Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bali High - You Want Temples? I Got Temples Part II

So just when you thought we'd seen all of Bali, umm...we hadn't. Like I said before, Bali is rich in cultural and religious sites, and we had just gotten started in the last post. We visited a small portion of what could have been seen, and I wish I could have visited more places. Maybe next time? :)

So this looks pretty, doesn't it? It's Goa Lawah near the village of Padang Bai on Bali's eastern coast.

It's one of Bali's nine directional temples or kayangan jagat, which protect the entire island from evil spirits. Each directional temple has been placed at strategic points on the island. Goa Lawah is the directional temple that protects Bali's southeastern region.

It's also known for being the Bat Cave. No, not this one.

This one. Eek!
Not so great a picture, but you get the idea, right?

Let me tell you that Batman does NOT live here. I wouldn't! Husband J thought this was very cool. I was waaaay too freaked out to stay anywhere close to these bats. We were pretty safe from them because it was the day time, and bats tend to hang out at night (like the Dark Knight himself!). Bat after bat after bat was on top of each other. Also the smell was lovely.....uh, no. I got my shot, stepped away from the cave, and took in the rest of the temple area.

I was actually fascinated by the Balinese who were there worshipping that day. I was trying not to take pictures, but I couldn't help it. I know if I am church, I don't want people to take pictures of me, but I stayed very far away and used the zoom lens (yay for my newer, much better camera!).

I believe that this was a priest/worship leader.

By the time we were ready to leave so were the rest of the worshippers.

Before we made it to our last stop for the day, I was feeling a bit sorry for our guide, Dewa Marco.

There he is! I am so sad we didn't get a pic with him. :(

All of this sightseeing took place on the our second full day in Bali, and our bodies felt like it was 4am and not 4pm. Husband J and I were fast asleep during the drives between these last two temple sites. I hope Dewa didn't think he was boring us. We did rally for our final stop, Goa Gajah (the Elephant Cave..no, no ACTUAL elephants here. That would have been pretty funny though.).

Here's the main part of the site. More caves carved into a hillside. According to some further reading I did, the mouth and the rest of the carvings may represent the earth god, Bhoma, or the window-witch Rangda in Balinese Hindu folk tales. Husband J leaned over and whispered, "So where's the elephant?" Heck if I know with a shrug was my answer. See that little passagway right above our heads? You can go inside, and I did.

All I found was this:

A little underwhelming, but I didn't really know what to expect.

We're not done with Goa Gajah yet. There is a gorgeous pool area that is open to worshippers in order to cleanse themselves before making offerings and worshipping.

It's not clear to me whether this pool area is still used, but it's pretty cool to me.

As with anywhere in Bali, Goa Gajah is surrounded by lush beauty.

I love this amazingly gorgeous tree!

All of these wonderful temples and sites in Bali were great and added a little cultural spice to our trip.

Did/Are any of you incorporating sightseeing into your honeymoon?


Amy said...

Oh those bats would scare me!! What beautiful scenery though!

soomster said...

hi girlie! love living vicariously through the posts! keep 'em coming!

The Less Than Domestic Goddess said...

Oooh, beautiful photos! What an amazing trip. Those bats would freak me out. You are brave to even get close enough to take that picture :)

BigAppleNosh said...

I am loving your travel pics!!

melinda said...

Such an amazing trip - your recaps are really whetting my appetite for a trip to asia!

kristi said...

Love to see your photos.
Thank you for sharing.


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