Tanah Lot Temple is one of the most popular and visited Hindu temples in Bali. It is an offshore sea temple and the name Tanah Lot means small island floating on the sea. It is located on the south-east side of the country right where the water touches land. We took a day trip to Tanah Lot from Canggu as it is located nearby. It was built in the 16th century to honor the spirits of the sea.
It is absolutely gorgeous as it sits atop the water on a large rock formation. As the tide moves in it is unreachable but once the water subsides it is easy to walk across the sand to reach it through a land bridge that becomes visible.
You must be watchful however as Tanah Lot is guarded by holy snakes which surround it. They are only known to exist at Tanah Lot temple and nowhere else in the world. They are black and white striped and it is said that they protect the temple so in return the Balinese protect them by leaving them to exist in this natural habitat.
Only Balinese people are allowed to actually enter the temple, others are allowed to walk around it but it is a holy place so entrance is forbidden by outsiders. As you are admiring the scenery you are likely to hear prayers and chanting from speakers throughout the area which makes it an even more exotic and mystical place.
The waves from the sea crash into the temple and Mother Nature creates such a beautiful dance between the sea and the island. If you are feeling up to it you can walk out to the temple during low tide and a priest will bless you with the holy water by sprinkling it over your head.
Tanah Lot is bustling with shopping, restaurants, and souvenirs. Upon entering the grounds you will have to meander through a maze of shops. It is very busy and teeming with tourists and locals. It is best to go in the evening to catch the magnificent sunsets but be prepared to work your way through the crowds.