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Entries in bali temple (8)


Bali Photo of the Day- Tanah Lot Temple


Today's photo of the day is from a recent Bali tour to Tanah Lot temple.

Bali tour participants at Pura Tanah Lot temple in Bali

For more on tours of Bali, special experiences, yoga retreats and more, please see our sister site Bali Floating Leaf Eco-Retreat.


Bali Surf Guide ~ Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot is a sacred and beautiful spot to visit for both the devout Balinese Hindu as well as travelers. But what some don't realize is that it is a good surf spot as well.

Surf Guide to Bali's Tanah Lot Temple

Bali surf villa spaSurfing at Bali's Stunning Tanah Lot Temple~ Notice the surfers on the left
You can approach the temple in many ways (car, motor bike, taxi, etc.). Simply ask the driver to take you to Pura Tanah Lot. Pay your entry fee at the gate. Note that indonesians go through one gate and pay a greatly reduced fee and Bule (white folk/foreigners) pay a completely different amount. Lets save that debate for another time but Indonesians and especially Balinese deserve to be able to visit their sacred places at a reasonable cost. You will then make your way through a small village that is actually just souvenir stalls. It is seemingly endless but follow the flow of people to the shore.


Bali tour surf spaA lone surfer enjoys the uncrowded sets of Sea Arch at Tanah Lot in Bali
You will see the main temple ahead of you but follow the path along to the right (North) about 250 meters. You will see a natural jetty shaped like an arch (pictured above and below), pointing out to the ocean with another temple at the end of it. Some refer to this as The Bali Sea Arch. Few people know that the Tanah Lot temple was originally connected to the island of Bali with an arch very similar to this but it has been eroded away.


Bali tour surf villaThis surfer can't ask for a more beautiful setting for this epic solo session at Bali's Tanah Lot Temple
Just South of the jetty is the surf break. Please remember, this is a holy temple so be respectful as you change your clothes. 


While it is not Uluwatu or perhaps even in the top five surf breaks of Bali, it is still a great fun wave and is usually uncrowded. I have rarely seen more than two surfers out at any one time. Its a great left and you can score solid waves here year round and at all tides but it works best with a south-southwest swell and the wind east-northeast. The most consistent surf is in the dry season from May to September and offers nice warm offshore breezes. Low and mid-tides are best and it starts working at less than 1 meter.  Mind the rocks and the reef but there is some sand as well.


Bali surfing villa spa tourBali's Sea temple Tanah Lot
Most all surf abilities can catch good waves here and the average ride lenght is 40-100 meters.


Other notable surf breaks in the area include Kedungu Beach, Medewi Front Hotel beach and Nyani beach which is also known as Muara beach.


For more information on the breaks and our surf tours of Bali please contact us directly and for more insider information on surf in Bali, Bali culture and travel tips, be sure to sign up for our award winning newsletter.

See ya in the lineup! 

For the best Bali surf retreats check out Bali Floating Leaf. They know all the best spots, great food, luxurious villas and the price can't be beat.

Related Bali Surf Blog Posts 


Another amazing day of Bali surf at Uluwatu.


Surfing in Bali; Everything you need to know (except a few secrets)




Bali Photo of the Day ~ Bali's Tanah Lot Temple

Today's Bali Photo of the Day takes us to Bali's Tabanan Regency on the West Coast to one of the big three sacred temples of Bali. Pura Tanah Lot is actually an island onto itself. This important pilgramage site is built upon a rock and reef outcropping in the ocean. It is possible to walk or wade to the temple at low tide.

Tanah Lot is one of the important seven sea temples of Bali and certainly one of the most picturesque. These seven temples were built around the island to protect it, and to be used as a signaling device as each temple is built within eyeshot from the last forming a visual chain around the South Western coast of Bali.

Bali tour spa temple surfBali's Sacred Tanah Lot Temple

Bali's Tanah Lot History

A revered 15th century Hindu priest named Nirartha is said to have built the sacred temple. He stopped to sleep on the rock and found it to be not only majestic in its beauty, but a sacred and powerful spot. The locals saw him there and began to bring him gifts. He told them to construct a temple there as it was a fitting place to worship the Balinese Sea Gods.


It is claimed that when Niratha moved on from the rock island, he left his scarf behind. The scarf turned into a giant sea snake and has protected the location ever since. To this day, holy men guard the entrances to the many caves that surround the temple and some can even show you the magical snakes inside the caves. Many will ask for a donation to enter the caves, but the payoff is usually not all that exciting.


From the main tourist areas of South Bali such as Kuta, Seminyak and Legian, its about a 40 minute car ride and from Bali's cultural center of Ubud, its perhaps a 40 minute ride depending of course on the traffic.


Tanah Lot is a must do on any traveler's itinerary. Try to go at low tide so a local Hindu Priest can bless you with the springs of holy water that emminate from beneath the temple itself. It's spectacular at sunset and it is also a fairly consistent surf break. More on surfing Tanah Lot to come. Be sure to sign up for our free award winning newsletter to get the inside tips on where and when to go to beat the crowds and to see some of the hidden aspects  of Bali.



Bali Photo of the Day ~ Penglipuran Village - Balinese Traditional Village

Today's Bali photo of the day takes us to Bangli Regency about 45 kilometers from Denpasar. This is the location of Penglipuran Village, an indigenous Balinese Traditional Village that remains largely unchanged by the advent of electricity and modern living that has shaped much of modern Bali.

Penglipuran Village is well know for its row of traditional houses and gates which can be seen in the following photographs.

Penglipuran Village in Bali is home to well preserved traditional homes and village templePenglipuran is also known for its magestic temple and bamboo forest. Most villagers and farmers and cattlemen although these days many make a living from selling thier crafts and renting rooms to travelers. 

