Pura Goa Lawah
The Balinese Hindu hold most sacred the Sad Kahyangan, the 'six temples of the world'. These points provide the spiritual balance of the island, but oddly vary depending on the specific region a person originates. The list often includes Pura Besakih, Pura Lempuyang Luhur, Pura Uluwatu, Pura Batukaru, Pura Pusering Jagat, and Pura Goa Lawah.
Literally meaning the 'Bat Cave Temple', Pura Goa Lawah is a rather unique site. The temple is built at the entrance of a cave where thousands of fruit bats reside. Legend has it that the cave connects all the way to Pura Goa Raja, housed within the Besakih temple complex. The depths of the cave are home to Vasuki, a mythical snake-like creature said to be the caretaker of the Earth's equilibrium.
Pura Goa Lawah dates back to the very beginning of the 11th century and has been an active site of worship ever since. A celebration was underway during our visit, so access was limited. We enjoyed the surrounding gardens and cool ocean breeze before quietly joining the crowd gathered at the cave's mouth. We stayed for a short while, enjoying the spirituality of the ceremony without disturbing the participants.