Standing on 3 acre stone 20 off the shore, Tanah Lot temple is named the best sea temple with the most exotic view in Bali. Crowd of day-trippers and photographers always overwhelm the site especially during sunset, the time when Tanah Lot looks most exquisite.
The offshore temple is the main feature within the complex while the other eight shrines dot the onshore site. On the north part of Tanah Lot, Batu Bolong temple perches on tip of hollow cliff that is connected to the mainland by a narrow ground bridge. Down the road from the parking lot to the both temples, convenient tourist’s facility is varied that includes restaurants, souvenir shops and culture park.
Consistently crashed by hazardous waves of Indian Ocean, the rock base of Tanah Lot temple faces a serious erosion threat. And in 1980, the condition comes to the worst. More than a third of the rock was gone and the temple nearly crumbled before local authorities finally reconstructed the structure with artificial stone.
For Balinese, Tanah Lot is one of the most important and valued sea temples in Bali. Together with Pura Luhur Uluwatu on the south Bukit peninsula and Pura Rambut Siwi on the west coast, Tanah Lot has a close connection to the legendary priest of Majapahit called Nirartha. It’s said in local story that those three places are related to each other and form a chain along Bali’s northwest coast.
That’s why we sometimes can see the other two temples as we stand on one of them. From Tanah Lot temple for instance, we’ll get a glance view of Pura Luhur Uluwatu’s rooftop as we look at the far west point.
At high tide, Tanah Lot is left empty and marooned at sea. But as the tide is low, we can cross down the walkway to view the temple’s surrounding. Non-Balinese are not allowed to enter to the main worship ground but taking a tour to the rock base can be a fun alternative. There are a lot of crevices down there where we’ll find the “guardian” sea snakes nestling nearby the holly spring of Tirta Pebersihan.
As the dusk comes, legendary Kecak and Fire dance will be performed at the culture park with sunset as the natural background. Paying 50,000Rp, visitors can enjoy the the show daily at 6.30 PM. After the dance, it’s the best time to enjoy the night charm of Pura Tanah Lot from the cliff top of Sunrise Terrace area while treating yourselves to Bali’s favorite spicy sauced grills. This will be a perfect closing for your trip.
It’s fairly easy to find this place as the temple is one of Bali’s highlights. Tanah Lot is situated in Beraban village, Tabanan regency which is only 20 km northwest of Denpasar. It’s better to get on private car to get there but taking public transportation is quite possible as well. Tanah Lot opens daily from 7 AM – 7 PM with ticket including insurance coverage.