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Picture of the Day: Bali’s Tanah Lot Sea Temple

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Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. It is home of a pilgrimage temple, the Pura Tanah Lot (literally “Tanah Lot temple”), and a popular tourist and cultural icon. Located in Tabanan, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Denpasar, the temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 15th-century priest Nirartha.

pura tanah lot sea temple bali indonesia

The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples were established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast. In 1980, the temple’s rock face was starting to crumble and the area around and inside the temple started to become dangerous. The Japanese government provided a loan to the Indonesian government (approximately USD $130 million) to conserve the historic temple and other significant locations around Bali. As a result, over one third of Tanah Lot’s ‘rock’ is actually cleverly disguised artificial rock.