Temples of Bali: Pura Tanah Lot

11Located about 25 km from Denpasar, Pura Tanah Lot is without a doubt the most visited temple on the island of Bali. Its main attraction being the sunsets over the temple that sits on a large offshore rock shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tides. At low tide you are able to walk across the rocky coral and enter certain parts of the temple; with a guide of course.

Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 15th century priest Nirartha and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples were built so they were within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast.

The walk from the carpark down to the beach is really a manner of tourist trap with vendors selling the usual fare and glass-fronted shops offering upmarket products. There are warungs and accommodation located nearby.

At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. If you have no fear of snakes then be guided to touch or stroke them. Naturally a pendeta is there to assist you. I have always found the best time to visit the temple is at sunrise when serenity dominates the atmosphere and the carpark is void of tourist buses. Whatever time you choose to visit, be aware it gets very crowded.