Pura Tirta Empul - Holy Water Temple Bali.

When you are visiting Bali and if you´re interested in our religion and the faboulus temples we have on Bali, then you need to put the Pura Tirta Empul Temple on your list. Read my full guide with simple tips to the most magical, and refreshing, temple in Bali: Tirta Empul.

Built in 962 AD, Pura Tirta Empul is famous for its holy spring water that emerges from a deep underground source and fills its pools. Many visitors, both local and foreign, come to Tirta Empul Bali to bathe in the purifying waters of these pools and cleanse themselves under the sculptured spouts that shoot water into the pool. Tirta Empul Temple is very important in Balinese culture, which is why the presidential palace, built in 1957 under the orders of President Soekarno, overlooks it.

The legend behind Tirta Empul water temple tells the story of a magical king named Mayadenawa, who was very wicked. The Hindu god Indra decided to end Mayadenawa’s evil ways, and as the armies between the two forces clashed, Mayadenawa was forced to flee. As Indra pursued the king, Mayadenawa conjured a poisoned spring. Indra’s men drank from the spring and succumbed to the poison, so Indra thrust his staff into the earth and created a purifying spring that cured his men. The purifying spring became known as Tirta Empul, or “holy water spring”, and a Bali Hindu temple was built there to honour the god of water, Vishnu.

The temple is made up of three main sections: the outer courtyard (Jaba Pura) which houses a large open air pavilion, the central courtyard (Jaba Tengah) where you will find the famous pools, and the inner courtyard (Jeroan) which is a quiet place to reflect and pray after visiting the pools. Near the exit to the temple you will also find a large pond with many koi fish. This Balinese temple is very large and it can take a while to see it all. The temple is open between 9am – 5pm and entry costs IDR 15,000.

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Free Tips when visiting Pura Tirta Empul - Holy Water Temple Bali
Pura Tritt Empul - Holy Water Religious Ceremonies

Pura Tirta Empul - Water Temple Ceremonies.

The story of this water temple in Bali dates back over 1,000 years. The name Tirta Empul translates to holy water springs, and is so named because of the legend of the god Indra, who struck the earth with his staff and created the purifying spring. This holy water, or air suci, is said to have magical properties that cleanse the spirit and ward off evil. For this reason a Bali water temple was created over the underground source of this spring, which in turn flows into the nearby Pakerisan River.

The purification ritual, or melukat, takes place in the central courtyard (Jaba Tengah) of the holy water temple in Bali. The courtyard has 30 ornately crafted waterspouts from which the holy water gushes out into two sacred pools. Each pool has 13 spouts that line the edge from west to east. Worshippers line up to bow their heads under the spouts as part of the ritual. They begin on the left side of the pool with the first spout, then line up to perform the same ritual for the next spout. This continues until they have been cleansed under each of the spouts: 11 in total (the final two are reserved for funeral rites).

Visitors to this Balinese temple can take part in the ritual themselves, although keep in mind that for many Balinese this is a sacred ritual so please be respectful. It costs IDR 25,000 to rent a locker for your belongings as well as a special sarong to wear during the ritual. If you wish to seek advice on performing the ritual you can ask a guide to tell you for an IDR 50,000 donation. Remember to bring swimming clothes or a dry change of clothes if you plan on performing the ritual.

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Check out the Pura Tirta Empul Temple on Bali when make your sightseeing.
This is was you need to know when visiting the Pura Tirta Empul Temple

What To Know About Pura Tirta Empul.

  • What are the Tirta Empul Temple entrance fees?
    Entrance to the temple costs IDR 15,000. A further 25,000 is required if you need to rent a locker for your belongings and 50,000 for guidance on performing the purification ritual.
  • What are the Tirta Empul opening hours?
    The temple is open between 9am and 5pm daily.
  • How to go best to Tirta Empul?
    Tirta Empul is best reached from Ubud itself. The journey takes 30 minutes (15km) heading north along JL Raya Tampaksiring. If driving to the temple keep in mind that parking costs IDR 2,000. You can combine a visit to the temple with guided tours of Ubud or take public transport there. Finally, one of the best ways to visit the temple is to hire a local driver to take you there and any other places in Ubud.
  • What to wear at Tirta Empul?
    Make sure to dress modestly when visiting the temple. If you do not have a sarong you can rent one at the entrance. Otherwise make sure you wear clothes that cover up your shoulders and legs.
  • Which bathing clothes are allowed at Pura Tirta Empul?
    You can wear your normal swimming clothes when performing the purification ritual, but you will be required to wear a special sarong before entering the water. Keep in mind that this sarong is different from the one you can rent at the entrance to the temple.
  • Are there official Hindu ceremonies at Tirta Empul?
    The main official ceremony at Tirta Empul is the purification ritual, or melukat. The ritual is intended to cleanse the spirit and ward off evil. To perform the ritual you must enter the sacred pool and put your head under each of the carved waterspouts that line the walls, heading from left to right. For information on how to perform the ritual you can ask one of the local guides to show you for an IDR 50,000 donation.
  • What to expect at Tirta Empul?
    The temple has three main sections. The outer courtyard, or Jaba Pura, is an open air area that features a large pavilion. The central courtyard, or Jaba Tengah, houses the purification pools and is generally the most popular and most crowded area. The inner courtyard, or Jeroan, is generally less populated by tourists and is therefore a quieter and more tranquil place to reflect. Finally, as you exit the temple you will also find a large pond with koi fish that you can feed when you purchase some food nearby.
  • Best time to visit Pura Tirta Empul?
    The temple tends to get most crowded later in the day, so arriving before 2pm is recommended if you want a relaxing experience.

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