In every village in Bali, there are several temples and at least one small one in each home. One can therefore safely say that there are more temples than homes in Bali. Most of these temples are shrines and might not be regarded as actual temples, but the number of walled compounds is believed to reach to a total of 10,000.
The road continuing east parallels lovely seascapes with a full view of Nusa Penida, inviting sunbathing, picnics and refreshing swims. One passes close to the sinister Goa Lawah, the Bat Cave, whose walls literally vibrate with thousands of bats-their bodies packed so close together that the upper surface of the cave resembles undulating mud.
The sight would be more eerie if it weren't that whenever the creatures venture out of the cave into daylight, their radar sense directs them back into their murky dwelling place. Being an extraordinary phenomenon, Goa Lawah is considered holy. Atemple with shrines protects the entrance.
The cave is said to extend all the way back to Besakih, and may contain an underground river, which comes up as it is said, at Pura Goa (Cave Temple) within the Besakih complex - a temple associated with the mythological naga or serpent Basuki which is also honored at Pura Goa Lawah, where 'a snake is said to live, feeding on bats.
Location map of Goa Lawah temple
Last revised on October 11, 2009
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