Last Saturday, I visited the “Goa Lawah” (literally means: bat cave) Temple on the Southeast coast of Bali. Its located about 50 km from Denpasar City on the main way to Candidasa. In the old-time it located in the border between the Kingdom of Karangasem and Klungkung.
Since it was built around 11th century by the initiative of Master Kuturan. The temple now become the place of praying to the God as ruler of all oceans – The Vishnu of Trimurti, or local people called it as “Bhatara Tengahing Segara” – The Lord of Sea Centre.
Goa Lawah Temple symbolizes the head of Great Serpent Basuki (Lord Vishnu as the protector of life and wisdom), while the tail of great serpent lies at Goa Raja (the king cave) somewhere in Besakih Temple (the largest Hindu Temple in Bali). The head symbolizes the sea, and the tail symbolizes the mountain. The traditional procession which includes spiritual guidance along the life spirits from the sea to the mountain is called “nyagara-gunung” by the Balinese, which means “to the sea and mountain”.
It believed that Goa Lawah at Klungkung connected to Goa Raja at Besakih Temple, but an earth quake at 1917 make the cave collapsed and closed permanently according to old people tales.
Goa Lawah Temple together with Besakih Temple form a great nature Lingga Yoni – a symbol of life creation, the fusion of spirit and material which bring about every living form in this universe.
As one of Sad Kahyangan (Six Heavens) in Bali, Goa Lawah always becomes a popular temple among locals and tourists. You can visit Goa Lawah Temple if you come to Bali, just check it on FourSquare to see the exact location.