Goa Gajah (4100Rp adult, 2100Rp child, dress: sarong, a short ride by bemo from Ubud or from the Batubulan terminal outside Denpasar; alternatively, join a tour.) Goa Gajah, or ‘Elephant Cave’, lies about 4 km east of Ubud, via Peliatan, on the right-hand side of the road and just before Bedulu. The caves are hard to miss as there is a large car park, with an imposing line of stallholders catering for the numerous coach trips. The complex is on the side of a hill overlooking the Petanu River, down a flight of steps. Hewn out of the rock, the entrance to the cave has been carved to resemble the mouth of a demon and is surrounded by additional carvings of animals, plants, rocks and monsters. The name of the complex is thought to have been given by the first visitors who mistakenly thought that the demon was an elephant. The small, dimly lit, T-shaped cave is man-made and is reached by a narrow passage whose entrance is the demon’s mouth. It contains 15 niches carved out of the rock. Those on the main passageway are long enough to lead archaeologists to speculate that they were sleeping chambers. At the end of one of the arms of the ‘T’ is a four-armed statue of Ganesh, and on the other, a collection of lingams.
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