On our last day in Ubud we decided to spend the afternoon and evening at Pura Tanah Lot which is located in the Beraban village of the Tabanan regency in Bali. Although the distance doesn’t look that bad on Google Maps, we actually spent the majority of the afternoon driving through the narrow roads of south Bali.
To be honest, Tanah Lot Temple was my number one must-see place while planning our trip to Bali. Just because I’ve never seen something like this before in my life. And although I knew this would be the most touristy place (according to the Internet) on the island, we decided to go for it anyway and try to keep the magic of this unique place (somehow) just for ourselves.
Pura Tanah Lot is an ancient Hindu Temple from the 15th century. The temple is actually a large offshore rock formation that is completely surrounded by the Indian Ocean at high tide. We were lucky to be here during the low-tide because this gave us the opportunity to walk around and explore the temple from different angles. However, the majority aims to visit Tanah Lot during the high tide in order to enjoy the effect of a floating temple.
Pura Tanah Lot Temple is one of the most important temples of Bali and one of the seven sea temples dedicated to the Sea Gods like Dewa Baruna, Bhatara Segara or Norartha. The seven sea temples are highly significant for the Balinese religion. The seven sea temples were built in a line around the Balinese coast. The symbolic chain of temples protects Bali from the evil sea spirits.
Tanah Lot’s Surrounding: What to See
Batu Balong, or in Balinese “a rock in a whole” (as you can also see in the pictures) is a smaller sea temple which was built in order to protect Pura Tanah Lot. Again, as non-Balinese, you’re not allowed to visit the temple inside.
The holy but highly venomous sea snakes: In front of Pura Tanah Lot you will spot the sea rocks where the ocean has excavated umpteen caves during the centuries. These caves are home to Bungarus Candidus (Malayan Krait or Blue Krait) – black and silver striped venomous sea snakes who are here to guard the temple from evil sea spirits (and visitors like me). If you don’t care about having some thousands of snakes around you, you would probably think about exploring the caves of Tanah Lot.
Dear LillaGreen community – you won’t be able to see a photo of a snake made by me on this travel blog. And definitely, I’m not sorry about it 😀
Tanah Lot Temple: How to Get There
Tanah Lot Temple is located in the Beraban village of the Tabanan regency, just 20 kilometres northwest of Kuta, in the south of the island of Bali. The Temple is also about 20 km from Denpasar (ca 50 min by car), 33 km from Ubud (ca 1.15 h by car), 35 km from Nusa Dua (ca 1h 45 min by car), and 60 km from Padang Bai (ca 1.5 h by car).
Tanah Lot Temple: Know Before You Go
Opening Hours: Tanah Lot Temple Complex is open every day from Monday-Sunday – 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
Parking: 5.000 IDR (0,30 €) for cars, and 2.000 IDR (0,10 €) for motorbikes
Tickets: Adults 60.000 IDR (3,60 €), Children and Students 30.000 IDR (1,80 €)
Ticketing Service: From 7:00 am to 6:30 pm
The History of Tanah Lot
The history of Tanah Lot is closely related to the journey of a holy monk Dang Hyang Nirartha who was coming from East Java during the 15th century. The monk from Blambangan wanted to spread the religion and teachings of Javanese Hinduism to the smaller neighbouring island of Bali. During his expedition on the south coast of Bali, Dang Hyang Nirartha found a beach in Tabanan area not that far away from the Beraban village.
Back in the days, the rocky small island was called Gili Beo. The monk considered this place as sacred and perfect for worshipping the greatness of God. He advised the people of Bali to build a temple in order to protect the land from the evil sea spirits. After this happened, Gili Beo changed its name to Tanah Lot.
In the next blog post I’ll share with you the pure magic of Tanah Lot’s sunset (here). Yes, it was definitely worth it!
Enjoy the day!