Places of worship and temples are places of contemplation, but also of myths, legends and mysteries. The sea temple "Pura Tanah Lot" on the coast of Bali is no exception. Its presumed foundation is as extraordinary as its guardians.
At the end of the 15th century, the preacher Danghyang Nirartha is said to have traveled from Java to Bali to proselytize the inhabitants and spread Hinduism. He soon had a crowd of believers gathered around him, which, according to legend, angered the local priest. To avoid a confrontation, Nirartha moved his meditation spot to the rocky island in the middle of the sea, thus creating "Pura Tanah Lot".
The guards were still missing: today sea snakes live in the niches and caves in the cold stone and are revered by the Balinese as guards of the temple and guarded by the priests. The highly venomous animals are said to have never bitten a human. Visitors should be careful though. By the way, only locals are allowed to enter the temple itself.
The temple can only be reached at low tide and even then, wet feet can hardly be avoided. After 50 meters from the beach, you walk over rounded stones and fine, dark sand. Once there, there is a short climb where a fence prevents entry to the actual temple. Because, as I said, only locals are allowed into the holy of holies.
After all: for a small donation you can drink the holy water from the fresh water spring at the foot of the rock or wash your hands and face with it. The popular photo hotspot is particularly busy in the evening hours. So if you want to get a good seat, you should get there early.