Bali, an Indonesian island also known as the “Island of Thousand Temples”, probably has more temples than houses that you can count. Needless to say, one of its iconic tourist attractions has to be the Tanah Lot temple. Located 20km northwest from the capital of Bali – Denpasar on the Tabanan coastline, Tanah Lot means “Land (in the) Sea” in Balinese language.
The Tanah Lot temple was built in the 16th century by a Hindu religious figure called Dang Hyang Nirartha (or so it claimed) in Bali. During his travels along the south coast he found this beautiful rock formation off the main land, and felt it would be a holy place to worship the Balinese gods. As one of the 7 sea temples around the Balinese coast established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast, Pura Tanah Lot has significant Hinduism influence in addition to Balinese mythology. At the base of the rock formation, venomous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. In 1980, with the help of a Rp 800 billion loan from Japan, more than one-third of the historic temple’s rock face is now made of artificial rock that substituted the original rock formation that was falling apart.
Well-known for its appealing sunset view, the area leading to Tanah Lot has become very commercialized now and visitors have to walk through a long pavement of souvenir shops lining each side of the path before getting down to the sea. Entrance fee to Tanah Lot is Rp 30,000 (S$3.05) per adult.
Finally saw the sea with the temple on the rocky island after walking till the end of this touristy pavement. We were unable to visit in the late afternoon to wait for the legendary sunset view here, nonetheless I still enjoyed the scenic views at this popular cultural attraction despite the scorching sun. Photos shall describe its beauty better than words, so I shan’t waste my breath further! 😛
After walking under the hot sun for more than half an hour, anything that can hydrate and cool us down would be a wonderful gift. Probably our tour guide heard our inner voices, as he treated us to Kelapa Muda, which means young coconut in Indonesian language at this fruit stall you see in the photo below. Each coconut costed Rp 15,000 (about S$1.50) & I thought it tasted a tad too sour for my liking, unlike the sweet ones that I usually eat. But alas, it’s good for hydration, so just drink!
Read that this coconut drink is almost a customary drink to enjoy for visitors catching the sunset at Tanah Lot. Too bad, no stunning sunset for us that day… If you have visited Tanah Lot in the evening and witnessed its sunset, let me know if it’s worth making a trip there again! 😉