This is a very popular tourist attraction and the
government protects the bats,
so that nobody can disturb them. There is also a
beautiful beach south of the cave,
is dotted with huts, built by people who make salt in
the traditional way. You can also see Nusa Penida island
from this spot. In the 17th century the temple was used
as a place of worship by the king of Klungkung and Goa
Lawah was also used to test the innocence of people
found guilty of breaking the law.
There were nine kingdoms in Bali
in the 17th century each possessing autonomous power.
But the King of Klungkung was respected and recognized
as the highest king. When within the kingdom of Mengwi,
a dispute ensued between the king's descendants, I Gusti
Ngurah Made Agung and I Gusti Ketut Agung.
The latter was not accepted as the descendant of the
King of Mengwi. He was delivered to be tried by the King
of Klungkung. The King of Klungkung decided that I Gusti
Ketut Agung be ordered to enter Goa Lawah, if he came
out alive he would be recognized as a descendant. The
cave at that time also housed, as well as bats, big
snakes and other wild animals. According to
history I Gusti Ketut Agung accepted the sentence,
entered the cave and finally emerged at Besakih.
True to the judgment of the King of Klungkung,
he was recognized as a member of the King of Mengwi's
family. When he became a King he was known as I Gusti
Ketut Agung Besakih. The records also said that as a
result of entering the cave he became deaf. The snakes
and other wild animals no longer inhabit the cave, but
thousands of bats that remain create a unique and
popular attraction. Goa Lawah is on the main road from Denpasar to Candidasa, approximately 50 Kms from