike in all Hindu temples in Bali, a compulsory sarong can be hired at the entrance to enter the temple.
4. How to get there
Most tourists visit Bali on a package tour that includes an option to select from a range of excursions. If travelling on your own, probably the easiest way is to rent a car with a driver for an entire day. It is not recommended to drive on your own in Indonesia due to the general negligance of driving rules. Singposts are written with Latin alphabet, but it might be difficult to find remote places on your own.
5. Where to stay
There are plenty of hotels to stay in Bali, the best beaches can be found at Kuta, Sanur and Nusa Dusa. If you prefer sightseeing, Sanur area is highly recommended since it has the best location to avoid the traffic jams of Denpasar.