Temples have always been great epitome of architectural Excellency since ancient times. One of them is the ‘TANAH LOT’ or famously known as “Temple on the Rock”.
Tanah Lot is situated on the coastal sides of South Bali and as the name exemplify, it is built on the rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. As the historic tale goes, Tanah Lot is believed to be founded by a priest from Majapahet Kingdom, named Hyang Nirartha, in 1489 while on his journey of spreading Hinduism. He preached his teachings of honouring the sea god, to the local villages, which resulted in strong opposition from the village chief. After his conflict with the chief, the priest shifted to the island which he established around the sea. This led to the formation of Tanah Lot on the rock locally known as ‘Tengah Lod’ meaning in the sea.
Tanah Lot is a famous tourist destination and could be reached by hiring a car/taxi from nearby places like Kuta and Ubud. This temple is very vulnerable and hence requires complete maintenance. A great amount of money is spent by Indonesian government for its conservation since the rocks have to be artificially built due to crumbling of old rocks.
There is a minimal entry fee of Rp 30,000 (Indonesian currency) for visiting Tanah Lot. One has to walk to the temple from the shore, witnessing the market format souvenir shops which have been built on each side of the path to the sea. The major attraction of this place is the sun-set view which mesmerizes the whole ambience. One can also enjoy the view of surfers, surfing on the waves, displaying a contrasting view between serenity and active sports. The souvenir stalls on the sideways provide excellent ethnic jewellery at cheap rates. One can also visit the Nirwana Golf Course situated adjacent to the temple in south and the Pejaten village which is famous for its ceramics manufactures. Many auspicious ceremonies are conducted on the full moon light which attracts the religious lot.
Being situated at the sea, the sun set view provides excellent locations to aspiring photographers to click snaps. This combination of the sun-setting and temple is completely amazing and it makes Bali unique.
One area where this place lags behind is the food. There are many restaurants lined up at the shore but the food quality is not at par as one would expect. Nevertheless, the famous beverage ‘Kelapa Muda’ which is the chilled young coconut is served in almost all the restaurants along with the traditional vegetable “Lawar”. The lodging and accommodation facilities fit the pocket of common man. One can choose the mid-ranging places like Dewi Sinta Hotel to high range ones like the ‘Losmen Puri Lukisan’
A drive back to Kuta and Ubud will leave you mesmerized by the unconventional beauty of ‘Tanah Lot’ which gets imprinted in the soul.