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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Visiting Thana Lot Temple in Bali, Indonesia

Long before the actual trip, I already made an itinerary of things I wanna do and check out in Bali.

I promised myself that I would try to surf (that's obvious),enjoy Indonesian food, and check out all the important temples in the island.

And among the many temples the island has to offer, Pura Thana Lot is actually one that really piques my imagination.

Imagine a temple built on top of a fragile rock formation. And since its construction in the 15th century supposedly by a Balinese priest, it has never wavered to the power of the massive waves that crash into its base.

Without a doubt, I told myself that I will definitely visit the temple. It turned out that it will be the first place I will visit after the beach.

Located 20 kilometers away from the major tourist districts of Seminyak and Kuta, Thana Lot is an impressive structure that defies logic and principles of nature.

If you've visited Bali then you must know that its waves can reach several meters high and its power is never to be underestimated. And yet this structure stands tall and proud, continuously attracting thousands of visitors, local and foreign daily.

I was a witness to the strong waves that pound the rock formation on which the temple stands. I dared stand close to the edge of the shore for a panoramic photo when without warning, a wave so strong crashed against the rock and doused me with water, leaving me dripping from head to toe.

It is not a surprise then to learn that the temple has actually undergone a major restoration in the 1980's thanks to the generosity of the Japanese government. After years of preserving the rock on which it stands, the temple was finally stabilized.

While it has become a major tourist site, Thana Lot continues to be a revered temple for the Balinese people. I chanced upon a group of worshippers and it was a surreal feeling.

The only thing I didn't like about it is the multitude of commercial establishments that surround the complex. There's a Billabong and a Ralph lauren store nearby, imagine that.

Also, I think that the entrance fee of 30,000 Indonesian rupiah or about USD is pretty steep, not to mention that they charge for the parking and for the toilets.

Nevertheless, Thana Lot has become a very important symbol of the Balinese people. The temple itself has become synonymous to the island and if you ever visit the island, it should definitely be on top of your priority list.

You won't regret it.










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