Tanah Lot – All Our Travel Tips To Visit This Sacred Temple

Pura Tanah Lot temple 06 Couverture

Tanah Lot is a curious and captivating rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali, that is famous for its Hindu temple, the Pura Tanah (pura meaning temple in Balinese). Owing to its exceptional location, the Tanah Lot temple has become a unique and very popular tourist attraction in Bali. It’s a pilgrimage site nonetheless so many local people still visit the temple to worship the Balinese sea gods.

This temple has been sitting on a rock for centuries on end so let’s have a closer look at its history!

History Of Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple Bali

Tanah Lot literally means “land of/in the sea”. The temple sits on an offshore rock so I guess everything explains itself. The story goes that a  Hindu monk named Nirartha built the Tanah Lot temple in the 15th century. He landed on the island during his travels and rested there for some time. The local fishermen saw him and decided to visit him, bringing gifts with them every time. What started out as gifts for the Hindu monk ended up as offerings for the sea gods of the Balinese mythology.

This is how the Tanah Lot temple got built and how it became one of the seven temples of the Bali Sea. These temples are supposed to protect the island from the dangers that could threaten its coasts. They call it Island of the Gods for a reason!

What To See In Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot Temple Bali - Balinese Gates
Balinese Gates
  • Entrance fee: 60,000 rupiahs (around $4) + 2,000 rupiahs (around $0.15) for motorbike parking
  • Tourist affluence: considerable
  • Opening hours: every day from 7 AM to 7 PM
  • Exact location: here

To go to Tanah Lot, I rented a motorbike from Kuta. It took less than an hour to get there without driving too fast or too slow. You can also go on a tour to Tanah Lot and to do so, you can book one online here: Tanah Lot Tour.

I entered the temple through the fabulous Balinese gates you can see in the picture above. They usually mark the entrance of a sacred place in Bali, kind of like the traditional torii gates that mark a transition from mundane to sacred ground.

Hakone Japon 18 - Lac Ashi Torii
A torii in a Hakone shrine in Japan

Back to Bali! You will then come across this majestic building that has red roof tiles.

Tanah Lot Temple Bali

Next, there will be curious statues representing Nirartha, the monk who built the Tanah Lot temple. I’m sure they’ll help you put things into perspective.

Tanah Lot Temple Bali

Here’s a beautiful view of the site where local Balinese people present offerings to sea gods during the day. Unless you’d like to make an offering yourself, you can’t go in there.

Tanah Lot Temple Bali

You will eventually get to the large rock where the Tanah Lot temple sits.

Tanah Lot Temple Bali

If you’re visiting the temple on a windy day, you might get a tiny bit wet or totally soaked, depending on the waves and if you’re not careful. Also watch out for the tiny little crabs all over the rocks!

The visit is not over yet! There’s another great temple you can visit near the Tanah Lot, it’s called the Pura Batu Bolong.

Visit The Pura Batu Bolong Temple

Pura Batu Bolong Temple Bali
Pura Batu Bolong

If you walk westwards along the coast, you’ll see the Pura Batu Bolong, perched on an impressive rocky ledge. There’s a huge whole underneath the ledge, which makes it even more impressive! The Pura Batu Bolong is only 10 minutes away from the Pura Tanah Lot but somehow, it doesn’t get as crowded with tourists so make the most of it!

Pura Batu Bolong Temple Bali
Pura Batu Bolong

The Tanah Lot has become a famous tourist spot through the years so it gets pretty crowded during high season but I enjoyed the time I spent there anyway. It was supposed to be some sort of a cultural trip but it ended up being more like a great hike in nature.

Pura Tanah Lot temple 11

If you’re traveling to Bali, I really recommend you drop by this beautiful temple. Don’t just visit the island like any tourist would do, have a look around and take your time to admire the whole setting, I’m sure you’ll enjoy every moment. If you have any questions, please post them in the comment section below, I’ll answer them as soon as I can!

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See you around,


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