40: Indonesia > Bali > Tanahlot Island Pura

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.img_3481.JPG

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).img_3482.JPG

A troupe of colourful little dancers attract my attention.img_3483.JPG

Past the bazaar hurdle, we approach the main gate to the complex.img_3484.JPG

Past the main gate, down the stairs …

… and a token of appreciation. img_3487.JPG

Then another gate to enter the beachfront.img_3488.JPG

To the right an ancient pavilion, not too sure what for.img_3490.JPG

In front, an altar for offerings faces the open sea.img_3491.JPG

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.img_3495.JPG

This is low tide. At high tide, the pura is virtually an island, a floating pura maybe.img_3493.JPG

To the left towards the south, a golf course stands on a promontary.img_3500.JPG

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. img_3522.JPG

At the side past the sacred cave, a path is carved up the pura, only for prayers, as usual.img_3527.JPG

A group of Hindu holy men take a breather. Only do-able at low tide.img_3517.JPG

View to the south …


… and the low tide exposes the sands and stones. Black, due to volcanic origin, … img_3530.JPG

… such as these.


At the back of the pura, the surfs batter the shore nonstop. img_3531.JPG

Puddles of seawater among exposed seaweeds between the pura and the main land.

Closer to the water, more seaweeds on rocks.img_3540.JPG

Feels thick and sticky, but soft. Plasticky. img_3549.JPG

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.img_3571.JPG

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.img_3589.JPG

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 …