The legendary Hindu temple of Tanah Lot (Pura Tanah Lot) can only be visited at low tide. In fact, the temple complex rises upon a rocky island, separated from the mainland by a swathe of rocks which are submerged by high tide, making it impossible to reach “the temple floating over the sea”. Restored with artificial rocks in the 1980s, following erosion caused by the force of the ocean waves, Tanah (land) Lot (sea) is a magnificent structure right out of a fantasy book, in the regency of Tabanan, dedicated to the water god Dewa Baruna (or Bhatara Segara). It is one of the seven “sea temples” (pura segara) built along the southwest coast of the island, but, unfortunately, the interior may only be visited by Hindus. A sacred well which runs from the cave underneath the promontory attracts thousands of pilgrims who go to the temple to purify themselves. According to local legend, the temple was built in the XVI Century when a Javanese priest decided to sleep there after being struck by the beauty of the place. Before leaving, he told local fishermen to build a temple dedicated to the gods of the sea. It is even suggested that couples do not visit Tanah Lot together before getting married, as this would guarantee their separating like the earth and sea during high tide according to local beliefs.
Here, rests a magnificent statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana, national emblem of Indonesia and, with a height of over 120 metres, one of the tallest monumental statues in the world.