Temples in the Ocean

  Hindu Temples in the Ocean...

When I arrived in Bali, my first wish was to go to the Tanah Lot site.

So here I am for my first solo day, on my way to this mysterious and impressive place of beauty, about twenty kilometers north of Denpasar-Seminyak.

If the temple of TANAH LOT is by far the most famous, the small neighbouring sanctuary BATU BOLONG is just as admirable because of its surprising location.


North of the PURA BATU BOLONG, a glimpse of the coast that has remained completely wild


Rising on an islet beaten by the waves of the ocean, it is said to be the work of Nirartha, a 15th century priest. Legend has it that during a trip he discovered this magnificent rocky island and settled there. Fishermen who saw him would have brought him gifts.

After spending the night there, Nirartha would have found this place suitable for worshipping the god of the sea and would then have asked the fishermen to build a sanctuary there.

The Tanah Lot temple thus built became a reference in Balinese mythology. It is one of the seven temples of the Bali Sea.

These seven temples are built along the coast so that one can always see the next one from the previous one. They are all in the Hindu style.

At the foot of the rocky islet, sea snakes are supposed to preserve the temple from evil spirits and invaders.

According to legend, a giant snake created with Nirartha's scarf would protect the temple.

  Tanah Lot...

The Pura Tanah Lot at high tide or low tide....
This site offers a fascinating spectacle when the waves collapse against the walls of the temple

  Around the Tanah Lot...

This place of pilgrimage, which is, it must be said, quite exceptional, brings many tourists from all walks of life.
Of course, merchants and traders settled in the surrounding area.
There are many shops selling all kinds of local items

  The «Canang Sari»

You can't walk around Bali without noticing these women carrying offerings on a tray and placing them here and there. These small daily offerings, the Canang Sari, are modest offerings composed of two small baskets made of banana leaves.

Deposited on the ground in front of houses and altars, to honour the gods and drive out evil spirits, they can sometimes be seen piling up by the hundreds in front of temples or sacred trees.

Every morning, therefore, I was able to observe the ritual of Balinese women depositing these small baskets filled with flowers and food, see them light an incense stick and sprinkle it all with a few drops of sacred water, gestures that will be repeated the next day and the following days.

Canang Sari is a testimony of gratitude for the benefits granted by the gods.
As for those found in cemeteries, bridges, crossroads, shops, cars,... they essentially have an expiatory function.

If you trample on a Canang Sari, (it happened to me) don't worry, only the act of depositing the offering counts, what happens next is no longer important and they will be replaced the next morning anyway. Carried by the wind, these ephemeral creations are often found piled up in the gutters, mixing with waste and rubbish and finally being burned.