Tanah Lot Temple is a famous Hindu temple located on the coast of Bali. It is one of the most iconic and picturesque landmarks on the island. Tanah Lot means "Land in the Sea" in the Balinese language, and it aptly describes the temple's unique offshore setting.
The temple is situated on a rocky outcrop in the sea, which becomes completely surrounded by water during high tide. It is located in the Tabanan regency, approximately 20 kilometers northwest of the Kuta area. Tanah Lot is part of a series of seven sea temples along the southwest coast of Bali, each within eyesight of the next, forming a chain of spiritual significance.
The history of Tanah Lot Temple dates back to the 16th century when it was built by a Hindu priest named Dang Hyang Nirartha. Legend has it that Nirartha was wandering along the coast and discovered the beautiful setting. He decided to rest on the rock and was captivated by its serenity. He advised the local fishermen to build a shrine on the rock to worship the sea god, Dewa Baruna, and to protect the area from evil spirits.
The temple complex consists of several smaller shrines, pavilions, and a cultural park. The main deity worshiped at Tanah Lot is Dewa Baruna, the god of the sea. Visitors can explore the temple grounds, stroll along the pathways, and witness the traditional Balinese architecture and design. The temple's black volcanic rock structure stands out against the backdrop of the Indian Ocean, especially during sunsets, creating a mesmerizing sight.
In addition to its religious and cultural significance, Tanah Lot has become a major tourist attraction in Bali. The temple complex offers a variety of facilities, including restaurants, shops, and cultural performances, making it a popular destination for visitors. During low tide, visitors can walk across to the temple and receive blessings from the Hindu priests.
It is important to note that as a sacred site, Tanah Lot holds significant religious value to the Balinese people. While tourists are welcome, it is essential to respect the customs and traditions of the temple. Modest attire is required, and visitors are expected to behave respectfully.
Overall, Tanah Lot Temple is not only a place of worship but also a captivating symbol of Bali's cultural heritage and natural beauty. Its unique location and stunning views have made it a must-visit destination for tourists from around the world.