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Tanah Lot Temple

It is located at Braban Village, Kediri District, Tabanan Regency. It is about 13 km from the closest city of Tabanan, about 30 km from the main city Denpasar. It can be reached by motorcycle and road fairly good. From Denpasar you can go from Denpasar’s Ubung terminal to tanah lot via Kediri and then from Kediri turn left around 11 kilometer.

The spectacular location of Tanah Lot is possibly the best known and most photographed temple on Bali.  The tourist crowed here are phenomenal, especially at sunset, and the commercial hype is terrible. Tanah Lot sunset tours are heavily promoted in all tourist areas. The temple perched on a little rocky islet, look superb whether delicately lit by the dawn light or starkly outlined at sunset. But can it ever live up to the hype! For the Balinese, Tanah Lot is one of the important and venerated sea temples.

Like Pura Uluwatu, at the southern end of the island. The name of Tanah Lot Temple in tourism bibliography about Bali almost never absent. The name Tanah Lot is probably from “Tanah laut ” means land in the sea. It is the fact that the strong sea abrasion has separated the temple area with Bali mainland, so it looks that the temple nests on a small speck of rock building up on the ocean. Despite the fact that strong hit of sea wave but the site is still standing while the whole sides have disappeared by the raged waves of hundreds of years.

No historical record is found so far to construct the history of the temple. Scripture of Dang Hyang Nirarta mentions that the priest Dang Hyang Nirarta had visited the temple and asked the people around the area to build shrine. While the priest also educates the fishermen there in making fish trap. The temple as a whole is dedicated to the god of the sea. Fishermen pray to get fish and prosperity. A story mentions that one of the shrine at Batukaru temple was lost, and was found here standing at Tanah Lot temple complex.

It was very probable that the temple was built by Mengwi kingdom as the sea temple. A kingdom in Bali normally had 3 main temples, one located near the sea, one in the city or near the palace, and one on the mountain or near the mountain. This concept of 3 temples has also influenced the smaller unit of Balinese settlement in the level called “Banjar “. Every Banjar in Bali has also 3 main temples dedicated to different way of worshipping the gods and ancestor’s spirits.

Now only 3 villages that responsible for the temple those are all nearby villages of Braban, Kelating, and Tibu Biyu, and still as the temple for Mengwi palace. The ceremony is performed every 6 month, based on Hindu-Java calendar which is already printed out during November every year. For tourists, it is not only the traditional magic of the temple is interested, but the location in the natural setting, especially during the sunset, the temple changes into silhouette against the sunsets above Indonesian ocean.


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