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Pura Tanah Lot: the temple of temples

Pura Tanah Lot, on the west coast of Bali, is probably the most popular and photographed temple on the island. Tanah Lot stands for earth (Tanah) and sea (Lot), quite appropriate considering its spectacular setting on top of an impressive rock overlooking the sea. Tanah Lot is dedicated to the god of the sea and is one of the most important temples in Bali.

The myths and sagas of this sacred place are almost as beautiful as the temple itself. After the holy priest Danghyang Nirarta spent the night here, the people of Bali decided to build the Tanah Lot temple at this location. The story goes that there used to be a bridge from the mainland to the temple but it was destroyed by the powerful sea. Another interesting detail is that there is a cave with a magical spring underneath Tanah Lot. Oddly enough the water in the spring is fresh, whereas the temple is surrounded by salt ocean water.

Pura Tanah Lot
Pura Tanah Lot


“Holiday pictures that will be the envy of your friends”

A photographers’ paradise

Photographers who wish to impress their friends and family at home will fall in love with Tanah Lot. Various locations offer stunning views of the temple, making this a very photogenic destination. Depending on the position of the sun, the light is perfect for taking beautiful photographs. Take an immediate right at the entrance of the temple area and walk through the garden to the top of the hill. From this higher vantage point you will have an even better view of the temple – huge waves crash on the rocks, creating that perfect postcard picture.
Beautiful temple view at sunrise

Easy access

Tanah Lot is only a 40-minute drive from Kuta and Ubud; both are a perfect starting point for an early morning visit to the temple. Tanah Lot is at its most mystical early in the morning. The impressive Hindu temple is best reached at low tide; visitors can walk across the beach to the temple. At high tide, Tanah Lot is only accessible by boat. Those who are not early risers may also visit the temple at sunset, but do expect more crowds.
Getting wet