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Goa Garba

Goa Garba is located in Banjar Sawa Gunung, Pejeng Kelod village, Tampaksiring, Gianyar, Bali. It is situated 400 meters above sea level, lies under the Pengukur-Ukuran Temple, above the Pakerisan River.  On this site there is a hermitage carved out of the cliff, which was believed to be the meditation place of Mahapatih Kebo Iwa. It is a natural site that exudes calm. Even to this day, Goa Garba is frequented as a place of meditation. It is estimated to have been built in the 12th century during the reign of King Jaya Pangus.


The story about the existence of Goa Garba was inseparable with Mahapatih Kebo Iwa. In the Kingdom of Bedahulu, there lived a very strong person named Kebo Iwa, the descendant of Arya Karang Buncing. When Kebo Iwa aspired to be the Mahapatih of the Kingdom, he had to demonstrate his powers before he was permitted to assume the position. His abilities were tested by a number of figures in the kingdom considered to have magical powers. Nobody was able to beat Kebo Iwa, not even the prime minister, Ki Pasung Grigis.


Goa Garba is a pasraman (a place to learn Hinduism). It is believed to have once been a place to test one’s power if they wished to be a leader. Goa means “cave” and Garba means “in the belly of the earth”. There are two paths leading to Goa Garba. Visitors can choose whether to enter the site through the main path of the Pengukur-Ukuran Temple, or the one that leads directly to the entrance to this historic site.

Upon entering the cave, visitors will find several large rocks. On one of these stones lies a footprint larger than that of an average adult. Locals believe it was the footprint of Kebo Iwa. There is a small area that where water, which comes from the nearby hot springs, can be seen dripping from the surface. When meditating here, people will sit facing east, toward the splashing water. The dripping water is symbolizes the God Vishnu.

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