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Tanah Lot

From the village of Marga, the trip west returns to the main route leading to Tabanan. At the crossroads of Kediri, a side-road branches to the sea, ending on a green hill which slopes down to the beach and to the remarkable temple of Tanah Lot, suspended on a huge rock offshore. Set apart from the land by a stone basin, the rock has been carved by incoming tides. Tanah Lot, with its solitary black towers and tufts of foliage spilling over the cliffs, recalls the delicacy of a Chinese painting. If hearsay is to be believed, there dwells inside one of the shrines at Tanah Lot a huge snake, discreetly left undisturbed by the Balinese.

Although a small sanctuary, Tanah Lot is linked to a series of sea temples on the south coast of Bali: Pura Sakenan, Pura Ulu Watu, Pura Rambut Siwi and Pura Peti tenget.

All these temples are related to the principal mountain sanctuaries: Besakih at Gunung Agung, Pura Batur at Batur and Plura Luhur at Mt. Batukau.

The upland temples venerate deities associated with mountains and mountain lakes, while the sea temples include homage to the guardian spirits of the sea within their ritual. These main temples are often listed with the sad-kahyangan the six holy "national" temples, which exact tribute from all Balinese. The chronicles attribute the temple at Tanah Lot to the 16th century priest Nirartha.

During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island's beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bringing gifts, invited him to stay at their hut. Nirartha refused, saying he preferred to spend the night on the little island. That evening he spoke to the fishing folk and advised them to build a shrine on the rock, for he felt it to be a holy and fitting place to worship God. The villagers kept their promise. The beaches of Tanah Lot are ideal for relaxing, especially in the late afternoons, when the temple on the rock dissolves into a striking silhouette against the evening sky.

Near this Temple there are several small and big shrines, the biggest one is Pekendungan Temple. There is a spring considered sacred not far from this temple.

Tanah Lot is 13 km from Tabanan is Beraban village. When the tide is low people can walk to the temple. It looks like a floating one if the tide is high. There are many caves under the temple inhabited by the peaceful sea snakes, which have white and black colors.

It is located 16 kilometers west of International Airport Ngurah Rai, or a 20 minutes drive through Sunset Road. Coming in from Java Island through Gilimanuk, and arriving at the Kediri intersection, at the Wisnu murthi statue, turn right. In front of the Kediri police Station, turn left, and keep following this smooth road. In less than 10 minutes you will be there. Admission is Rp 1,000.- per person.

 

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