Tanah Lot should be on your ‘must visit’ list when you are in Bali. It has a mysterious, yet classic, beauty. The sea temple, which is built on a huge rock right in the middle of the ocean, takes you way back into its timeless journey, leaving you in great awe as you discover the little secrets while walking around it.
Tanah Lot is a family friendly spot, as there are adequate facilities such as shops, restaurants, cultural park, shops, emergency facilities, washrooms, rest area and information centre.
Legend of Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot is one of the most sacred temples in Bali.
Legend has it that the high priest from Majapahit, Dang Hyang Nirartha, arrived in Bali in 1489 to spread Hinduism and established a site to honour the sea god, Baruna. He faced opposition from the village chief who gathered his loyal followers to dispel the high priest. Nirartha resisted and through this meditation shifted a large rock to sea while transforming his sashes into sea snakes to guard its base. This is how it got its original name Tengah Lod, which means ‘in the sea’.
Culture and nature have a strong relation with Hindu, and the religion. Everywhere you go in Bali, you may see Hindu temples. Balinese life is strongly influenced by their religion. This is the reason, Bali is called the Island of God, Island of Thousand Temples, and a paradise Island.
Best time to go
Tanah Lot is a very famous tourist destination of the world and one of Bali’s key attractions. It is visited by throngs of visitors – both domestic and international – every day.
If you are planning only to visit Tanah Lot, we’d recommend entering the premises at about 5pm. This will give you enough time to explore the area, visit the sea temple and surroundings and allow you to relax and watch the amazing sunset at about 6-630pm while having a fresh coconut at one of the food stores perched on the cliff. For avid photographers this is the golden hour, and if the weather is merciful you will enjoy a spectacular sundown sight.
However, the temple is equally beautiful when the tide is high. The site of the temple being marooned at sea will take your breath away and forever be etched in your memory.
Holy spring in Tanah Lot
At low tide you can walk around to the rock base crevices (Tirta Pabersihan fountain) where the legendary sea snake ‘guardians’ dwell. This natural sprout is the holy water for all the temples in the area.
In front of Tanah Lot temple, there is a natural water spring which is called Beji. You can take the water home in a container, drink it or even wash your face with it (makes you feel blessed). After you are done, you will be blessed with bija (prayer) and jepun flower, as an offering in return, you can make a nominal monetary donation.
Sacred temples to explore at Tanah Lot
There are many other temples around the area, should you want to explore.
Pakendungan temple: West, 300 metres from Tanah Lot Temple. Pakendungan temple is the place where Dang Hyang Nirartha meditated where the holy kris was given to the village chief.
Penyawang temple: West of Penataran, alternative place to pray during the high tide, when people can’t reach the Tanah Lot temple.
Batu Bolong temple: 100 metres west side of Enjung Galuh temple. Batu Bolong translates to hollow rock from Balinese. Worshippers come to this temple for Melasti or purifying ceremony.
Batu Mejan temple: 100 metres to the west of the Batu Bolong temple, also called Beji Temple. Beji means sacred spring in Balinese and the people believe that the holy water from this spring can purify anything.
Other things to do at Tanah Lot
As you walk through the main entrance, you can lose yourself into one of the numerous lanes lined with souvenir shops. Or challenge yourself to hold a snake around your neck? (One of our team mates accepted this challenge!)
Spending a day in Tanah Lot, can be full of other activities too.
Here are few things you can do before head to Tanah Lot temple to enjoy the sunset.
There is more to explore at Tanah Lot. It is also the centre of high end spas in Bali. Spa treatments can be luxurious and sophisticated, yet the prices are more affordable than you pay in countries.
Best way to explore the surrounds at Tanah Lot, is to organise a tour transport to navigate around. Fill your day with activity and sightseeing, while you sit back and relax.
Check out the classy boutiques and shops that will satisfy your needs on the latest fashion trends. There are a number of boutiques lined up on the Tanah Lot’s street.
Walking along the beach, sunbathing, surfing and swimming are a few activities you can do at Tanah Lot. The beach has limited road access, that means, it is less crowded and good for relaxing.
Savouring delicious food over a picturesque sunset view
There are few restaurants that serve delicious food and drinks to quell your stomach and quench your thirst. A must visit is the Sunset Terrace Restaurant: relish in a piping hot plate of Indonesian Nasi Goreng while watching the spectacular sunset.
Tanah Lot is sure enough to make you feel good within yourself on a spiritual level. Just sitting on the rocks, soaking in the sight of each wave crashing into the rocks with gusto, has a calming effect on your mind. The sound of the waves that fills your ears, makes you want to sit there forever.
As you head out, you will take such good memories along with you, the ones of you being close to nature. You got to be there to feel it.