The entrance gate to Penglipuran's TemplePenglipuran is a great place to visit and if you have any questions, please just contact us.

Happy travels!


The Sacred Rituals of Besakih ~ And the Gods came down to Bali… A photo essay.

The Sacred Rituals of Besakih ~ And the Gods came down to Bali… A photo essay.

Putu and I have been working tirelessly on getting the plans secured for our wellness retreat center here in Bali. It seems to be a Sisyphean task as we progress forward, only to uncover six other undertakings that need to be accomplished. That being said each day brings new opportunities, blurring the focus but bringing excitement. You speak with 10 notaries (notaries are a bit like lawyers back home), and you get 10 different solutions. But progress is being made and with this upcoming week chock full of meetings, we will have a much clearer picture.

Balinese wellness sacred ritualsAn inquisitive little girl looks back at me during prayers at Besakih Temple

In these pursuits we have taken counsel with a dear friend and experienced hotelier Mas Ngurah. We arrived at Mas Ngurah’s home to find his wife Dian preparing dozens of ornate offerings. I asked if there was a particular ceremony approaching and she told us Ida Batara Turun Kabeh was next week and asked if we would like to come.  I had never been, so I jumped at the chance to witness one of the holiest rituals in the Balinese Hindu calendar.  The sacred ceremony is observed on the full moon of the tenth month in Balinese Hindu calendar called Purnama Kedasa.

Here is short video of the day's events.

Bali Besakih wellness villaThousands of Balinese Hindus flock to the six holy temples on Ida Batara Turun Kabeh

It is said that all the Gods come down to earth on this auspicious day and reside at the six holiest temples on Bali.  Chief among these are of course Pura Besakih, or The Mother Temple on the slopes of mighty Mount Agung. Besakih is Bali’s largest, highest and most holy temple. It is perched 3142 meters above sea level on the active Gunung Agung volcano.

Leading up to the ceremony, several rituals are performed at Pura Besakih. Most notably is the exorcism rite called Tawur Agung Kesanga, which is held on the black moon, or Tilem Caitra, of the ninth month in the Balinese calendar.

Bali tour Besakih cultureOur first stop on Ida Batara Turun Kabeh, Pura Batur

First stop ~ Pura Batur Temple

Before we headed up the narrow roads of the volcano we stopped to give offerings at one of the other holy six temples called Pura Batur.  It was utterly packed with devotees waiting hours to enter the temple grounds. It was as if someone said, “Hey! I have an idea, why doesn’t everyone on the island go to a tiny temple way up in the mountains on the same day?” People were passing out waiting in the heat as thousands crammed up the steps and through the narrow temple gates to get a chance to present their offerings and pray. In fact, I was the only one in our group able to negotiate the throngs and make it into the temple. I guess my finely honed skills developed over years of sneaking up to the front row at packed rock concerts paid off. I bequeathed my offerings and partook in the prayers, but when the group of several hundred were ushered out to allow for the next group to be let in, I veiled myself behind the huge piles of offerings and was able to linger inside and document the next group being led in prayer by the Mangku (High Priest).

Bali travel temple wellness retreatA handsome young fella smiles back at us while we wait to enter the main temple at Pura Besakih

On to Pura Besakih, Bali's Mother Temple

After reconnecting with the group, we ventured off to the main event at Pura Besakih. This was no simple task as the traffic on the small snaking mountain road was backed up for miles. While this is a major event and a profound experience, it may not be for the average tourist as ones patience is genuinely put to the test. It may be best to visit Besakih at a time other than a sacred ceremony in order to avoid the vast multitudes and delays. I saw only a handful of bule (fellow ‘crackah’ or more properly, Caucasian) amongst the possibly tens of thousands the whole day.

Bali culture wellness tourBalinese Hindus make their way up the famous steps of Pura Besakih, The Mother Temple

Since the traffic was not moving, I decided to head out on foot so I could document the event.  Much to my surprise, the pilgrims were not as densely packed as they were at Pura Batur.  There were still thousands of worshipers but given Besakih’s immense size, the masses were not as dense.

Mas Ngurah led us up Besakih’s famed steps to his clan’s private temple dedicated to their ancestors. There are 21 other similar temple complexes on six terraces that surround the main temple known as Pura Penataran Agung.

The origins of Besakih Temple

The venerated temple’s name “Besakih” comes from the Sanskrit word “Basuki”, derived from the word “Wasuki” meaning Salvation. Sanskrit then became the basis for much of Bahasa Java and then into Bahasa Indonesia. Also, in Samudramanthana mythology, the same name “Besuki” refers to the Dragon-God “Naga Besukian”, who lived inside Gunung Agung volcano.

Bali vacation culture templeThe Mankgu or Balinese Hindu High Priest leads the faithful in prayer during Ida Batara Turun Kabeh The first recorded mention of the temple’s existence comes from an inscription dating back to 1007 AD. It is known that since the 15th century Besakih was regarded as the central temple of Hinduism in Bali and remains so until this day.

Bali villa wellness besakihThe masses in sacred prayer during Ida Batara Turun Kabeh at Bali's famed Mother Temple

Tri Hita Kirana ~ The fundamental concept of The Balinese Hindus

The prevailing Balinese philosophy of Tri Hita Kirana is expressed in the temple’s architecture. This essential belief of the Balinese people teaches that life must be kept in balance and harmony between the triumvirate consisting of man, God and the natural environment.

wellness retreat center BaliThe inquisitive girl finally takes her turn to pray

We eventually filled into the main temple for our turn to pray along with the thousands of others on this fascinating and mesmerizing day.  Thanks to Mas Ngurah’s family for a reenergizing respite from our task at hand here in Bali and now back to getting this wellness center off the ground.

Kindly leave your comments and thoughts below and contact us so we can help you make the most out of your Balinese vacation.