Goa Gajah monastery, (near) Ubud, Propinsi Bali, ID

Raw data

“In the 1920's a superb bronze bust of the Buddha was found on Sulawesi, one of the larger islands that make up Indonesia. This is the eastern most point that any Buddhist antiquity has ever been found. There is, though, no evidence of an enduring Buddhist presence either on Sulawesi or beyond it; no ruined temples or monasteries, no inscriptions or references to it in the historical records. However, only a few hundred miles south west of Sulawesi is the small island of Bali where archeological, epigraphically and literary evidence shows that Buddhism existed along side Hinduism for about seven hundred years.
Indian merchants first arrived in Bali in about 200 BCE and it was probably these people who introduced Buddhism and Hinduism. A Balinese work of uncertain date called the Nagarakrtagama by the Buddhist monk lists all the Buddhist temples in Bali, twenty six altogether, and mentions that in 1275 King Kretanagara underwent a Tantric Buddhist initiation to protect his kingdom from an expected invasion by Kublai Khan. […] Hinduism and Buddhism both received state patronage although the type of Buddhism that prevailed gradually became indistinguishable from Hinduism. A Javanese Buddhist work from about the 12th century contains this telling verse. "The one substance is called two, that is, the Buddha and Siva. They say they are different but how can they be divided? Despite differences there is oneness". […] Next I headed for Goa Gajah near Ubud where I had read there were some traces of Buddhism. Goa Gajah was a sacred spring in ancient times and locals still come to bathe in its two pools. Water pours into the pools from pots held by beautifully calved figures of apsaras. Beyond the spring is a deep mossy and fern filled canyon with huge boulders strewn around it. The rocks on the side of the canyon have half finished Buddha statues, architectural forms and other things calved out of them. […] One bolder has what was quite clearly meant to be the pinnacle of a stupa calved out of it, again unfinished. There are also several artificial caves cut out of the cliffs one of which have three small stupas in front of it. The several inscriptions found at Goa Gajah show that both Hindu and Buddhist ascetics once lived here.” - Dhammika (2008).

"Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, is located on the island of Bali near Ubud, in Indonesia. Built in the 9th century, it served as a sanctuary.[1]" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goa_Gajah
Input by: tmciolek, Apr 05, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 06 Apr 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 2 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Goa Gajah monastery, ID.

General location of the Goa Gajah monastery, ID.
Lat -8.48766 Long 115.26300
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2013.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Goa Gajah monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Indonesia:Propinsi Bali

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat -8.48766 Long 115.26300 - based on visual identification of the Goa Gajah village in maps and Panoramio photographs, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 6 Apr 2013.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Vajrayana? - Dhammika (2008)

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag 0800-32p 0833-66p 0867-99p - tmciolek 6 Apr 2013
  • 0800-32p 0833-66p 0867-99p dated-e

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Architectural, art stylistic

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

18. Known monks and nuns associated with this monastery

19. Available Printed Literature

  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 1]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

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