Pura Tirta Empul is one of the most visited temples in Bali; it’s located at Tampak Siring, about 10 km from the center of Ubud and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2012.
The complex was built around 960 AD. And it is divided in different parts, but the most famous part is the main stone pool, located inside the central courtyard, with 12 fountains where the faithfuls come to purify themselves and to celebrate religious ceremonies.
In fact, Tirta Empul means “source of holy water,” which is the name given to the enclosure of water that is fed by twelve fountains bringing water from the Pakrisan River.
According to the Hindu religion, Indra, the king of the gods, healed his poisoned faithful with this water, so it is said that the water has medicinal and purifying powers.
The people come to make offerings to the temple, followed by prayers and ending with the purification ritual.
To follow the ritual you have to enter in the pool, go to the first source, soak your face three times, drink water (or rinse your mouth) three times and finally dip your head under the stream of water. This process must be followed in 10 of the 12 sources (the last two are reserved for making offerings to the dead).
The ritual can be followed by everyone: many tourists decide to submerge in the water and proceed with purification.
Information to keep in mind
- You have to pay 15.000 IDR to enter and 5,000 IDR to leave the car in the parking spot.
- It is open 7 days a week
- As in other temples, you have to enter with a sarong to cover your legs; if you do not have one, they will provide it to you.
- Keep in mind that the pool is not a place of recreation, it is a sacred place destined to follow the ritual of purification.
Love and gratitude