Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia. In addition to a spectacular natural panorama, the island also has a culture rich in unique traditions with an incredible historical background. One of the most interesting destinations to visit in Bali is Tanah Lot.
Tanah Lot, which literally means "Land in the Sea" is a beautiful rock, located at sea, in the Tabanan Regency. Pura Tanah Lot is a Hindu temple, built on the rock that, it is believed, was erected 500 years ago.
The decoration of the temple is a mixture of Balinese and Hindu mythology. The base is carved with sea snakes and offers a source of natural holy water, giving visitors an aesthetic and spiritual experience unlike any other.
The Tanah Lot Temple is located about 300 meters (over 980 feet) off the coast of the island. It is one of the seven temples along the coast of Bali. In fact, from this beautiful place, to the south, you can see another important construction, the Pura Ulu Watu temple, a cliff to the south, and to the west, the beautiful and long coast of gold and blue.
It should be mentioned that the peak of Tanah Lot can only be visited by priests and local residents of Bali, but tourists can still walk through the grounds surrounding the temple and receive blessings from the monks in a small temple located next to the spring.
Due to its amazing architecture and intricate stone surfaces, and its settlement in the stunning waters of Indonesia, on a coast that welcomes sunsets, Tanah Lot is considered a paradise for photography lovers.
To get to Tanah Lot, it is best to hire a car with a guide to take us, as there is no public transport. It is not possible to reach the coast in transport, it is necessary to leave it in the parking lot and cross on foot an area full of food and souvenir vendors to finally look at the coast, the sea, the slight cliff and the beautiful rock where it is the temple.
At the end of the afternoon, this road is full of locals and tourists who arrive to see the spectacular sunset that has as its panorama the open and clean sea, the long Balinese coast and the silhouette of the Tanah Lot Temple.
It is believed that Tanah Lot was conceived by a 16th-century Hindu traveler and a religious figure named Danh Hyang Nirartha. While traveling through Bali, he sought refuge in a rock on Tabanan Beach. This stone is known locally as Gili Beo.
While resting there, he was visited by local fishermen who offered him food and gifts. After spending a night on a rock, and overwhelmed by the calm spirit of the area, he told the locals to build a temple there to worship the marine gods of Bali.
Initially, Nirartha's idea of a temple met the resistance of the local adat chief. However, it is believed that Nirartha won it through a miraculous act by moving Gili Beo to his current position at sea with his own hands. On this rock, the Tanah Lot temple was built for the god Baruna, the god of the sea.
Before leaving, Nirartha gave a kris, a wavy Indonesian dagger that was believed to have magical powers, to the local chief.