Bali - The Wonderland of Hinduism, Part 2

Tanah Lot Temple - Gods Own Infinity Pool

Tanah Lot in Balinese – means, land in sea. It is known for its magical sunsets and sunrises. The hues created by the churning of the sea makes Tanah Lot a serene place to visit and soak oneself in Balinese cultural heritage. A 25 kms drive from Denpasar, one gets to reach the Tanah lot temple complex. You are welcomed by the traditional Balinese gates which look absolutely stunning with the sea and the ship-like temple standing tall on the edge of the land.

Perched on a large offshore rock on the coastline kissing the horizon, the main temple in the Tanah Lot temple complex resembles a rock-cut ship waiting to set sail on the sea to a heavenly abode. This remains accessible only when there is low tide. The other two temple spots which are 100 meters away are considered as spiritual proxies to the main temple, but they are inaccessible during high tide. During low tide, one can cross to view the base of the rock to see the guardian sea snakes that are dwelling in crevices around the Tirta Pabersihan fountain. It is one of the top attractions in Bali. The popular belief is that it is considered as a lucky event to witness the sea snakes and touch the two-headed snakes. Whereas, in reality, two snakes are twined around to give the two-headed appearance. We had the good fortune of touching the guarding snakes and taking the blessings of the keepers. These black and white striped snakes are tamed and are believed to protect the entire area from unseen evil forces.

Legend has it that a senior monk, Dang Hyang Nirartha who came from the region of East Java to Bali Island around the 16th century, held a sacred journey (Dharmayatra). He had walked down the south coast of the Bali Island from the western to the eastern regions. The aim of his journey was to spread Hinduism in Bali. In the end, he found a beach and he saw a rock in the shape of a small island in the sea. In this place, he meditated, and he felt the vibrations of chastity. On top of the rock, he suggested building up a holy temple which is now the Tanah Lot. Hence, this temple was built to worship the God of the sea, Baruna.

The most popular time to visit the Tanah Lot Temple is late afternoon, after visiting the coffee farms known for their ‘Luwak Coffee’ or ‘Kopi Luwak’. It is a coffee that consists of partially digested coffee cherries which have been eaten and defecated by the Asian Palm Civet. It is also called Civet Coffee. The cherries are fermented as they pass through a civet's intestines, and after being defecated with other fecal matter, they are collected and processed. This is part of a tourist package and the coffee is considered a delicacy. One can try this coffee and a range of tea blends - from mangosteen to peach - which can be purchased from the farms directly.

One can enjoy the beautiful scenes, do some souvenir shopping, and opt to stay longer to see the cultural show in the park area of the complex, or return to your lodging with magical memories which can last for an exceptionally long time. The site draws a crowd of travelers from across diverse cultures who come to witness this magnificent temple scene against a background of crashing waves and magical hues as the last rays of the sun kiss the rocks to end the day!


A Grandson, Husband and Father of Two, S Jaganathan - is one of the Director's of The Verandah Club. He is an avid traveller, interested in trendspotting and a firm believer in the philosophy - Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah.


Adios Sardar of Spin

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