There are many sacred cave in Bali which is usually used as a place ritual for certain ceremonies that serves as a place of worship. Some caves also intended as an important temple such as Elephant Cave and Bat cave. One of the caves which have a function as a place of worship named Goa Giri Putri Temple. This temple is located in Karangsari Hamlet, Suana Village, Nusa Penida Island, Klungkung Regency Bali which has a variety of its own uniqueness. Goa Giri Putri located at a height of 150 meters above sea level, with a total length of approximately 262 meters. This cave has four major parts there are a place of worship outside the cave or entrances and three in the cave (the front, middle and behind). This Temple of Giri Putri Cave will provide a different experience that is rarely found in other tourist areas in Bali.
The word “Giri” itself means mountain or hill, while “Putri” means women. In the concept of Hinduism, “Putri” that’s means is the symbolic name for the power of God which has the nature of motherhood or femininity. So Goa Giri Putri is a space or cavity of a certain size as the dwelling place of the power of God in its manifestation in the form of a woman (called Hyang Giri Putri), no other is one of the magic of the power of God in His manifestation as Shiva.
The entrance of the cave looks quite narrow and can only be entered one person. But it was only about three meters, having passed the entrance you will be stunned and amazed because anyone certainly not expected, if the room inside the cave is very wide and high. In fact, it can accommodate up to 5,000 people.
This temple history predicted since the Neolithic era. In this era, it is said that human life without norms, feelings and even the rules. They always lived as a threat to the other human, who is stronger; he will survive in this world. To save the lives and families, this cave was used as a shelter. And then this world getting bigger and this temple were used as a place of meditation and functions of spiritual. The word of “Giri Putri” given to the largest cave on the island of Nusa Penida is based on several reasons. The word “Giri” means hill and the word “Putri” means women. The words are given related to this sacred cave as the worship of Shiva with the manifestation of the goddess who has the nature protecting, caring for, and loving man.
Related to geographic data provided by the University of Warmadewa in 2007, the cave is estimated to have a length of about 262 meters and is located approximately 150 meters above sea level. In the cave there are water channels, stalagmites, stalactites, bats and snakes. There are four main areas in the cave which is used as the main worship area. The first one is located in front of the cave and the other three are inside the Cave. Before 1990, this cave is only used as a tourist attraction for local tourists (especially on the day of Galungan and Kuningan). In addition, the water in the cave was used as holy water for ceremony.
This temple also has a close relationship with two other temple which also includes the largest temple in the island of Nusa Penida. When a large ceremony took place in the tenth (based on Calendar of Bali calculations) each year, great ceremony also held at Puncak Mundi Temple and Dalem Ped Temple. So when the people visit to Nusa Penida Island for the purpose of prayer, three of these temples will be their main goal. However, people usually tend to stay at Dalem Ped Temple because the weather is warmer and the facilities are more complete. This cave conditions are much better than in 1990. In the past, this cave appears darker, Cold, and frightening. However, this cave now appears brighter and well maintained.
I Nyoman Dunia as the head of the village and also a pastor at Pura Giri Putri said there are 13 shrines (pelinggih) in various forms of architecture. If you want to pray in this temple, the first area that you will see is Tri Purusa Temple that’s located outside of the Cave. After finish to pray at Tri Purusa Temple, the next is entering the cave. The cave is divided into three main praying areas there are in the front, in the middle and in the behind. In the next area, there are four shrines to invoke the safety and prosperity of life.
Continue the trip to the middle of the cave, there are five place of worship, three at the bottom and the other two at the top. This place is the place to invoke spiritual sanctity. This place is a place of worship to invoke the cleanliness and freedom from all negative things. The outermost part of this place is used as a place of meditation. Balinese people believe that people can be cured in this holy place. This place of meditation is also decorated naturally with stalagmites and cave walls are colorful. The sound of water droplets which beautiful makes this place becomes a perfect place for meditation.
The western end of this cave contains four places of worship. In this place, people can see the beautiful panorama when sunlight penetrates into the cave. There is also an exit where people can see the natural beauty of the island of Nusa Penida. If you visit the Nusa Penida Island, you can come to Goa Giri Putri to see a beautiful atmosphere. A unique adventure experiences in Bali are stored here.