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Bali is one of the places that is a must see and should definitely be added to your list of places to be visited. It is one of the provinces of Indonesia that has been established by the merger of many small islands and also includes the isle of Bali. This island is home to the Hindu minority of Indonesia i.e. 92.29% of the island population is Hindu whereas the rest practice Islam.
It has been a tourist destination for decades and each year the number of tourists is increasing. Bali is famous for its breath taking attractions; the island is also renowned for its rich cultural heritage and rapid developments in the field of arts including activities such as painting, music, metal work, sculpture, leather and traditional dance.
Though it’s a small place and one day is enough to drive along the entire coast, but this one day would be worth remembering. You can enjoy spectacular views of the Virescent rice terraces or enjoy the ceremonies of the enchanting temples, you can enjoy surfing or climb the volcanoes and meet the Komodo dragons or you can just have some self indulging moments with a relaxing massage at a sybaritic spa. Bali has to offer something for everyone.
One of its most mesmerizing tourist spots is the famous temple of Tanah Lot. This enchanting temple is a work of nature and is a result of rock formation. It has great importance and serves as both tourist attraction and pilgrimage temple. Tanah lot is located 30km on the west of Denpasar town and almost 11km away from the south of Tabanan town. The entire rock, on which the temple is built, covers an area of 3 acres.
In Balinese language it is called Pura Tanah Lot (Tanah Lot Temple) means land in the sea and as the name suggests the temple resides on a big off shore rock that has been constantly shaped by the big tidal waves of the ocean.
Let’s have a peek at the history of this spectacular temple. In 15th Century a priest named Nirartha found the beautiful setting of the rocky island while traveling along the south coast and decided to rest there. The nearby fishermen saw him and brought gifts for him, he then spent the night on that island. In the morning he told the fishermen that he felt the big rock to be a holy place and a shrine should be built so that Balinese sea gods could be worshiped there.
Since that time the temple was built and secures a place in Balinese mythology. It is considered to be one of the seven sea temples surrounding the coast of Bali. All 7 temples are visible from each temple thus forming a chain along the coast in the south-west. It is believed that the temple is guarded by poisonous sea snakes from intruders and evil spirits; you can find them at the base of the island rocks. Some mythologists also believe that there is a giant snake created by Niratha’s scarf and its duty is to protect the temple.
As the temple is located on the shore it is prone to environmental damages, as large waves are constantly hitting it. In 1980 the face of the temple started to deteriorate and the area had to be sealed because of the potential danger. Funds were then provided by the Japanese government to Indonesian government to converse the temple and also to refurbish other significant buildings. So the Tanah Lot temple was renovated and was cleverly disguised by the artificial rocks.
Due to the development of tourism sector this area has been highly commercialized and you would need a ticket to enter this area. The path that leads to the temple is surrounded by Balinese market. This market is specially designed for tourists and provides them with souvenir that they can take back home for their friends and family. You will also find many restaurants nearby where you can eat while enjoying the magnificent views of the temple.
The best time to enjoy the spectacular views of this temple is at the time of sunset and often the temple is known as Sunset Temple. The other temples worth watching in that area are Batu Bolong Temple, Enjung Galuh Temple and Batumejan Temple.