History & Natural Environment

Pura Luhur Tanah Lot is located on an offshore rock located slightly to the edge, in Segara Kidul Tanah Lot. its location gives rise to several stories of the origin of the name Tanah Lot which are put forward in a pantheon or mythological. The Tanah Lot area itself is 28.58 hectares and includes a temples, housing, tourist accommodation, offices, gardens, courts, parking lots, rice fields and roads. The history refers to several sources, namely:

1. According to Rontal Dewa Tattwa (Druwen Ida Rsi Bhujangga Sidhanta in Banjar Batu Buah, Beraban Traditional Village):

Presents the origin and history of the Tanah Lot Temple in the pantheon that the location of the Tanah Lot Temple comes from the land of linet, which means: thick soil. This concept is in line with the pantheon or mythology of the origin of the name of the coral island presented in the Rontal Babad Gajah Mada, which comes from the land of lod, which also means: thick soil.

2. According to the Rontal Dwijendra Tattwa:

During the Majapahit Kingdom in East Java, there was a holy Hindu priest, named “Dang Hyang Dwi Jendra” or “Dang Hyang Nirartha”. He has been appreciated and respected by the King and the people through his spiritual teaching. He was well known for teaching Hinduism as “Dharma Yatra” (scholarship method). In Lombok, he was called “Tuan Semeru” or the teacher from Semeru. “Semeru” is the name of an active volcano in East Java.

 When he came to Bali in the 15th century, the King of Bali was “Dalem Waturenggong”. The King accepted and welcomed him very well. The King also allowed him to teach and extended Hinduism through all over the island. Then he built so many temples in every sacred place with the local people.

 On his journey from west to east along the southern coast of Bali he made a first stop at “Rambut Siwi” and performed a “Dharma Yatra”. In a meditation, he saw a holy light coming from a south-east direction. He followed the light and finally found the holy spring. Nearby the spring, he made a place for performing a meditation. He found a beautiful and peaceful place, the so-called “Gili Beo”. Gili means rock and Beo means bird. So, that rock york looks like a bird. There the priest meditated and devoted to the God of the sea.

 The priest continued his journey to the east and made another stop at Beraban village. Beraban village was ruled by “Bendesa Sakti Beraban”. The local people at Beraban adhere to monotheism. In a very short time, Dang Hyang Nirartha could be able to influence the local people and became his followers. Soon the local people left their belief in monotheism. But “Bendesa Sakti Beraban” ( headman) refused the tuition of Hinduism. He organized his faithful followers and chased away the holy priest Dang Hyang Nirartha.

 The legend of the local people that Dang Hyang Nirartha protected himself by moving part of the rock where he was seated and became a small floating island where the temple is located now. Now, that small island is called “Tanah Lot”. “Tanah” means earth and “Lot” means sea.

 Finally the headman of Beraban confessed the magic power of Dang Hyang Nirartha. Then he began to learn the doctrines of the holy priest and became a faithful follower.

 Before leaving the village of Beraban, the holy priest gave the headman a “Kris” (the old traditional weapon). Until now that “Kris”, named “Ki Baru Gajah” has been considered as a sacred weapon and now is kept in the former palace of the Royal Family at Kediri.

 Every 210 days right on the celebration of the temple festival at Pekendungan temple, approximately 300 meters to the northwest of Tanah Lot temple. On that festivity, the holy Kris of Ki Baru Gajah is carried on a procession from Kediri to Pekendungan temple about 11 kilometers.