Address: Jl. Tirta, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar
Wrapped in the luxurious embrace of the tropical forest, in the heart of Bali, near the village of Tampaksiring, the Temple of Tirta Empul, one of the most important for Balinese Hinduism, greets visitors with its sacred purification ritual dating back over a thousand years. Tirta Empul literally means “sacred” (empul) “spring” (tirta). The Pakerisan River, in fact, originates in these springs in the central mountainous region of Bali. The fragrance of incense, the flower petals floating in the pools, the hypnotic gestures of devoutly whispered prayers make the atmosphere intense and magical. Adherents to the ritual enter the water fully dressed in a sarong and sash. It is suggested that, before joining the locals, it is best to consult a guide to assure that you are respecting local customs. The temple, in the Hindu-Balinese style, was built in 962 AD during the Warmadewa Dynasty. After a large garden at the entrance, the Tirta Empul unfolds in the classical Hinduist subdivision of three levels. The Jaba Pura is the first courtyard which is entered through a stone portal, it contains a pool and various shops. The second courtyard, Jaba Tengah, is comprised of two pools for ablutions and thirty springs of holy water. However, the most intimate part of the temple is the Jeroan, the inner courtyard, an area shrouded in the silence of prayer, where women are obliged to fasten their hair. The Tirta Empul is 50 kilometres from the airport of Denpasar and 15 kilometres from Ubud.