I have been lucky and have been to the Tanah Lot Temple twice, so far…but you know what, I can not get tired of it…Tanah Lot is a lovely place to visit and steeped in history since it has been there since the late 15th century or the beginning of the 16th century….
Tanah Lot Temple is undoubtedly one of Bali’s most important landmarks, best known for its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrops. You can find an ancient Hindu shrine perched on top of an outcrop amidst constantly crashing waves; Tanah Lot Temple is simply among Bali’s not-to-be-missed icons if and when you are there in Bali….
The first place most people will take note of would be the Batu Bolong where a small shrine is located perched at the end of a rocky promontory that leaps seaward into the surging Indian Ocean. Batu Bolong is very eye catching even by itself and I am sure it is as much photographed as the Tanah Lot temple too…Batu Bolong translated means hollow rock in Balinese. Worshipers will usually come to this temple for Melasti or the purifying ceremony.
From where you can view the Batu Bolong, follow the path which will lead you to Tanah Lot, about 3 minutes walk….
The temple, Pura Tanah Lot, history or legend began with a religious leader from the Javanese kingdom of Majapahit in the late 15th century: Danghyang Niratha, also known as Danghyang Dwijendra, or Ida Pedanda Sakti Wawu Rawuh in Bali.
The temple was originally a sacred site where local people came to worship God as the master of the ocean, praying for safety and good luck for their work as fishermen.
Beraban village was suffering an epidemic at the time, and when Danghyang Niratha came to meditate there, somehow, his presence was a blessing as with his religious/magical powers, he helped the community recover, and from then on, he provided them with religious guidance, as well as instruction on right livelihood in farming and fishing.
Since then, Pura Tanah Lot has been considered one of the Sad Khayangan, the six temples of the world.
Another legend about this temple states that the coral rocks were placed in the sea by Danghyang Niratha using his spiritual powers. He then named it “Tengah Lot,” meaning land located in the sea. Still according to the same legend, he then turned the scarf he was wearing into a black-striped sea snake to protect the holy place. All these miracles were meant to demonstrate his sincerity in serving as a religious guide to the community. Whether the legend is true or not, you can still spot and see these unique black-and-white striped sea snakes in the coral caves around Tanah Lot.
But well, after centuries of large waves persistently crashing at its rock base, Tanah Lot suffered the threat of erosion.
The authorities carried out preservation efforts to Tanah Lot and other historical sites island-wide with aid from the Japanese government. And so now, a third of the present Tanah Lot is actually artificial rock.
At high tide, waves flood the causeways making it impossible to cross. But during low tide, you can cross to view the rock base where the above mentioned legendary ‘guardian’ sea snakes dwell in crevices around the Tirta Pabersihan fountain. This is the source of holy water for all the temples in the area. Priests at the fountain might sprinkle some holy water over visitors heads to bless them. I think you can also cup your palms and take a sip of this naturally fresh water.
Once you finished sightseeing, do take a stroll around the shops there where you can get some of the best bargains for souvenirs in Bali….t shirts, key chains, fridge magnets, casual wear, be sure to bargain a little for it…
Address – Beraban, Kediri, Tabanan Regency, Bali