Tirta Empul is not only one of the most important temples but also one of the most famous, because of its holy water that is used for purification. Next to the complex is also a modern villa on the hill, built for President Sukarno’s visit in 1954. The temple was built around 960 A.D. during the Warmadewa dynasty. The dynasty was founded by Sri Kesari Warmadewa. He was the first Balinese king to have left an inscription on the Belanjong pillar.
One of the descendants was the famous king Udayana Warmadewa. He was the father of King Airlangga, who also ruled over the island of Java.
Tirta Empul means “holy water spring”. The spring’s water is distributed to various purification pools that Balinese Hindus use for their purification rituals
Location & Setting
Tirta Empul is located in the Tampak Siring region, just 20km north-east of Ubud. It is also quite near to Gunung Kawi Temple.
Tirta Empul Temple complex consists of three key areas. The front, the outer and the inner courtyard. You will walk through lush gardens with statues and beautiful tropical plants, towards the entrance. Behind the temple gate, you will see the first pools. It’s a wonderful and beautiful scenery.
Good to Know
Like in any Balinese temple, always dress respectfully. If you do not have a Sarong, you can borrow one with a sash to put around the waist. Women during their period are prohibited to enter the sacred sites. The purification bathing ritual is only meant for Hindus.
At the parking area, you will found small souvenir shops and warungs selling refreshments, snacks and local food. This type of “infrastructure” can be found at the parking lot of all major temples on Bali.