Pura Tanah Lot: Visit a Hindu Sea Temple in Bali

In recent years, a 15th century Hindu Temple known as Pura Tanah Lot that is dedicated to the sea god Bhatara Segara has become one of Bali’s most popular destinations. At low tide, visitors can wade through the waters of the Indian Ocean to stand at the entrance of a small temple that is said to be guarded by venomous snakes that repel evil spirits, thieves, and other unsavory characters.

The interior of Tanah Lot is off limits to tourists, but visitors can explore the exterior of the sea temple and even receive a blessing from a Balinese priest. Tanah Lot is home to dramatic statutes of a monkey and a sea serpent, a winding stairway, and a small temple with a thatched roof that is adorned with a golden ornament. Tanah Lot offers a sweeping view of the Indian Ocean and several other small sea temples that are located in the waters near Tanah Lot.

Tanah Lot is located on a rocky island that is punctuated by several natural sea caves. Visitors can explore the sea caves and walk beneath a natural arch that was formed due to years of erosion. The sea caves are full of baskets of colorful offerings such as flowers that are left by Balinese pilgrims for the gods and spirits of the sea. It is best to wear waterproof shoes and store items such as cell phones, money, and tickets in a waterproof bag because you can expect to get a little wet while exploring the sea caves of Tanah Lot.

Traditional decoration of Pura Tanah Lot

Traditional decoration of Pura Tanah Lot
Photo by depositphotos.com

In 1980, the rock supporting Tanah Lot began to crumble. The Japanese government loaned the powers that be in Bali money so that Tanah Lot could be restored to its former glory. Sections of Tanah Lot are currently made out of artificial rock that blends so seamlessly with the natural rock that most visitors don’t even know that the artificial rock is there. Japanese officials claim that the artificial rock erodes at a slower rate than natural rock.

Bali is full of breathtaking wonders, but no tour of the island is complete without a visit to windswept Tanah Lot. Your friends and family will surely be wowed by your photos of waves crashing against Tanah Lot’s rocky sea caves, but no photo can truly do one of Bali’s most celebrated sea temples justice. A visit to Tanah Lot will help you view the power and beauty of the sea in a whole new light.

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