As one of the sic cardinal Temples of Bali,and one of the most scenic,Tanah Lot temple holds its own as Bali‘s most visited temple. You may have seen it before on postcards and guidebooks,with its multi tiered meru (pagodas) perched on a rocky outcropping in the sea, highlighted against the hazy hues ofthe sunset. The temple is not only scenic,but also shrouded in intriguing history and legend. Tanah Lot temple was foundedby the javanese priest called Danghyang Nirata in the 16 century.
Legend has it that he slept on the site one evening,and afterwards suggested that the balinese build a sacred temple on that spot. The temple is one of the six cardinal temples in Bali that are strung out in a line down the west coast,and on a clear day you can see all the way to another cardinal temple,uluwatu temple on the souhthwestern coast of the Bukit Peninsula. As one Bali’s many sea temples that are meant to honor the God and Goddesses of the ocean, this is a sacred site that is revered by many Balinese Hindus.
The name Pura Tanah Lot means temple of the sea and earth, and once there it is easy to see the why. The temple was built on the top of jagged rocks just of the coast, and it is only accessible at low tide, when a footpath appears a long the sand and out to the rocks. Inside,there are two pavilions and two shrines with a 7 tiered meru a 3 tiered meru. The locals people believe that the temple is protected by a small poisonous black and white sea snakes as well as giant sanke, all of which were originally Nirata‘s sashes that fell into the sea when he left the sacred spot. Another legend says that unmarried couples who visit the temple will break up soon afterwards, which is perhaps why you never see young Balinese couples visiting the site. A perfect time to visit the temple is at noon time while you can seeing a beautiful sunset.