This attraction is on every tourist itinerary and tour package to Bali. It may feel like a tourist attraction rather than a sacred religious ground with the many souvenir shops and restaurants dotting its perimeters. However, it is considered one of Bali's most important landmarks and the area is also home to several smaller shrines. It is touted as Bali's not-to-be-missed icon. The walk from the entrance to the temple is easy and pleasant for visitors of all ages despite the regular crowds. We visited this attraction during a day trip with Gede Bob of Family Bali Tours.
It is said that a high priest from the Majapahit Kingdom in East Java who travelled to Bali in 1489 to spread Hinduism. Dang Hyang Nirartha arrived at the area, established a shrine honouring Baruna the sea goda and shared his teachings with the villagers.
The temple is inaccessible during high tide. The low tide reveals wave-cut platforms with trapped marine life and pathways to the rock's base. It also provides the only opportunity to get close to the Tanah Lot Temple and participate in a holy water blessing around the Tirta Pabersihan fountain at the base of the temple.
The crashing of the waves on the coastal rocks is also an attraction. They are like aquatic roars that attempt to swallow whole the unwary tourist who dares linger at the rocks' edge. Fortunately members of the Balawista lifeguards are present in the area to keep a watchful eye on visitors.
On the holy day of Kuningan, Tanah Lot will play host to one of Bali's festive parades. The heirloom pilgrimage is held five days prior to the temple's anniversary date, on every Wednesday that follows each Kuningan on Bali's 210-day Pawukon calendar.