Morning, 23rd August 2007. We are doing the much-mentioned island pura of Tanahlot. The place is about 40km from Kuta, but considering the busy, narrow and winding road, travel time will be more than 1 hour. For map please click HERE.
From the carpark, the path to the temple is cunningly designed to take visitors through a bazaar. If you diligently follow the signposts to the temple, it’ll take you around in a maze, so be careful. Another well-laid trap, definitely.
All sorts of stuff on show, but we are early for the main crowd. People normally come here for the ‘sunset-over-the-ocean’ thingy. Well, we hate crowds (see the Shymkent Declarations).
A troupe of colourful little dancers attract my attention.
Past the bazaar hurdle, we approach the main gate to the complex.
Past the main gate, down the stairs …
… and a token of appreciation.
Then another gate to enter the beachfront.
To the right an ancient pavilion, not too sure what for.
In front, an altar for offerings faces the open sea.
We turn left, go uphill through more souvenir stalls and countless eateries to get a splendid view of Pura Tanah Lot, built in 16th century by the Hindu priest Niratha.
This is low tide. At high tide, the pura is virtually an island, a floating pura maybe.
To the left towards the south, a golf course stands on a promontary.
Along the way down to the main pura by the sea, we pass a minor pura.
The view beyond the gate.
Down on the rocky beach, we get a good view of the island pura. Note the holy cave with the yellow and white umbrellas …
… where fresh water magically keeps pouring down from the ceiling, to mix with the salty sea-water in the pool. Fresh water from where? From the rocky hill, they say. I dunno.
At the side past the sacred cave, a path is carved up the pura, only for prayers, as usual.
A group of Hindu holy men take a breather. Only do-able at low tide.
View to the south …
… and the low tide exposes the sands and stones. Black, due to volcanic origin, …
… such as these.
At the back of the pura, the surfs batter the shore nonstop.
Puddles of seawater among exposed seaweeds between the pura and the main land.
Closer to the water, more seaweeds on rocks.
Feels thick and sticky, but soft. Plasticky.
Front of the pura, facing the sea. They say at high tide, there are many sea-snakes here, to protect the pura. I won’t wait to say hi.
Btw, I never knew ducks like sea-water.
I return to the gate, and decide to try the other sites.
The path is through a shady and breezy well-tended park.
Soon I reach a small pura atop a cliff.
It has a fantastic view of the Tanahlot pura.
The ferocious Indian Ocean sends huge white swells one after another, to crash into the pura …
… like it has done for centuries.
Glancing north, I see more craggy cliffs.
And atop a particularly pretty one, another minor pura.
Done with Tanahlot, we find our way back to Kuta to grab lunch, before exploring the southern tip of Bali.
> To be continued …