Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bali Day 7: Trip to Tanah Lot Temple

This is the temple at Tanah Lot, it resides on the cliffs of the Indonesian Ocean. The inner temple, or the holiest part of the temple can only be reached at low tide. We could not go there, we did get to walk around the very beautiful grounds of the outer temples. But before we got there...

After our babi gulang lunch, the group was given the option to either go for massages or to to the temple. About half of us really wanted to go to the temple. I liked that about this tour group, they were very flexible with us. On our way to the temple, we stopped in either Megnwi or Kediri because one of the women in the group needed to purchase a white blouse so we'd be in temple dress, the men also needed to purchase head covernings. This photo is the street outside the fabric store we ran into. We were the only westerners in the store. It reminded me of a memory from childhood, of Jo-Ann Fabrics in Fremont, Ohio...the orderly chaos of countless beautiful fabrics in a kalidascope of colors and patters on walls and floor racks. It wasn't white and brightly lit like fabric stores are now. So much of what we saw, I felt like I was transported back in time.


Tanah Lot is one of the big tourist destinations. There was a parking lot, similar to parking lots for amusement parks here in the US and once in the gate, there was a HUGE open market all the way to the temple. When we got there, I realized I didn't have my again, we had to make a dash into a stall to find a sash.

This was a neat experience. Our bus driver had tried to help one of the gals tie her sarong. When we walked into the first stall we saw that sold sarongs and sashes, the woman working started to laugh that D's sash was tied like a mans and offered to help her... Mine was also not tied correctly. These two Balinese woman whipped our sarongs off, right there in the open (luckily I was wearing shorts under mine). and then, zip, zip, zip! had us all wrapped up correctly. So I learned the absolute correct way to tie a sarong. We tipped the women for dressing us and began our walk to the temple.

Along the way, we got stopped by a Balinese family who wanted their pictures taken with American's. They walked away thanking us and said, "Go Obama!"


Yes, that is a Ralph Lauren shop on the way. As far as I could tell, it was the real deal and not a knock off store.


This is me with the entrance to the temple in the background. We drew a lot of attention because we were dressed like the Balinese, not like western tourists (you see a couple in pink shirts behind me walking up the steps). Again, Balinese stopped our group to have pictures taken with us.

We were also lucky when we arrived, there was a four day long religious holiday going on at the temple and people from all over the island were coming to worship.


Worshippers in one of the temple areas.


We headed toward the water, I think we were hoping we could go into the holiest part of the temple, the part up on the cliff that could only be reached at low tide. The video below shows all of the worshippers heading to the tidal basin where they would do their offering.

This is me standing in the tidal basin with the holiest part of the temple behind me.


The photo below shows all of the worshippers sitting in the tidal basin doing their offering.


I stood back by the cliffs/caves because I was not going to particpate in the worship. There were still many worshippers back here where I stood, because it was shaded and cool. The sun was very, very hot that day.


One young woman saying her prayers and making an offering.


The video below is the worship and offering ceremony that I filmed.

As you could see from the video. The people got up as soon as they were blessed with holy water and then they were promptly replaced by another wave of 100s of worshipers. Below is a photo of the discarded offerings.


This is a gamelan below. Gamelon is not a musical instrument, it is the ensemble. Mostly what I saw people playing were xylophones and some gong looking things and drums. The ornateness of the instruments was incredible.


Look at would not want to run into that in the dark.


Next we went for a walk on the grounds. This temple has several large boa constrictor snakes about the grounds. We saw one and the handler told the group he'd feed it a duck so we could take pictures. We declined. The grounds are lovely.


Our guilde took us to an overlook where we were able to get some stunning photos of the main temple.



Below is another temple on another cliff. This one was much smaller. I was facinated by the narrow land bridge that looked like only one person could walk on it at a time.


I will leave you with a touched up version of the other temple. The light effects make it seem as if I took this at sun set.


Stand by for my final blog entry...Dinner at Bali Beach Club.


Camille said...

Awesome described Jo-Ann Fabrics back home to a tee.

Ortseid said...

that was so nice trip.very cool place nice views, wonderful environment and fresh air that was amazing i hope i could go their too.. while i read your post i watch true blood season 3 episode 7 online now and i hope that the next place of true blood tv series will be held on that place for a change hehe...