A Complete Guide To Pura Tanah Lot Temple In Bali
Dotted with several beautiful and historic temples, Bali is aptly called ‘The Land of Gods’. But even amid all these spectacular temples, some stand out from the rest. Tanah Lot (loosely translated to ‘Land In The Sea’) is one of them.
Perched atop a rock jutting out into the ocean, with massive waves battering its base, Tanah Lot is a set of 3 temples; with the main temple accessible only during low tide. Needless to say, it is one of the most unique structures, temple or not, you’ll get to see.
To make the most of your trip here, it is only wise to club it with a couple of activities in and around the temple. To help you do just that, we’ve compiled this guide to make your day trip, a memory for ages.
- Temple History
- Dress code
- Things to Do In & Around Tanah Lot
Sometime in the 16th century, a shaivite travelling priest named Dang Hyan Nirartha visited the south coast of Bali and noticed a small rocky island. Fascinated, he spent the night there and realized it was sacred. He named it Gili Beo (island of rocks that resembles a bird). He took help from the local fishermen to build a temple on the holy land. The main deity worshipped here is Dewa Baruna (Sea God), and the temple is set to be guarded by a giant snake that emerged from Dang Hyan Nirartha’s sash to ward off evil spirits and intruders. Even today, it is believed that at the base of the rocky island is a pool of fresh water amid the salty ocean, that is filled with snakes.
Tanah Lot is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. We recommend you get there as early as possible, as tourists start flocking the temple by 10 a.m.. The current entrance fees for the temple are:
Like in most temples in Bali, Tanah Lot too has a strict dress code. Women must wear a sarong (clothes that cover from waist to ankle) or kebaya (native Indonesian dress), and tie a scarf or a sash on the waist.
Men must also wear a sarong, a shirt, and tie a scarf or sash tied around the waist, along with udeng (a Balinese turban like headdress).
However, if you’re only visiting the campus and not entering the temple, you don’t have to worry about the dress code.
Things to Do In & Around Tanah Lot
Explore The Temple
Mid and high tides flood the causeways that lead up to the temple base. During low tide, you can walk up to the rocky base of Tanah Lot where the snakes guarding the temple are claimed to inhabit.
If you’re going in the evening, there is a footpath to a raised cliff area to the south from where the views of the temple (and the sunset behind it) are outstanding. With waves throwing themselves at the sides of the rocks and a sunset painted with a carnival of colours, your camera is sure going to be kept busy!
Tanah Lot Market and Restaurant Strip
Tanah Lot Market, the road leading up to the entrance of the temple, is lined with stalls of all kinds. Pick up a souvenir or shop for traditional clothes here. On a hot day, stop at a tender coconut stall to enjoy some Es Kelapa Muda (chilled tender coconut water).
The clifftop also boasts a bunch of restaurants that serve both traditional Balinese cuisine as well as modern western cuisine. Grab lunch and shop at the market before making your way to the temple to catch the sunset.
Alas Kedaton Temple
If you’re making it a day trip, you can visit a couple of other temples near Pura Tanah Lot. A 30 minute drive from here is Alas Kedaton Temple, a small forest temple in the midst of rice fields. It is believed that the monkeys in the forest guard the temple and the wildlife around it from evil and bad influences.
A temple as well as an animal sanctuary, it’s quite fascinating to watch the animals play around as you sit in the peaceful setting of the temple.
Taman Ayun Temple
Built in 1634, Taman Ayun is an ancient temple surrounded by a moat – although now it’s more like a public park. The beautiful gardens inside are draped in lush green — a soothing sight.
The courtyards and lotus-blossom-filled pools around it create a calm and peaceful ambience. You can also climb to the top of the temple for some magnificent views.
A visit to this temple is usually clubbed with Alas Kedaton Temple, as it’s only a 15 minute drive apart.
Tanah Lot is one of those places that entices tourists of all kinds with all it has it to offer Spirituality, breathtaking views, phenomenal architecture, and just good old souvenir shopping, you too are sure to carry fond memories home with you.