Bali’s Stunning Sea Temple
Sitting on a large offshore rock in the sparkling blue waters on the coast of Bali in Indonesia is the temple of Tanah Lot or “Land in the Sea”. The carved rock temple is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bali due to its unsurpassed beauty and legendary origins. However its majesty can only be appreciated from the outside as tourist are not allowed inside the temple.
The temple is claimed to be the work of the 15th century priest Nirartha. During his travels along the island’s south coast, he saw the rock-island’s beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him and bought gifts. After spending the night on the rock, Nirartha spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine there. He felt it was a holy place and should be used to worship the Balinese sea gods.
The temple has been part of Balinese mythology for centuries and is one of seven sea temples that form a chain along the south-western coast of Bali. At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders.