Goa Lawah is a unique Hindu temple set in front of the cliff rock hill called Bukit Tengah, set at Pesinggahan Village, Dawan District and Klungkung Regency or about 50 km from Denpasar City to the east side direction. On the north side of the main temple area, there is a nature cave dwelt by thousand of bats. The beautiful black sandy beach stretch along the coastal with several small traditional huts for salt making just located in south of temple area.
Goa Lawah Temple Story
According to the Lontar (bible made from palm leaf), Goa Lawah name is given by Dang Hyang Nirartha when he stop at this site on his spiritual trips to Bali. He arrived in front of cave in which there are many bats (Lelawah) or swinging bats, incessantly boisterous sound like song that add the beauty of the cave. That is why the cave is called by Goa Lawah. On the top of cave has growth the flower trees where it was flowering with fragrant smells stimulating the inner of Dang Hyang Nirarta be peaceful, so he stayed a few nights at this place. From the cave, it looks the beautiful black sandy beach, blue seas and there were also the beautiful of Nusa Penida Island.
The history of Gua Lawah Temple can be traced based on the following recourses:
- Bendesa Mas Chronicle outline that Mpu Kuturan is come from Java, then he lives in Bali where he was board at Silayukti Padang Bai. He has also built some temples in this island included Goa Lawah Temple. Based on this description, because Mpu Kuturan considered synonymous with Senapati Kuturan who live and to be a Senapati (Assistant) during Anak Wungsu King who ruled between 1049 – 1077 AD, then it means Goa Lawah Temple was built by Mpu Kuturan in 11 century.
- Nirartha stayed a few nights at Goa Lawah then he built a temple in this place. It is means that Danghyang Nirartha had expanded the temple building or the building that was exists at Goa Lawah. Building establishment occurred about 16 century during the reign of Dalem Waturenggong King who ruled in Gelgel Kingdom around 1460 – 1552.
Goa Lawah Temple function can be determined by the following data as below:
- Kusuma Dewa Lontar, outlining that Ga Lawah Temple is Giha Lawah, a place to worship for Sang Hyang Basuki. On this Lontar (Palm Leaf) mentioned that kang umungguh ring Giha Lawah, Sanghyang Basuki,….......
- Padma Bhuwana Lontar explained that according to the performing secret letter ‘Panca Aksara’ he built the temples with multiple directions. Based on the performance of that secret letter, Goa Lawah represents the southeast by the sacred letters ‘Na’ that is a place to worship Mahesora God. On Padma Bhuwana Lontar has mentioned: parhyangan maka panyiran , mawit pagelaring panca aksara, ndi ta, nang, Mahesora,pratistheng Ghneya , munggwing Gua Lawah
- Goa Lawah Temple structure is the temples of Ista Dewata where Padmasana set in front of cave is a place to worship Sang Hyang Basuki, one of the manifestations of Shiva God who ruled the entire of universe.
- Lontar Babad Dalem is implying that Goa Lawah is the right place for spiritual destination (Tirtha Yatra or Nyegara Gunung) because there is a fusion natural potential between mountains, sea, cave and stones.
The temple ceremony at Goa Lawah Temple is based on 2 types, namely Piodalan Ceremony and Ngusaba Ceremony. Both ceremonies are taking the same time on the day Anggara Kliwon Medangsia (based on Balinese calendar ‘Tuesday’) every 6 month (210 days). Ngusaba Ceremony offerings are added with ‘Pakebon Offerings’ (the offering use buffalo) especially held in front of cave and usually led by Ida Pedanda (Hindu Priest). The main purposes of those ceremonies are to worship God in one manifestation of Shiva Lord in this aspect as Maheswara God to keep the strong of the universe potential.