Goa Gajah ‘Elephant Cave’ is an archaeological site ofsignificant historical value that makes it a special place to visit, you do notneed more than an hour to descend to its relic-filled courtyard and view therock-wall carvings, a central meditational cave, bathing pools and fountains.
Goa Gajah dates back to the 11th century, built as a spiritual place formeditation. Upon reaching the base you will come across a large ‘wantilan’meeting hall and an assortment of large old stone carvings, some restored totheir former full glory. The pool, excavated in 1954, features five out ofsupposedly seven statues depicting Hindu angels holding vases that act as waterspouts.Even though the site’s name translates into ‘Elephant Cave’, you won’t find anypachyderms here. Various theories suggest the origin of the name, such as backin time the Petanu River was originally called ‘Lwa Gajah’, meaning the ‘RiverGajah’, before it came to be called Petanu River. Other sources state that the‘Gajah’ or elephant aspect came from the stone figure inside the cave depictingthe Hindu lord Ganesh, who is characterised by an elephant’s head.