Perhaps one of the most famous places for watching the sunset in Bal, but Tanah Lot holds a deeper meaning to the Balinese. It plays an important role in Balinese spiritual and mythical life.
Many visitors to Bali crowd the promenade in the afternoon to watch the sunset over the 5-storey temple located just off shore in the village of Berabonin in the Tabanan region. The beautiful temple is believed to be a creation of the 15th century Hindu priest named Niraphor.
The word Tanah Lot is made up of two words – Tanah being Gili or Isle and Lot meaning sea. So, in effect Tanah Lot is “the island floating on the sea”. This is quite appropriate because Tanah Lot is where the Balinese worship god in the form of Dewa Baruna or Bhatara Segara, the sea power.
The first day in March is when two significant ceremonies are held at Tanah Lot.
Kajeng Kilwan Enyitan
It is a special day in Bali where extra offerings are made and are placed at the front entrance gate on the ground. This ceremony influences magic to increase positive powers through rituals which are based on sincerity and honesty. As I travelled through Bali, I noticed this was a strong trait of the Balinese people.
Budha Kilwan Gumbreg
This also known as a cleansing day, or Sang Hyang Ayu, where the Balinese Hindus will pray for protection and a long and healthy life. Their prayers are extended to the whole world and everyone living being that inhabits it.
It was refreshing change to be surrounded by some of the most friendly and selfless people I have met. I found the Balinese to be beautiful people who are polite and happy to talk with you.
If you want to go inside the temple it is important to plan your trip in line with the tides. At high tide the sea comes in to surround the rock on which the temple is perched on top of. When the tide is out it is possible to walk along the sea bed along the beach.
Yet it is possible to shut out the chatter of people around you and enjoy the sunset in quiet reflection. Bali is a place where you can feel calm while in the middle of chaos. I think the sea god was on my side as the rains eased to allow me to see how beautiful and magical this island was. A golden, sunset like the one I witnessed last week in Bali helped me to take a moment of reflection ready to take on the crazy world back home in Australia.