Tanah Lot Temple has a fascinating history that is almost as beautiful as the temple itself. The history is closely related to the sacred journey of a holy monk Dang Hyang Nirartha, who had journeyed from Java Island ( called Blambangan at that time) to Bali to spread the teachings of Hinduism. While traveling, he stopped at a beach with large coral rock and a fresh water spring. He named the rock Gili Beo which means “bird island” as the coral resembled the shape of a bird.
The local ruler resented his presence and plotted against him. The monk found out about the plan and pushed the rock (Gili Beo) towards the middle of the sea to protect it. He also created a snake out of a shawl that he was wearing and used them for the purpose of keeping Gili Beo safe from any evil attacks. As the position changed, its name changed to Tanah Lot. Later, taking the monk’s advice, the locals built the temple and dedicated it to the God of the sea.
You will be surprised to learn about the uniqueness of the Tanah Lot Temple. To start with, the temple seems to have a source of holy water beneath it and this water is said to bring some good effect to anyone drinking it. Apart from this, opposite the temple, there is a cave with a few sea snakes, who are known to be the protector of the entire area, from the clutches of evil forces. This is the reason, the main temple worships god in the form of Dewa Baruna or Bhatara Segara, the sea power.
The Holy Water Cave is believed to be sacred and is guarded by the priests of the temple. This is the place where you can get natural water, considered holy water, known as Beji in the local language. This holy water is believed to be able to heal sick people and give fertility to a couple wishing to have children. You can only reach the place during low tide. Local devotees present offerings to the temple or shrine to seek permission from the god before they take the holy water home. While taking the holy water, you will also be given bija and jepun flowers by the priest.
A must place to visit during your visit to Tanah Lot is the Tanah Lot Sunset Terrace, located in the north of Tanah Lot Temple. This place provides an excellent setting to capture the view of the sunset with the sky painted with a myriad of colors. You can reach this place with a tranquil ambience by walking along the pathway of the temple area. You can step into the restaurant located on the terrace and take a look at the puppet painting museum, and Balinese gift outlets. When visiting during high tide, you will find the rock of Tanah Lot appearing like a boat floating on the waves.
Tanah Lot temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the gods of the sea. The temple holds a ceremony (nyejer) for 3 days every six months ( 210 days). Also, as per the Balinese calendar, the anniversary of the temple is held on the Buda Wage Langkir which is four days after Kuningan Day. Devotees, locals and those from various regions of Indonesia, who wish to offer prayer in the temple visit here during this time. They first offer prayer at Beji Kaler, the sacred spring located just below the Tanah Lot temple. They must drink the holy water to cleanse their soul and then enter the main temple.
Jatiluwih Green Land, once a nomination for the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site, is an enchanting scenic spot where you would love to spend an entire day. Feel mesmerized as you gaze into the exotic view of the gentle slopes of the lush green terraces and get lost in their beauty. Stay till dusk to enjoy the spectacular sunset views of the nearby Tanah Lot. Visit nearby places such as Alas Kedaton, Batukaru Temple, etc. on your journey to the Tanah Lot.
Visit Indonesia’s largest botanic garden, famed for being the home to the island’s biggest orchid collection. Feel rejuvenated as you make your way through the mountainous region of Bedugul to reach the garden which is a nature lover’s paradise. Explore the vast area covered with manicured gardens, tropical forests and rare plants. Take a look at carnivorous plants, fern gardens, rare Balinese medicinal plants, exotic roses and more. Go on a hike through the tropical rainforest trail or take the trail at the Treetop adventure park, for an adventurous ride in nature.
A dip in the Angseri Hot Spring, a top-rated hot spring in Bali, is sure to rejuvenate your body and mind. Located in the secluded corner of the island, the area has a natural waterfall above two outdoor pools. You can go for a splash below the waterfall or enjoy a Jacuzzi experience at one of the four lodges with lush green surroundings. Feel relaxed as you unwind in a private spring shower which looks out to lush landscapes of palm trees, paddies, and bamboo backwoods.
Feel awe-struck as you take a look at the pristine white massive statue of the sleeping Buddha in the enchanting Buddha temple. Feel the peace and tranquil ambience of the temple as you stroll across the temple complex. Take a look at the entire temple to understand the Buddhist culture and tradition and spend some time in the quiet environment to offer prayer in the Buddhist way. Make a trip to the vantage point of the volcanic mountains to look at the vista of the northern coastline of Bali and capture them in the frame of your camera.
A beautiful place which will enchant you near Tanah Lot Bali is the Bali Butterfly Park, also known as the first-ever butterfly park of Bali. Feel delighted as you enter the kingdom of insects and look around the place for rare and exotic butterfly species.
Be on your lookout to spot a Great Mormon, Birdwing butterfly, or swallowtail in the midst of this haven filled with flora and fauna. One can run after the colorful butterflies and hold camouflage stick insects in your hand. Or can proceed towards the lily pond to take a look at the shrubs, tropical plants and bushes. Learn more about the butterflies during an educational tour and be thrilled to get an insight into their breeding and preservation process.
Soak in the enticing ambience of the black sand beach, Kedungu Beach Bali, a hidden gem of Bali. Delight in the sea view and go for a splash along the waves on a longboard surfing. Once you have enjoyed the beach, visit the nearby shops to get a glimpse of the local culture. If you want to extend your enjoyment, opt to spend a night at the nearby villas to catch a breathtaking sunrise.
You will be able to find the Holy Snake Cave of Tanah Lot Temple under the high cliffs of the temple. The place is accessible only during low tide. The snakes are considered by the locals to be guardians of the sacred temple and you can volunteer to hold them during your visit. The cave has two temple attendants to guide you around the place and share information about the place.
The Standard Tanah Lot entry ticket cost for an adult is IDR 60,000 and for an Indonesian resident adult, it is IDR 20,000. The standard ticket cost for a child is IDR 30,000 and for an Indonesian resident child is IDR 15,000. If someone wants to take photos and videos, an additional charge of IDR 500,000 for photos and IDR 2,00,000 for videos will be applicable. The cost of using a drone is IDR 500,000
The local art market of Tanah Lot is an excellent option for those with an interest in buying artistic items, and gifts, especially Balinese art gifts. You will be able to buy many kinds of art and souvenirs from this market such as sarongs, shirts, hats, sandals, statues, paintings and also other Balinese style gift items.
If you are traveling by two wheeler, you can park for IDR 3. Four-wheelers can park for IDR 5 and six wheelers buses can park for IDR 10.
Remember to carry your entry voucher which you will need to hand over to the driver who will come to pick you up.
International travelers should also carry their passport and ID proof as well.
For any trip to Bali, you need to be prepared for the Balinese sun and put on sunscreen, have sunglasses and wear a headcover.
Wear loose clothing which covers your body, maintaining the temple dress code.
Wear comfortable shoes as the area can be slippery.
Carry water to keep yourself hydrated.
If you want to carry a camera, you will need to pay additional charges for them.
You must keep 5 to 6 hours in hand for visiting the Tanah Lot Temple, pray to the sea God and appreciate its beauty thoroughly. The Tanah Lot Temple and its surroundings have several attractions. While visiting the place which is open from 7 am to 7 pm, you must first visit the holy spring and then visit the main temple. If there is low tide, you can also visit the Holy Snake Cave before you spend some time at the Sunset Terrace at Pura Luhur Tanah Lot to catch the view of the sunset. Finally, you must spend some time in the local art market to buy souvenirs.