Photo by mastahanky on Flickr | Copyright: Creative Commons
Contributor: Eric Grundhauser (Admin)
Not far outside of the city of Ubud in Indonesia is a fantastical archeological site known as Goa Gajah, or “Elephant Cave,” although visitors could be forgiven for finding this name confusing given the wild-eyed demon maw that serves as a front door.
The ill-fitting monicker comes from a complicated trickle down of translations relating to the temple cave throughout history that may have alluded to elephants at one point.
However there does not seem to be any actual pachyderm imagery anywhere on the site. Instead the facade of the cave is carved into a surprisingly menacing devil’s face with wide eyes staring over the doorway that acts as its screaming mouth.
All around the monster’s face is what seems to be a boiling sea of flames.
Flanking the frightening frieze are smaller sculptures of creatures that have eroded with time.