Tanah Lot Temple – Tabanan Bali
Tanah Lot Temple is located in coastal side of Beraban countryside, Kediri sub district and Tabanan Regency. It is situated in 30 Km in west side of Denpasar town and about 11 Km in south side of Tabanan town. The temple is built on the rock with 3 acre size and reachable in a few minute by walk, because it is just 20 meters from the coastal lip.
“Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 15th century priest Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island’s beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.
The Tanah Lot temple was built and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples were established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast.
At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes are believed to guard 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.” Source from Wiki.
Inside the actual temple compound itself there are tiered shrines that follow the fundamental elements of Balinese design where the number of levels constructed are symbolic to the complexities of the faith. There are other formations within the area that indicate that the site is not only of great religious importance, but also maintains archaeological value.
Hidden amidst the rocks and crevices surrounding Tanah Lot there are a number of black sea snakes. Although these snakes are tame, visitors are warned to be cautious and refrain from unnecessarily aggravating these reptiles or wandering off unaccompanied to explore. These snakes are believed to be the guardians of the temple and protect the entire area from unseen evil forces.
The most popular time to pay a visit to Tanah Lot is late afternoon when the sun begins to settle over the horizon and the temple is silhouetted against the vibrant glow of the sky. The site draws a crowd of travellers’ who come by the bus load to witness this magnificent temple scene against a background of crashing waves.
Budha Kliwon is a reocccuring auspicious day to pray for protection and a long and healthy life. At this day, which is also known as the Sang Hyang Ayu or Sang Hyang Nirmala Jati cleansing day, the Balinese Hindus in Tanah Lot pray for protection of the household and the entire world including all creatures that inhabit it.
The ceremony is performed at the kumulan shrine of the family temple and the plankiran (wall temple) of the bedroom. The following sesajen are offered, a canang reresik wangi-wangian, a canang yasa, kernbang pepayasan, pusapa harum, asap dupa astanggi.
On this day extra offerings are made in the house compound, and offerings are placed at the front entrance gate on the ground. Hindus make offerings of segehan dedicated to the Bhuta Kala not to interfere. Balinese people must give them “sesaji” (dish of food offered), in order all Butha Kala or ghosts do not disturb humans being. Because this kliwon day there are two positive and negative forces that affect the earth. So this segehan is addressed to Bhuta Kala to balance the power of the positive and negative.