The cave is located on the beach of Klungkung, around 10 km east of the city and 57 km east of Denpasar city through the road that passing the city of Gianyar and Klungkung. Guwa Lawah is a natural cave which was probably under soil river in the past. The temple is known as Bat cave temple and one of tourist's stop for sightseeing to East Bali. The location is on the top of a hill on the beach. The view of Nusa Penida island across the sea is a beautiful panorama. The name of Gowa Lawah means cave of bats. Where hundreds of hanging bats are never leave the cave, only flying around the area and back again. Beside bats there are snakes which some times sleeping among the cliff on the mouth the cave. Many said that some times white dog and chicken also appear on the area. At the front of the cave mouth has been built a temple called Gowa Lawah temple.
No formal edicts or inscription that giving a clue of history of this temple. The only source about this is manuscript called Usana Bali and Pasek Chronicle, which mention the temple was built on the order of Mpu Kuturan, once he was the minister of the king ruled Bali in 11th century. Myth says that the cave is going through Besakih temple and the base of Mt. Agung. According to the manuscript of Mengwi it is mentioned that one of the prince walk through the cave and arrive at Besakih temple. During the walk in the cave he meet many snakes, but when he arrive on the surface at Besakih he became deft. No one has ever prove this story.
According to the local belief the temple is dedicated to the god of the sea. One shrine is dedicated to the fairy tale Naga Basuki ( Basuki Serpent ) which is writen in the myth of Dang Hyang Nirarta. From the name Naga Basuki the myth suggests a close relation with Besakih temple. It is no doubt that the gua or cave was ancient undersoil river. The temple was built to protect this natural heritage with it's hundreds of fruit bats living on the mouth of the cave. To make the protection even more spirited myth was created.
Total shrines and pavilions are 25 unit showing mixed
worship between ancestor's worship and Hindu gods. Ritual
is a ceremony performed every 6 month based on Hindu-Java
calendar. Fixed date of the ceremony can be read in
Balinese calendar which is already printed on November for the next year.
Goris, Dr. R.
Sejarah Bali Kuno, Singaraja, Bali, without date
Sekte-Sekte di Bali, translated by Soejono, Bhrattara, Jakarta, 1974
Bali Atlas Kebudayaan, Pemerintah Republic Indonesia, without date
Arti Pura Besakih Menurut Sejarah dan Ibadat, Majalah Bhakti, Th. II, No. 17
I.H.D. Kumpulan Penelitian Tentang Pura di Bali, diperbanyak untuk Lingkungan Institute Hindu Dharma Denpasar, Bali, without date.
Kempers, Dr. A.J Monumental Bali, Introduction to Balinese Archaeology & Guide to the Monuments, Periplus Addition, 1989
Linus, Drs. I .Kt. Sedikit Tentang Hubungan Konsepsional antara Candi dan Pura di Bali, Fakultas Sastra, Universita Udayana, Denpasar, 1974
Rata, Drs. I.B Konsepsi Dasar dan Pengembangan Pura di Bali, Fakultas Sastra, Universitas Udayana, Denpasar, Bali, 1979
Pemda Propinsi Bali Sejarah Bali 1980
Buddhist Vihara Banjar
Gua Lawah Temple
Ponjok Batu Julah
Taman Ayun Temple
Tanah Lot Temple
Tirta Empul Temple
Ulun Danu Temple
Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.