Pura Goa Gajah Temple, The Elephant Cave, Ubud, Bali
Deep in the hills of the island you'll find Pura Goa Gajah Temple (read more about it here) which is a 9th Century cave sanctuary carved deep into beautiful rock.
Before arriving on the island, Annika had found a fantastic company which provides excellent drivers. During our break on the island we used the company three times and had two great drivers share their knowledge of the island with us.
We arrived and wound our way through the tropical layers of trees down to the temple.
In the fifties architects had discovered a beautiful spring source of water and the beautiful statues were built to feed water into sacred bathing pools.
Just along the pools you'll find the temple cave.
To enter you must show respect by covering your legs and shoulders.
Once inside the cave the soft scent of petals from bowls of offerings and incense lingered in the depths of the cool darkness.
Outside the cave stone stacks lined into rows and rows are said to be in memory of monks who have passed.
So simple, yet so beautiful.
Some of the newer structures within the grounds conversely are quite the opposite, layers of luscious golds to celebrate and honour the gods above.
While wondering through the grounds our driver and guide asked if we would like a blessing. He led us into another temple where we slipped off our shoes and entered an old stone temple courtyard. Peaceful silence enveloped the space and we were blessed with a little rice to our third eye and flower to the ear.
Utterly content, mentally silenced, we made our way back up the long winding pathways and through the gardens.