Bali Tirta Empul Temple is a Hindus temple located in Tampaksiring and well-known as a place to do self-purification ritual. One of the most recommended place to visit near Ubud.
Translate ke Bahasa Indonesia: Pura Tirta Empul, Tempat Melakukan Ritual Pembersihan Diri di Bali
Tirta Empul is different than others temple because it has a special pool with some showers, which its waters are clear because it comes from natural springs.
Particularly on certain holy days, Balinese peoples usually come to do melukat ritual (self-purification) in the pool. The ritual aims to sanctify soul religiously and feel peace in the mind.
In Melukat is not only done by Balinese peoples but also foreign tourist. That’s why Tirta Empul is always crowded particularly by the tourist who enjoy holiday and stay around Ubud.
According to Usana Bali Lontar (an ancient book), Tirta Empul Temple was built in reign of Raja Masula Masuli. While the self-purification place was built in 884 Caka (962 AD), reign of Sri Candrabhaya Singha Warmadewa.
In Ancient Sading Epigraph, mentioned that Raja Masula Masuli reigned from 1100 Caka (1178 AD) for 77 years. In other words, the self-purification place was built 216 years earlier than the temple.
Besides above, the existence of Tirta Empul Holy Spring by related to the folklore about the enmity between Dewa Indra and Maya Denawa.
The folklore narrated that Maya Denawa was a powerful king but arrogant and always considered himself a God. Heard that, Dewa Indra (God of War in Balinese Mythology) with his army come down to the earth for defeating Maya Denawa.
In the war, Maya Denawa was defeated and escaped to the forest. He run away and tried to remove traces by tilting his feet along the way. In the area with the tilted footprints was called as “Tampaksiring Village” (means the tilted footprints in Balinese Language).
Although Maya Denawa had removed traces but Dewa Indra’s army still chased him. Before found, he cleverly created a poisonous spring then run away again.
Some troopers of Dewa Indra’s Army stopped and drank water of the poisonous spring because of thirsty. Saw that incident, Dewa Indra created a holy spring as a bidder for the troopers.
The holy springs are called as Tirta Empul (name of the temple). In Balinese Laguage, Tirta means holy water and Empul means splash out of the ground.
Complex of Tirta Empul consist of 3 parts (known as Tri Mandala), namely: Nista Mandala (Jaba), Madya Mandala (Jaba Tengah), and Utama Mandala (Jeroan). Each part has different buildings with own functions.
Jaba is an outer part of the temple where there are Wantilan and a pool with beautiful fishes. Wantilan is a Balinese pavilion where local community usually hold traditional dance performance and have a meeting. While, the pool is located in the west of the pavilion for a decoration.
Jaba Tengah is a middle part of the temple where there are holy garden with pools, which one of them has a shape of rectangular (20 meters x 10 meters) and a main spring.
The water of the spring flows through 26 pancoran (showers) to lower bathing pool. 4 showers in the west line up from the north to the south while 22 others line up from west to east.
By the local company, the showers are divided into several types, namely: pancoran penglukatan, pancoran pebersihan, pancoran sudamala, pancoran panglebur gering, and pancoran panegtegan.
The showers that lined up to the south is crowded by people who do self-purification ritual by wearing proper traditional clothes.
Jeroan is a main part of temple where there are some shrines dedicated to Ida Sang Hyang Widhi (the God) and his manifestations.
There are also some bale (pavilions) namely: Bale Priasan, Bale Pemereman, Bale Pewedan, Bale Priasan Dewa, Gedong Pengemit, Gedong Dewa, Bale Penyimpenan, Gedong Limas, Gedong Sari, and Bale Pengaruman.
Besides above, in the west of area there are some pavilions for a place to prepare means and offerings of ceremony in the west. The pavilions are Bale Penandingan, Bale Penyelaman, Bale Gede, Bale Pertemuan, and Bale Kulkul.
The latest entrance fee of Bali Tirta Empul Temple is IDR 15.000 (Adults) and IDR 7.500 (children). Besides that, the visitors can also make an extra voluntary donation to help fund the water temple.
Every visitor is required to wear a sarong (traditional fabric that wrap from waist to ankle) and a shawl which both can be rented if not bring.
Tirta Empul Temple is located at Tirta Street, Manukaya Village, Tampaksiring District, Gianyar Regency. Its location can be reached by a car for 40 minutes from Ubud.
Some popular destinations near Tirta Empul Temple are Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Gunung Kawi Temple, and Tampaksiring Palace.