Where is Tanah Lot Temple?

Tanah Lot Temple is nestled on the southwest coast of Bali. It’s built on a large offshore rock formation amidst the Indian Ocean. This unique location is a mystical allure. This is the reason why it is a must-visit destination for travelers. The journey from the center of Bali to Tanah Lot Temple is 20 - 25 kilometers and takes 45 minutes to an hour. To reach the temple, you can choose a taxi, bus and motorbike.

Tanah Lot Temple

Wide view of Tanah Lot Temple, Bali, Indonesia

History and Legend

Tanah Lot Temple’s history dates back to the 16th century when it was built by the Hindu priest Dang Hyang Nirartha. It is said that when Niratth journeyed through the island, he witnessed the striking beauty of the Beraban coast. And then, he decided to establish a temple on the offshore rock, where Tanah Lot now stands.

history of Tanah Lot Temple

Landscape in one of the best temples in Bali

Tanah Lot Temple with six other sea temples, forms a chain of spiritual fortresses around the Balinese coastline. Each temple is positioned to guard against evil spirits and protect the island. The legend goes that a giant snake is a spiritual guardian of the temple. So, locals allowed this sacred sea snake - “makara”, to be there to maintain the sanctity of the temple.

The sacred snake in Tanah Lot Temple

The sacred snake in Tanah Lot Temple 

The name “Tanah Lot” has a profound meaning: “Tanah” means land and “Lot”means sea. This name shows the temple’s dramatic location - a majestic structure rising from the ocean. The temple is a place where past and present converge. It’s suitable for you to explore the heart of Bali’s cultural and religious traditions.

What To Do in Tanah Lot?

After exploring the various history information of Tanah Lot Temple, it’s time to step into three main activities and attractions surrounding it.

Tanah Lot Temple Cliff Terrace

One of the most striking features of Tanah Lot Temple is its cliff terrace. You can enjoy panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and the temple itself. Furthermore, visitors can adventure through the temple’s complex, walking along stone pathways that reveal stunning vista. The sea breeze, the sound of waves and the ancient architecture can let your hair down after working days.

Tanah Lot Temple Cliff Terrace

Visitor enjoy the peaceful scenery in Tanah Lot

Holy Snake

Another attractive aspect is the sacred sea snake cave below the Tanah Lot Temple. In Balinese mythology, the sea snake, known as "Naga Basuki," is revered as a protective force. Visitors are encouraged to approach the cave with respect and admiration for the spiritual importance it holds.

The sacred sea snake resides in the cave beneath Tanah Lot Temple. To learn more about its significance, it's advisable to go with the temple guides available on-site, price: 200,000 IDR (~ 12.85 USD) - 500,000 IDR (~ 32.12 USD). These guides can provide insights into the legend and spiritual aspects related to the snake, enriching your visit with cultural and historical context. 

holy snake tanah lot

Local tour guide with a snake

Watch Sunset

Tanah Lot temple will transform into something truly magical at sunset. The temple is famed for its breathtaking dusk view. Travelers visit this spot to witness the sun dip below the horizon. Don’t miss the sunset scenery from 5:30 PM every day in Tanah Lot Temple.

Tanah Lot Temple sunset

You can watch this breathtaking sunset view in Tanah Lot Temple

Looking for more information? Our article on Bali travel guide!

Tips For Trip

Before explore your journey to Tanah Lot Temple, here are some useful tips to make the most of your visit: 

  • Best time to visit is late afternoon to watch a mesmerizing sunset.

  • Wear comfortable shoes for walking on uneven terrain.

  • Dress modestly in a place of worship.

  • You can rent sarong at the entrance, with 50,000 IDR (~ 3.22 USD).

  • Going with a local tour guide to gain deeper insights into the temple.

In the above article, I show the rich history, spiritual significance and captivating legends in Tanah Lot Temple. In addition, I also share the activities and tips for you to have the best trip. If you would like to take a Bali package tour with a local guide, please contact New Asia Tours on the website.