Goa Giri Putri, a place of pilgrimage for the Balinese
The temple of Goa Giri Putri is accessible in 30 minutes from Toyapakeh following a brand new road. It is located inside an impressive cave. Many Balinese make the trip from Bali to Nusa Penida specifically to follow the complete course of purification which includes about twenty stations inside the cave. You will spot people coming for the ceremony easily on the speed boat, dressed in white and bearing their offerings. But most of them will come back on the same day to Bali because they are scared by the reputation of the island. One of the must visit in Nusa Penida.
How to get to Goa Giri Putri
You can rent a sarong in the small shop selling drinks if you do not have one. Cross the road and climb around fifty steps. After a donation (20,000 IDR per person) and a quick purification ceremony you will be ready to enter the temple. The priest will probably show you the entry because it is not easy to find. You enter almost crawling through a very small passage. After a few meters you will reach a huge cave. There is artificial light so you will not remain in the dark. Follow the path and walk among the different temples. The purification process takes place at each temple inside the cave and lasts about 2h30 but you can go faster.
You will see in the middle of the cave a small staircase going up. Depending on the priests present you will have the right or not to go up there. If you are a little bit claustrophobic it is probably a better idea to abstain. Because the space is quite small and a little suffocating. A kind of cave inside the cave!
The Trimurti bracelet
But do not miss the last ceremony at the last temple of the cave. The priests doze sometimes lying on a bench but I have never seen them refuse a ceremony. There are actually two ceremonies because the temple is mixed, Hindu and Buddhist.
At the end of the Hindu ceremony, the priest will tie the famous Balinese red white black bracelet on your wrist. This bracelet is composed of three red, white and black cords which represent the three gods of the Trimurti: Brahma, Vishnou and Shiva. You will need to drink three times the sacred water poured into your hands by the priest. You will finally take a few grains of rice that you will stick on your forehead.
At the other Buddhist ceremony, the priest will bring you through a purification and meditation session. Don’t be worried, it’s very brief! He will also mark you with a little ash on your forehead.
Plan to give a small donation after the ceremonies. You then get out from Goa Giri Putri temple by the other end of the cave, which offers a beautiful panorama over a small valley.