As an island that so-called Thousands of Temples, Bali has myriad of shrine that scattered around the province. All of them were sacred and certain temples are attracted numerous tourist all around the world such as Tanah Lot in Tabanan Regency. This week we had visited the temple by the sea and indulge in cultural activity with jaw-dropped view. Located in Tabanan Regency, it tooks 40 minutes driving to Tanah Lot from Denpasar. Here are things we can do whilst visiting world-renowned temple.
Indulge with stunning view and local culture
Tanah Lot is a temple that lies on a large offshore rock format facing south to the Indian Ocean where the rock has been shaped by abrasion process. It is considered one of the most sacred places in Bali and become a cultural icon for photography and popular tourist destinations. When the sea tide comes and the sun goes down, the water that hit the rock formation are getting higher and shows a stunning moment where we can see no other place. Above all, many people come while the ocean tide has started between 4 pm to 6 pm to savoring the sunset.
Tanah Lot temple believed date back to the 16 century, founded by Balinese Priests, Dang Hyang Nirartha. He tried to meditate before eventually he had received a spiritual sign to go to a place that nowadays the Tanah Lot stood still. After running spiritual journey then he build a shrine. In another version, Dang Hyang Nirartha had fought to gigantic serpent that eventually lead him to the temple. The serpent then dwelling within the layered rocks near the temple as the guardian of the temple from the bad spirit.
Near the Tanah Lot temple is Batu Bolong temple. Differ from Tanah Lot, Batu Bolong Temple has its allure as hollow rock formation upon the Indian Ocean. A picture perfect spot where the visitors get many picture for selfie and prewedding. Both Tanah Lot and Batu Bolong Temple has been used to pray for years by Balinese Hindus. The best time to visit Tanah Lot is during Odalan ceremony, which is celebrated every 210 days. The rituals usually takes place near the Galungan and Kuningan festivities on the holy day. On this day we’ll see rows of Balinese gracefully carrying offerings to pray at the Tanah Lot temple
See Internationally-known Kecak Dance
Tanah Lot is one of the best place in Bali to see Kecak Dance. Evening Kecak Dance performance takes place in the art theatre which tucked between restaurants, art market and the temple. The theater hosts Kecak Dance daily that starts from 6 pm and run for approximately one hour. The Kecak dance is a form of Balinese hindu dance and music drama that believed date back to 19 century. The dance mainly plays about the Ramayana story, an old-age myth that depicts the life of Rama and Shinta in Ayodhya Kingdom and the war with Rahwana, an evil spirit.
Commonly, the Kecak Dance is consist of fifty to one hundred men wearing only loincloth and the upper part of their bodies are left bare. They will form a circle formation that surrounded the fire and certain character in the center. First, they move their bodies rhythmically to the left and right, chanting the words “chak ke-chak ke-chak” continuously in slow rhythm then gradually speeded up the rhythm and by turns they lift their hands, trembling, into the air. At the end of the performance, we’ll see that the dancers play with fire, in particular a burning coconut shell, that become a symbol of Rama winning the war against Rahwana. Having said that, from this performance we’ll learn how a traditional dance is more than just an art form for the Balinese. It is an expression of gratitude, a way to thank the gods for all the blessings and kindness.
Taste The Local Cuisine
Not only lines of souvenir shops that welcomed us, but we can also taste a local cuisine and western in restaurants near the temple. Most of them are perched on the cliff toward the ocean with candle light decoration. They offers good spots from which to view the famous temple, good decoration and definitely mouthwatering food that increase the appetite. The majority of restaurant will close at 10 pm.