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Tanah Lot

A picturesque Hindu temple is one of the most popular photo spots in Bali, especially at sunset


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The ancient shrine Tanah Lot can be translated as "Sea Land." It is located in Tabanan, about 16 km (8 mi) from Denpasar. The temple tops a large offshore rock, which has been polished for centuries by the ocean tide.

The temple was supposedly founded in the 16th century by Dang Hyang Nirartha. The main deity of the temple is Dewa Baruna or Bhatara Segara. The temple is one of 6 sea temples along the Bali shoreline. Each of them was visible of the next. The temples were supposed to honour the guardian spirits of the sea. The work of the currents under Tanah Lot has created sea caves, that were inhabited by sea snakes. According to a legend, snakes protect the shrine from evil spirits.

At low tide, visitors can walk to Tanah Lot from the shore. Tourists can access the outer sanctum of the temple, but the inner premise is reserved for Balinese people, only. There is a cave within a cave on the beach and other interesting caves that can be explored as well.

The shrine gets quite crowded, so it's best to plan a trip during the low season from mid-January until mid-April and from mid-September until mid-December.

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