Bali has earned global repute as one of the most coveted tourist spots in the globe. Numerous tourists – both domestic and international – visit it for its picturesque tropical nature, there is much more to the island and one of the must see places is Tanah Lot Temple.
Located on Bali’s west coast, the Pura Tanah Lot is perhaps the most visited and photographed temple on this Island. The name itself has a deeper meaning to it with Tanah representing earth and Lot representing the sea; quite an appropriate definition considering its remarkable location at the top of a gorgeous rock overlooking the sea. This temple is dedicated to the god of the sea and is among the most prominent and vital temples in Bali.
The temple is particularly popular for its one of a kind sunset backdrops and offshore setting. This ancient Hindu shrine is located at the peak of an outcrop amongst persistently crashing waves. The sacred temple is undoubtedly among the long list of icons not-to-be-missed in Bali. This onshore site is surrounded by smaller shrines alongside the guests’ leisure facilities which comprise shops, restaurants, not to mention an exclusive cultural park that hosts numerous dance performances.
This shrine is located in the Tabanan regency Beraban village, about 20 km to the northwest of Kuta. To best understand the hype that surrounds this amazing temple, read along for exclusive details of one of the most revered holy place in the whole of Bali Island.
The sagas and myths of this amazing structure are as enticing as the sacred place itself. Soon after Danghyang Nirarta, the holy priest, spent a night in this place, Bali residents decided to put up a temple at that spot. The account further unfolds and states that there was once a bridge stretching to the temple from the mainland but it was unfortunately wrecked by the sea. One more remarkable detail is that this place also has a cave that features a magical spring that is just underneath this holy temple. The catch, however, is that while the water in this magical spring is fresh, the waters that surround the temple are salty waters of the ocean.
Behind every unique piece of history is a remarkable fortress in the form of pioneer legend and rich inspiring history, and this temple is no exception. Referred to as the legend of the temple, Dang Hyang Nirartha was a respected high priest who emerged from the East Javanese Majapahit Kingdom. This icon traveled to the island of Bali in efforts to spread Hinduism and once he arrived, he built a site in honor of Baruna, the sea god. While here, he taught the Beraban residents the religion of Hinduism, but soon found strong opposition in the form of the Beraban village chief.
The chief afterwards gathered all his loyal followers and went forth to dispel the newly arrived Hindu teacher and priest. In retaliation, Nirartha resisted and as a way of trying to protect his territory, he performed two magical acts. The first, through meditation, he shifted a humongous rock and drove it into the sea and sometime later, he also transformed his sashes and turned them onto sea snakes to protect its base.
The rock was originally known as Tengah Lod which means ‘in the sea’. Acknowledging the priest’s powers, the village chief humbly vowed allegiance afterward. Nirartha later departed the Island but before he did, the priest gifted the chief a holy kris dagger that is currently among the most consecrated heirlooms of the remarkable Kediri royal palace. During every Kuningan festival, pilgrims bring forth these particular relics by foot to the priest’s previous meditation site now known as the Luhur Pakendungan temple.
Aside from the rich and inspiring history, this Hindu shrine is dotted with remarkable features and highlights that make it an ever outstanding attraction. This amazing structure is every photographer’s paradise. Any photographer who is looking to impress his audience will find this temple a beauty to behold. It is home to numerous locations that offer incredible views of the temple which complements its characteristic as a photogenic destination.
Depending on the sun’s position, the light is just right for capturing stunningly captivating shots. Take a direct right just at the entrance of the shrine’s area and stroll through the garden up towards the peak of the hill. From this perfectly positioned vintage point, you will enjoy an even better view; powerful waves crashing on the huge rocks subsequently creating a perfect Instagram photo.
Moreover, you will love the accessibility of the temple. You only need a short 40-minute drive from Ubud and Kuta, both of course very popular tourist destinations in Bali.
As any traveler who has been to Tanah Lot will tell you, there is no better time to visit this remarkable temple than at sunset since it is when the spot is most mystical. This temple is best accessed during low tides since it allows for visitors to take a simple walk across the beach down to the temple. During high tides, however, the temple is cut off from the main land.
Access to the actual temple is not possible for visitors, but this does not detract from the experience and the views of this holy site and its enchanting setting. It affords you the chance to enjoy diverse cultural offerings and breathtaking panoramic views.
As you already know, Bali is home not just to impeccable tourist attractions, but also to unique cultural practices. The ancient Pura Tanah Lot combines unique Hindu culture with breathtaking sceneries to give you an exceptional insight into the amazing holiday experience on Bali Islands can offer. It is just one of many beautiful and interesting temples in Bali; you may also be interested in visiting Uluwatu Temple or Pura Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung.