Tanah Lot, built in the 16th century, is one of the most important offshore temples in Bali. Tanah Lot means “Land in the Sea” in Balinese language. The temple was built on a giant rock by the sea. When the tide rises, the rock is flooded by water and the whole temple stands alone in the water and is completely separated from the land. The temple is connected to the land only when the tide falls.
Tanah Lot Temple was built in the 16th century for the worship of the Balinese sea gods. At the bottom of the giant rock, there is a small cave where several poisonous snakes were discovered. These snakes are believed to be the guardians of the temple from evil spirits and intruders. A giant snake purportedly protects the temple, which was created from Nirata’s scarf when he established the island. It is said that when the temple was completed, there were sudden surging waves making the temple in danger of falling down. A monk in the temple unbelted his waistband and threw it into the sea. The waistband turned into two sea snakes which stopped the waves. From then on, the sea snakes became the guardians of the temple.
On the opposite bank, there is a pavilion where you can watch the sunset, enjoying the unique scenery of Bali Island. On the road leading to the temple, there are many shops selling various kinds of souvenirs. Tourists can buy a set of scenic postcards as souvenirs. There are also many snack stalls selling barbecued seafood, fragrant cakes and other specialties.