Friday, February 26, 2010

Tanah Lot Temple

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 for photography and general exoticism.

Tanah Lot means "Land [sic: in the] Sea" in the Balinese language.  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. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island's beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.

The Tanah Lot temple was built and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. 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. However, the temple had significant Hindu influence.

At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. A giant snake purportedly protects the temple, which was created from Nirartha's scarf when he established the island.

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 then provided a loan to the Indonesian government of Rp 800 billion (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 created during the Japanese-funded and supervised renovation and stabilization program.

The area leading to Tanah Lot is highly commercialized and people are required to pay to enter the area. To reach the temple, visitors must walk through a carefully planned set of Balinese market-format souvenir shops which cover each side of the path down to the sea. On the mainland cliff tops, restaurants have also been provided for tourists.

 Crowded tourists visited the Tanah Lot tourist destination. During the period of January to December 2012, Tanah Lot was visited by 2,57 million domestic and foreign tourists. The amount surpassed the target only set at 1,75 million people. Operations Manager of Tanah Lot, Ketut Toya Adnyana, said the amount was more than the same period in the previous year which was 2,3 million visitors. "Such increasing number is beyond the unexpected visit at the beggining of last year because we increase the admission fee," he said.

For 2013, the party targeted the tourist visit at 2 million people. In this case, the party deliberately did not put a great target, although the realization always exceeded. "We purposely did not set a higher target this year based on a variety of considerations," he said. As consideration, his party anticipated the political situation where Bali would hold gubernational election. In addition, there was an issue of fuel price hike that could also influence the determination of target. "So far, the tourist arrival on usual days reaches 6.000 to 7.000 people. Meanwhile, at weekend it approximately reaches 10.000 to 15.000 people," he said.

Regarding the increased tourist arrivals in 2012, Toya Adnyana is so happy with the achievement. Therefore, the party will continue to provide convenience to visitors making a visit to the tourist atrraction located at Beraban village, Kediri, Tabanan. Anotehr important thing in 2013, said Toya Adnyana, the Tanah Lot is scheduled to extend the visiting hours from initially 7 Am until 7 Pm to the evening. "We are still assesing the plan related to the benefits and disadvantages. When it has been fixed, it will be soon opplied. Hopefully, we can apply this in 2013," he concluded.

Visit to Tanah Lot Tours Package, please click here

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