Goa Lawah Temple (Bat Cave Temple)

This temple is located at Dawan District, Klungkung Regency. It is about 50 km from Denpasar. The temple is known as Bat cave temple and one of tourist’s stop for sightseeing to East Bali. The location is on the stop of a hill on the beach. The view of Nusa Penida Island across the sea is a beautiful panorama.

The name of Gowa Lawah means cave of bats. Where hundreds of hanging bats are never leave the cave, only flying around the area and back again. Beside bats there are snakes which some times sleeping among the cliff on the mouth of the cave. Many said that some times white dog and chicken also appear on the area.

No formal edicts or inscription mention the temple. The only source about this is manuscript called Usana Bali and Pasek Chronicle, which mentions the temple, was built on the order of Mpu Kuturan, once he was the minister of the king ruled Bali in 11th century.

Myth says that the cave is going through Besakih temple and the base of Mt. Agung. According to the manuscript of Mengwi it is mentioned that one of the princes walked through the cave and arrived at Besakih temple. During his walking in the cave he met many snakes, but when he arrived on the surface at Besakih he became deaf. No one has ever prove this story.

The temple is dedicated to the god of the sea and also the god abode on mountain. One shrine is dedicated to the fairy tale Naga Basuki (Basuki Serpent). From the name Naga Basuki it suggests a close relation with Besakih temple. It is very probable that Gowa is the sea temple of Klungkung kingdom.

Total shrines and pavilions are 25 units showing mixed worship between ancestor’s worship and Hindu gods. Ritual is a ceremony performed every 6 month based on Hindu-Java calendar. Fixed date of the ceremony can be read in Balinese calendar which is already printed on November for the next year.

We can see the fisherman are looking after the prawn seed, send the rice, legume, fruits and other materials to Nusa Penida twice a day. The fisherman from Kusamba with the big boat and five crews can squire the material heavy as of 1,5 cargo ton to Nusa Penida.

They can across the sea from Banjar Tri Buana, Banjar Bias Coastal and Kampung Island Coastal with 30 minutes until 2 hours time differences and it is depend to the type and transportation medium speed utilized. Beside of that, this boat can also squire the passengers who wish to enjoy the beautiful coral and the white sand coastal in the island cross of Bali .

Segara Beach in Kusamba is especially for the Hindu ritual activities which are often conducted the activity of Nganyut in line with Ngaben Ceremony (Cremation Ceremony). We can also meet a fish market in this place which is usually held between 10 am until 4 pm.

The strait between Bali and Nusa Penida Island is dwelt by a lot of fish, hence it is crowded by the white sail of fisherman boat decorates the sea around the Kusamba beach. At the west side of this coastal, especially in Banjar Batur, there are 40 families of fisherman as the traditional salt maker.

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