Indonesian Language Blog

The Legend of Tanah Lot Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

There are many temples in Bali, but perhaps none are more famous than Tanah Lot. This beautiful temple sits on a large offshore rock that has been shaped over the years by the ocean tide. There’s also a fascinating legend behind this temple. Learn about Balinese culture while learning some Indonesian language at the same time in this post.

Indonesian Version

Tanah Lot from above.

Tanah Lot from above.

Pura Tanah Lot dibangun oleh salah seorang Brahmana yang berasal dari Jawa. Dia menjelajahi nusantara dan akhirnya sampai di pulau Bali. Brahmana ini bernama Danghyang Nirartha. Dia berhasil menguatkan kepercayaan masyarakat Bali tentang ajaran Agama Hindu. Kemudian, ia berhasil membangun Sad Kahyangan di Bali pada abad ke-16. Ketika Danghyang Nirartha sampai di Tanah Lot, Desa Beraban, Kabupaten Tabanan, daerah ini dikuasai oleh Bendesa Beraban.

Danghyang Nirartha memiliki pengaruh yang besar di Bali, khususnya di Tanah Lot yang membuat pengikut Bendesa Beraban pergi dan mengikuti dia. Bendesa Beraban merasa iri kepada Danghyang Nirartha dan menyuruhnya segara pergi meninggalkan Tanah Lot.

Danghyang Nirartha pun pergi. Sebelum meninggalkan Tanah Lot, dengan kekuatan yang dimilikinya ia mampu memindahkan bongkahan batu ke tengah laut dan membangun sebuah Pura di tempat itu. Kemudian, ia mengubah selendangnya menjadi ular penjaga Pura tersebut. Ular tersebut masih ada sampai sekarang yang memiliki ciri: berekor pipih, warnanya hitam dan berbelang kuning. Akhirnya, Bendesa Beraban mengakui kesucian dan kehebatan Danghyang Nirartha dan iapun menjadi pengikut setia Danghyang Nirartha.

English Version

One of Bali's most important temples.

One of Bali’s most important temples.

Tanah Lot Temple was built by one of the Brahmins who came from Java. He explored the archipelago and ended up on the island of Bali. This Brahmin was named Danghyang Nirartha. He managed to strengthen public confidence in Bali about the teachings of Hinduism. Later, he managed to develop the Sad Kahyangan (six holy places) in Bali in the 16th century. When Danghyang Nirartha arrived at Tanah Lot, Beraban Village, Tabanan District, the area was dominated by Bendesa Beraban.

Danghyang Nirartha had a great influence in Bali, especially in Tanah Lot where he made the followers of Bendesa Beraban go and follow him. Bendesa Beraban envied Danghyang Nirartha and told him to immediately leave Tanah Lot.

Danghyang Nirartha left. Before leaving Tanah Lot, with his strength he was able to move the boulders into the sea and build a temple at the site. Later, he changed his shawl into a snake to guard the temple. The snake is still there to this day and has these characteristics: a flat tail, black color, and yellow stripes. Finally, Bendesa Beraban recognized the sanctity and greatness of Danghyang Nirartha and he became a loyal follower of Danghyang Nirartha.


A very holy place.

A very holy place.

Now try and answer these questions about the story in Indonesian:

  1. Dimana Pura Tanah Lot?
  2. Dari mana asal Brahmana Danghyang Nirartha?
  3. Apa bentuk keberhasilan Danghyang Nirartha di Bali?
  4. Siapa penguasa Desa Beraban pada saat Danghyang Nirartha sampai di Tanah Lot?
  5. Mengapa Danghyang Nirartha di minta pergi?
  6. Apa yang dilakukan oleh Danghyang Nirartha sebelum pergi meninggalkan Desa Beraban?
  7. Dari mana asal ular yang ada di Pura Tanah Lot?
  8. Bagaimana ciri-ciri ular tersebut?
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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.