a Tanah Lot sunset

This was the very sunset the boy and his little sister were watching.

When I first visited this temple in 1973, it was difficult to get to. We hired some old Honda motorcycles and drove for what seemed like ages along rutted potholed rural roads. The temple was poorly sign posted and difficult to find. The place felt very remote indeed.

Some scandalous inappropriate developments now surround this once lonely place. Big Javanese business interests put constant pressure on the local farmers to sell up their rice paddies. Many have since regretted their decision. A five star golf course now overlooks Tanah Lot and its constant stream of tourists, while the top stories of its accompanying luxury hotel peep over a once picturesque rural setting.

Tanah Lot is a temple built on an outcrop of rock just off the foreshore of a beach in the south of the island. The temple is cut off from the shore at high tide.

This shot is like a metaphor for the island of Bali itself. The rock and its jagged profile looms dark like some Noah's Arc, carrying upon it the last remnants of a unique brand of Hindu culture and belief, which once held sway in all of Java itself.

or continue the journey
© david.atkinson@rmit.edu.au
created 28 october 1998