Karangsari cave, Goa Karangsari

Written by on July 3, 2012 in Bali Cave with 0 Comments

Karangsari cave, Goa Karangsari Nusa penida

Pura-Goa-Giri-Putri--01

Bali is home to hundreds of temples, each with their own peculiarity. The Goa Giri Putri temple in Karangsari village on Nusa Penida island is one such exceptional temple, as it is located inside a cave.

From the temple’s entrance gate visitors must climb hundreds of steps. After the last step, the pelinggih (shrine) of Hyang Tri Purusha and Hyang Gana Pati can been seen right in front of the very small entrance to the cave. People must enter the cave in turns as only one person at a time can pass through the narrow mouth to the cave.

“Although it seems like a very small entrance, it always accommodates everybody, no matter how slim or chubby,” said Made Dwipa, a native from Buleleng who has twice visited the temple. After entering the cave, visitors must crawl through a two-meter long, 60-centimeter-high tunnel leading to a much wider cave with a diameter of around 60 meters that could accommodate around 5,000 people.

Surprisingly, it is not dark in the cave as lights have already been installed. The cave was connected to an electricity source about six years ago.

Occasionally, water drips from the walls of the cave. There are some pelinggih in the main cave, which is almost 300 meters long. Visitors can see a pelinggih in the shape of a dragon with golden scales. This is the pelinggih of Hyang Sapta Patala in the embodiment of Naga Basuki. Next to the pelinggih is a lingga yoni symbol formed by natural stalactites and stalagmites.

“We believe that Hyang Naga Basuki is the manifestation of god as a helper, savior and a bearer of blessings,” the temple priest, Mangku Ketut Darma, said.

We can also find other pelinggih with their own unique features, including the pelinggih for Dewi Gangga, Dewi Uma, and Giri Putri.

Near the exit, an altar is dedicated to the Buddhist goddess Dewi Kwan Im, the goddess of mercy and compassion. Kwan Im is regarded as the deity that all individuals, regardless of their religion, can pray to for relieve from suffering. “The Balinese religion is a Siva-Buddha tradition intertwined with the beliefs, rituals and deities of both Hinduism and Buddhism,” Mangku Darma said.

Darma explained that the Goa Giri Putri cave was found by the local residents a few decades ago. The cave has welcomed visitors from all over the world, including overseas spiritual leaders.

Menstruating women and those mourning the death of a family member are not allowed to enter the cave, which does not charge an entrance fee to visitors.

The Goa Giri Putri temple is located near the coastline of Karangsari village in Nusa Penida, southeast of Bali. Nusa Penida can be reached by ferries from Padangbai port in Karangasem regency; traditional wooden boats (jukung) from ports in Sanur and Kusamba; as well as luxurious modes of transport such as a rented speedboat from Padangbai or Sanur ports and the high-speed luxury cruise ship from Tanjung Benoa.

From the sea port in Nusa Penida, Goa Giri Putri temple can be accessed by a local car sporting a special design. The car is a pick-up truck modified with two benches and a roof.

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