Goa Lawah Temple is one of the nine sacred temples of Bali, placed at the entrance to a cave inhabited by thousands of bats. According to legend, the Bat Cave (a translation of its actual name) runs along a secret passage for over thirty kilometres before reaching the Mother Temple of Besakih. It is also said that a dragon dwells inside it which is charged with maintaining the equilibrium of the universe itself. Goa Lawah was founded in the XI Century by Mpu Kuturan, one of the first priests to lay down the framework of Hinduism on the island. The central courtyard of the temple holds various sanctuaries where offerings are made. A very ancient sanctuary rises at the entrance of the cave. Despite the constant flow of pilgrims and visitors, the temple continues to be a place of prayer and meditation, practices which seem to be aided by the incessant sound of the bats rather than hindered by it. The temple is also near the black sand beach of Candidasa, one more reason to visit.