Tanah Lot Temple is one of Bali’s most important landmarks, famed for its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrops. An ancient Hindu shrine perched on top of an outcrop amidst constantly crashing waves.
Tanah Lot means “Land Sea” in the Balinese language. Located in Tabanan, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Denpasar, the temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide.
Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 16th-century Dang Hyang Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island’s beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock, for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods. The main deity of the temple is Dewa Baruna or Bhatara Segara, who is the sea god or sea power and these days, Nirartha is also worshipped here.
The Tanah Lot temple was built 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 was established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast. In addition to Balinese mythology, the temple was significantly influenced by Hinduism.
At the base of the rocky island, venomous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. The temple is purportedly protected by a giant snake, which was created from Nirartha’s selendang (a type of sash) when he established the island. (wikipedia)
You know when you just find the place you are meant to spend the rest of your days … this was it! My daughters have expressed a fear of me finding a place and never coming home, while I would not be able to be away from my beautiful children or my grand babies for any length of time, if I had the opportunity to live in this temple there fears might become a reality. With its crashing waves and the ocean surrounding this massive rock structure I felt a deep desire to call this home. A place where I could literally sit for hours watching the Ocean, watching her beauty, her power, her grace each and every day I would be in heaven.
We were lucky enough to step onto this great property, crossing the ocean with the help of some aging Balinese men, given the opportunity to step onto the grounds of this massive structure, once across we were greeted by some younger Balinese men dressed in clothes of worship offering us a blessing by putting a flower in our hair and shaking holy water onto my head. Holly water pouring out of spouts to wash both your hands and feet cleansing yourself as you make your way onto this precious stone. The bulk of the Temple closed off to the mass of tourists but a moment in its presence was enough for me. Walking back across the Ocean we continued walking further down the beach, essentially deserted, all the tourists converging on the temple, we found a spot, put down my stuff and walked right out into the Ocean. Playing in the waves like a child, walking further and further out, riding the waves back into shore enjoying each and every moment. Graced by the presence of this massive guru, this teacher of life I felt so free, so embraced, so home.
Shannon and I sharing more of our lives with one another dropping into deep conversation about life, the journey forward and the meaning of this vast universe. Grateful for the company and the greatness of these moments. I felt blessed in so many ways.
Another great adventure, another beautiful landmark seen and enjoyed! Esther, hurry up I have so much to show you!!!!