Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. It is home to the pilgrimage temple Pura Tanah Lot, a popular tourist and cultural icon. Tanah Lot means “Land in the Sea” in the Balinese language. Located in Tabanan, about 20 kilometers from Denpasar, the temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. We arrived at Tanah Lot while out on a day tour of Bali, with our Canadian friends from China. As mentioned in yesterday’s post – Luwaks and Giant Bats – Elijah was not feeling well, and since it was naptime when we arrived at Tanah Lot, Justin decided to wait in the car with Eli while Kevin, Charity and I explored this popular tourist spot. The area leading to Tanah Lot is highly commercialized and people are required to pay to enter the area. To reach the temple, visitors must walk through a set of Balinese market-format souvenir shops which cover each side of the path down to the sea. Have a look at our previous post, to see the Luwaks and Giant Bats that we saw in the market area.
Once we had made our way through the souvenir vendors and onward to the beach, we saw the temple perched on a rock just a few meters offshore. There is a footpath to the raised cliff area just to the south from where the views of the temple and the sunset behind it are outstanding. In the picture below you can see the area closest to the island, where a big crowd of people are standing. That is where we walked to get a closer look at Tanah Lot.
Swimming in the bay area below, we saw this large lizard. Although we weren’t sure exactly what kind of lizard it was, we could definitely tell that it was quite large because we saw it swimming from a reasonable distance away. It had stripes across it’s body and tail. Does anyone know what kind of lizard that it? We’d love to know!
All around the temple grounds were Balinese religious offerings. The base of these offerings were almost always made from palm leaves, stapled into small square trays. Inside each of them were fresh flowers, cooked food, fruit, or candy. These are daily devotional gifts, a vital part of the Hindu belief system.
It was swelteringly hot down by the coast – so much so that at by that point I was incredibly happy with our decision to base ourselves in Ubud for the entire duration of our trip. There were also a ridiculous amount of people in the Tanah Lot area. I was also missing my boys, and wondering if Elijah had managed to fall asleep, so we made our way back up the hill and through the souvenir stores. And then, to my delight, the greatest sight…
My little one was missing me, and because he was sick he wanted nothing more than mama cuddles. As soon as I took him in my arms, he laid his head on my shoulder and stayed there until we were back in the car. Dripping with sweat, I really needing to escape the heat which had only seemed to follow us from temple down by the ocean. Eli and I were seated in the very back row of our privately hired car, so I made him a comfy little spot where he could watch his stories and still lean against me, but not be clinging to me.
Tanah Lot is about 45 minutes by car north west of the main southern tourist areas of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak and is en-route for those heading to West Bali. From Ubud it can reached in about 30 to 40 minutes by car. A taxi from Kuta will be quoted at about Rp 300,000.
Entry to Tanah Lot is Rp 30,000.
We visited on a Tanah Lot one of the biggest Hindu holidays, which is why the area was so busy. We have heard that it is almost always quite crowded, but for us it will a little bit too extreme. Try to head down there on a regular day, and, if you have time, be sure to stay for the sunset!