One of the oldest monuments on the island. It is not just a cave, but a whole system of temples, pavilions, pools, and statues. The 'Elephant Cave' is located above the Petanu River in the village of Bedulu. The first European to visit this place was only in 1923. Before that, the place was carefully preserved by the locals as especially sacred and revered.
There are still disputes about whether this cave is an Hindu or Buddhist attraction. Both religions have left clear marks on the design and decoration of the place. The first mention of this place was found in the Javanese chronicle Nagarakertagama, compiled by Mpu Prapanca in 1365. It describes, among other things, that one highly enlightened Buddhist lived in this place with his hermit students.
The entrance to the cave is designed in the shape of the face of a huge demon, guarding this place from bystanders. There are many different versions of what this demon is and why the cave is called the elephant's. The most common version is that the cave was named after the Hindu god Ganesha, whose statue is located deep inside the cave, and who is one of the main Hindu deities. The cave chamber itself is very dark, so bring flashlights with you.
There are two pools near the entrance to the cave: male and female.
You can get to the cave by taxi or rented bike. As with any place in Bali, it is best to come here early in the morning. It will be less hot and not so crowded.
The entrance to the cave costs 15,000 rupiahs for adults and 7,500 for children.