One doesn't simply miss Tanah Lot, one of Bali's most iconic attraction located in Canggu. One point of interest that is largely visited by tourists is the majestic Tanah Lot temple perched elegantly on the unique rock formation facing the raging Indian Ocean. Many tourists will come to visit Tanah Lot and enjoy scenic view of the sunset, it is also a perfect time to get the best shots of the temple. More than a tourist attraction, Tanah Lot is an important place to the Balinese as it serve as one of their place of worship.
Unravel 6 Enchanting Charms of Tanah Lot
The History of Tanah Lot and Tanah Lot Temple
Tanah Lot temple is pretty much the centerpiece of Tanah Lot island, and its history dated back in the 16th Century. According to a legend that have been circulated among Balinese for centuries, the temple was built by a a holy Hinduist monk called Dang Hyang Nirartha who came to the land to teach Hinduism. Between his teachings, Dang Hyang Nirartha would spend some time meditating on an incredibly large rock. As Nirartha's followers grew, he faced opposition from the village chef called Bendesa Beraban Sakti and his loyal followers. The monk shown some resistance by shifting the large rock he used as a meditating spot in the middle of the sea, ending the conflict between two religious figures in peaceful manner with Bendesa Beraban Sakti's submission and later became one of the most loyal follower of Nirartha. Before Dang Hyang Nirartha's departure from Southern Bali, he ordered his followers to build a parahyangan (Hinduist Temple) on his meditation spot. Under his instructions, a small temple called Tanah Lod temple was built to worship the God of the Sea.
Tanah Lot and Holy Serpents Mythology
According to the legend of Dang Hyang Nirartha, the monk moved an enormous rock island called Gili Beo to the sea during his resistance against Beraban village's head chief. He dropped his scarf the land's bottom and turned it into a sea snake (Bungarus Candidus) to guard the island. Visitors still can see a pair of this pretty but also highly venomous sea snakes in the eastern part of Tanah Lot. Balinese people consider the snakes as sacred and believe that if they stroke the snake's body while praying they will have their wishes granted. Of course you can try to touch them too only by paying small amount of donation. There's a snake handler on standby so you don't have to worry about getting bitten.
Tirta Pabersihan Spring
Located nearby the sea snakes' lair is Tirta Pabersihan Spring. Pure water flows from inside the cave, it taste very refreshing like the one you usually found in a springs. Hinduists believe that the water from Tirta Pabersihan fountain is sacred and they often use it to purify themselves before any religious rituals. It is also said that the water have so many benefits and can cure various illnesses. Hinduist priests will sprinkle the holy water over the visitors to bless them with good luck and prosperity. Whether you believe in it or not, it's actually quite miraculous to find freshwater spring in the middle of the sea so you might as well enjoy the moment.
Batu Bolong Temple
Apart of Tanah Lot temple, there are several other minor temples sprawling around Tanah Lot. One of the most famous one is Batu Bolong Temple. The temple is located in100 meters to the north of Tanah Lot Temple. The temple perched on the edge of a cliff, with a large hole beneath it forming a stunning natural bridge. Every year during Melasti and Pakelem ceremonies, the pilgrims will come flocking to the temple to pray. the sunset view from Batu Bolong Temple is simmply awestunning.
Penyawang Temple is a small beautiful seaside just few meters away from Penataran Temple to the west. Its function is nearly the same with Tanah Lot Temple, that is a place to worship God's manifestation as God of the Sea. Penyawang Temple is like a proxy to Tanah Lot Temple, where the pilgrims will gather and pray when they are unable to access the Tanah Lot Temple due to the high sea tides.
Jero Kandang Temple
Jero Kandang Temple that you can find just 100 meters away from Penyawang Temple have a rather unique name. Roughly translated Jero Kandang is “Inside a Stable or Barn” in English, and that ties with its purpose. Jero Kandang Temple was built to worship Dewi Sri, Goddess of Prosperity and Hyang Widhi in his manifestation as God of All Animals and Plants. The villagers come to pray in the temple none other to wish for wellness for their animals and crops. Every Saturday Kliwon, the villagers will gather in the temple to celebrate Tumpek Kandang Festival.
How to Get Tickets?
To access Tanah Lot and its magnificent temples, international tourists will have to pay Rp 60.000,- or $4.11 for adults and Rp 30.000,-. Children only need to pay half of the price.
How To Get Around?
All attractions in Tanah Lot can be easily accessed only by walking.
What Should I Wear?
Tanah Lot temple and nearby temples are considered as sacred places, so obviously you will have to dress modestly. Wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees, you can rent a shawl and sarong provided nearby if you happen to wear tank top and shorts. Likewise, men should wear sarong to cover their knees. They will also have to wear Udeng, a Balinese headscarf usually worn by Balinese men when they are visiting the temples. The rules above doesn't apply if you come to the beach. In that case, you are free to wear swimsuits or any clothes that makes you feel comfortable.
Best Time to Visit
Tanah Lot is a highly popular attraction in Canggu Bali, so you can expect tourists clogging the area especially in peak seasons. To enjoy the beach and the temples to your heart content, you should choose wisely on when you should go. Your best bet is to come in low seasons that fallsbetween mid-January to mid-April or from mid-September to mid-December.
Will I Need a Guide?
All informations you need can be found inside this website, so a guide isn't a necessity.
How To Get There?
You can reach Tanah Lot either by a public bus or a taxi, each have its own merit and demerit. A bus might be cheaper, but it will be cramped and take a bit longer time than a taxi. While taxi is much more expensive, it is the most convenient way to get around. Plus, your driver will wait for you and will gladly takes you to your next destination. Just make sure you have enough money, as it will cost you Rp 200.000,- for your journey back to Kuta or Rp 30.000,- if you're going to Ubud.
Women who are in their period aren't allowed to enter the temples