Tabanan, Tanah Lot Temple

Written by on June 10, 2012 in Bali Temple with 0 Comments

Tabanan, Tanah Lot Temple





Tanah Lot Overview


Pura Tanah Lot, as one of Bali’s most important temples, is often the final destination in tourists’ itineraries. Located on the west coast of the island, sunset at Tanah Lot can be enjoyed at different spots. This 11-hectare area offers small eateries, several temples in the area, different shores, tourist facilities and a cultural park.

Pura Tanah Lot is within eyesight of the next sea temple, forming a chain along the south-western coast. It is also called ‘tanah let’, meaning an ancient land, and ‘tanah lod’, meaning southern land. During high tides, Pura Tanah Lot looks like a floating temple. Non-Balinese Hindus are not allowed to enter the sacred temples in the area, including Pura Tanah Lot itself.

Tanah Lot History


Tanah Lot has several versions of its history. History recounts that a Javanese priest, Dhang Hyang Nirartha, traveled to Bali in the 15th century and found a beautiful island on the west coast and rested there. Not long afterward, local fishermen spotted him and started bringing him offerings. Nirartha then began to spread Hindu teachings and advised people to build a temple on that small rock-island as he had a revelation that it was a holy place in which to worship sea deities. Accordingly, when the priest passed away, his followers built Pura Luhur Tanah Lot.

Legends, however, tell a slightly different version. The area’s ruler was said to become envious of Nirartha for one by one the local community left to follow the Hindu priest instead of him. The ruler expelled Nirartha; but before the priest left Tanah Lot, he used his magical power to move a big chunk of rock next to the beach and built a temple on it. Nirartha also transformed his shawl into a snake to guard the temple.

Back to factual events, some part of the rock-island began to erode in 1980, making the area and the temple dangerous. With a loan from and under the supervision by the then Japanese government, over one third of Pura Tanah Lot’s rock-island was renovated and stabilised.

Tanah Lot Highlights and Features


Tirta Pabersihan, located under Pura Tanah Lot, is a freshwater fountain that Balinese Hindu devotees use to sanctify themselves. Parts of the rock-island eroded by sea water has several tiny caves where sea snakes dwell. They are believed to guard Pura Tanah Lot from evil spirits and intruders.

After strolling down rows of small shops and descending a lot of steps, the first place of worship to come to is Pura Penyawang. As Balinese Hindu devotees can’t reach Pura Tanah Lot at high tide, they pray in this temple court instead. Pura Tanah Lot can already be seen from Pura Penyawang.

About 100 metres further to the right of Penyawang is Pura Jero Kandang. Villagers come to pray here for their animals and plants well being. Not far to the right of Pura Jero Kandang is Pura Enjung Galuh, located atop the cliff to the right of Pura Tanah Lot. It is dedicated to the deity of Prosperity where villagers come to pray for their crops’ fertility.

On the right side of Enjung Galuh, you will see Batu Bolong, a promontory with an archway under it (‘Bolong’ means hollow). Follow the pathway and you will come to Pura Batu Bolong, located atop the end of the promontory. It is a venue for Melasti and Pakelem purification ceremonies.

Pura Batu Mejan, at least 100 metres to the west from Pura Batu Bolong, is known for its nine sources of water that Balinese Hindu devotees use for purification in ceremonies. Approximately 300 metres from Pura Tanah Lot is Pura Pakendungan, built on the spot where Nirartha would meditate. Not far after you pass Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort, you will see the sign for this temple on the right side of the road just before the entrance of Tanah Lot.

The Tri Antaka monument is also found in Tanah Lot area. It is to commemorate three local heroes who died in the battle against the Netherlands Indies’ Civil Administration’s troops. From Pura Penyawang, you go straight to Pura Tanah Lot and left to Pura Penataran. Pura Penataran is located opposite Pura Tanah Lot, before the Sunset Terrace. Pura Penataran’s big celebrations are held twice every 210 days; one is at the same time as Pura Tanah Lot’s anniversary.

Sunset Terrace is an upper area opposite Pura Tanah Lot. From Pura Penyawang, turn left to ascend the stairway. You will find a row of small eateries with terraces facing Pura Tanah Lot and the Bali Sea as its background.

Further to the right from Batu Mejan is Surya Mandala Cultural Park, functioning as a venue for weddings, art performances, exhibitions, and more. Here you will find a smaller open stage, a seafood restaurant, and finally a 25,000sqm area with an open stage. The Kecak dance is performed at the smaller open stage every evening at 19:00. A seafood restaurant here is a great venue to watch the sunset, located on the edge of the promontory.

From the parking area, you will find a large number of art shops, food stores, and kiosks along the 300-metre long pathway to Pura Tanah Lot. Facilities include clean toilets, three interactive multimedia information booths, ATMs, and more. There are two information centres here: one is in the parking area and the other one is the public relations office near Pura Penyawang.

Good to Know and What not to Miss


Pura Tanah Lot’s anniversary is held every 210 days, on the Buda Cemeng Langkir Wednesday on the Pawukon calendar, which coincides around the Balinese Hindu’s Galungan and Kuningan day celebrations. It is said that a silhouette of Pura Uluwatu, another sea temple, might appear on clear, bright days. The sea snakes underneath Pura Tanah Lot are at least three-times as poisonous as cobras. Physical characteristics: flat, thin, black with yellow stripes.

Opening Hours: 07:00 – 19:00
Location: Pura Tanah Lot is located in Beraban Village, Kediri sub-district, Tabanan regency. It is about 30 minutes away from Kuta, 13km to the west from downtown Tabanan.
How to get there: Head to Pan Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort, the entrance to Tanah Lot tourism area is at the end of the street after the resort.

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