The Tanah Lot Temple is on the coast of the countryside of Beraban, the suburb of Kediri, and the regency of Tabanan. It is located 30 kilometers west of Denpasar and about 11 kilometers south of the town of Tabanan. This temple is famous for its spectacular view of sunset among tourist destinations in Bali.
Meaning of Word Tanah Lot Temple
Tanah Lot consists of two words: the word Tanah is understood to have the appearance of a reef like gili or isle. The word Lot or Lod has meaning to the sea. Thus Tanah Lot means the little island that floats on the sea.
The place is called Tanah Lot as a place that looked into holy, proven by the existence of menhir, during a megalithic period. According to environmental conditions, Tanah Lot Temple’s structure is built on an irregular reef plain with a angle consisting of just one simple yard, like Jeroan.
Tanah Lot Temple is different from other temples on the island of Bali and Tanah Lot has no courtyard because it is built on a coral landscape that has irregular corners. There are tiered shrines within the actual temple complex that follow the fundamental elements of Balinese design in which the number of levels built is symbolic of the complexities of the faith.
There are other formations in the region which indicate that the site has not only great religious significance, but also archeological value. The ocean temple has a ritual or a ceremony every six months or 210 days. All Hindus from different parts of Bali will come at that time for worship.
History of Tanah Lot Temple
Dang Hyang Nirartha or more well known as Pedanda Sakti Wau Rauh, who came to Bali Island in the 16th century from Blambangan region, East Java. During King Dalem Waturenggong’s reign in Gelgel, Bali. Later on he took a sacred journey (Dharmayatra) and walked from west to eastern regions along the south coast of Bali Island.
On his way, he finally found a beach in the Tabanan area (now Tabanan Regency), not far from the village of Baraban. He also saw a rock in the form of a small island in the sea. He meditated here and felt the vibrations of chastity. On top of the rock he suggested that the Tanah Lot Temple be set up a holy building to worship God.
Holly Snake Myth
One of Tanah Lot’s characteristics is that across the street from the temple, a number of caves are located on the coasts where some of the sea snakes have black and white colors. There is no athwart skin part of its stomach, there is only small skin, but this sea water snake is very noxious, but the case of snake bite is very rare because the sea water snake is generally very passive. These snakes are very tame and must not be intimidated because they are considered the guardian’s precursor.
Then there is also confidence in the Tanah Lot Temple, where holy water is also found, just below the Temple. It is believed that holy water can give nourishment to anyone who drinks it.
This temple’s function can be realized by means of the main temple building located in the main temple area. There is a principal temple here to worship the god in the form of Dewa Baruna, or Bhatara Segara, the power of the sea. The worship media of this god is the temple with five stories, while the three-story building of the temple in the north is devoted to Dang Hyang Nirartha.
Function of Tanah Lot Temple
To understand Tanah Lot’s status it is possible to realize from the history of the Temple, function and the incoming devotee existence when a temple ceremony is held. In this case can be realized as follows:
#Tanah Lot Temple as Dang Kahyangan (Bali’s great holy temples), because Tanah and the Penyiwi (People responsible for the temple) are locals from the Tabanan Regency and its surrounding area.
#Tanah Lot temple as Temple of Segara, because it serves as a sanctum to worship Bhatara Segara, the god of manifestation as Ocean Deity of power.
Time visiting Tanah Lot temple
The time to visit the Tanah Lot Temple was most popular in the late afternoon, as the sun settled across the horizon and the temple was silhouetted against the vibrant light of the sky. The site attracts a lot of tourists who come to enjoy the sunset at about 18.00.