The fruit bats that live in the cave at Goa Lawah temple are an amazing sight, sound and smell. As you approach the cave all your senses are assaulted. The walls and ceiling of the cave are covered with bats, almost obscuring the rock beneath. The sound of bat wings comes from all directions as they fly around, and then there is the smell of fruit bat guano. My back pack suffered from some target practice while I took this shot. Enough said!
Goa Lawah Temple - Bat Cave - Bali visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Goa Lawah Temple - Bat Cave' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Lesser Sunda Islands.
Panorama taken at the entrance to the Bat Cave of Goa Lawah Temple in Bali. This panoramic photograph was taken from the entrance to the bat cave. The dark bodies of the fruit bats that live here can be seen hanging from the pale rock of the cave walls near the entrance of the cave. As well as being one of the most holy places on Bali, the Goa Lawah temple, because of the bat cave, is also a very popular tourist attraction.
You get to the bat cave after passing through an outer and middle court before ascending up some steps to the inner court. At be back of the inner court is the cave which is inhabited by fruit bats. Take care not to disturb the bats, who can be seen flying in and out of the cave during the day. The smell of bat guano gets increasingly strong the nearer you get to the cave. Be warned, the fruit bats are not selective about where they defaecate.
The fruit bat colony here is the reason a temple grew up at Goa Lawah. It is thought that the temple is over 1000 years old. Legend has it that the cave system extends north for about 30km to the north to Pura Besakih (Besakih Temple) found on the slopes of Mt. Agung Vocano.
It is also said that a giant dragon-like snake lives in the caves and feeds on the bats, which may explain why no-one has since been tempted to repeat the feat.
For more information on the history, please see the main Goa Lawah Temple page. The temple is near to Goa Lawah beach from which offerings and artifacts are cast into the sea.
Goa Lawah is about 9km from Klungkung on the east coast of Bali.