Melukat is a purifying ritual that followers of Bali’s Hindi religion regularly undergo to cleanse the body and spirit from negativity in times of sickness or personal difficulty. The term melukat derives from the word “lukat”, which means to “purify” in the ancient Balinese language or simply “let go” in Indonesian. Melukat can be performed by a priest using holy water and fresh flowers. However, this ritual can also be carried out in a natural water source such as the meeting place of two rivers, a waterfall or the sea.
One of the most popular sites where Balinese people as well as visitors go to partake in melukat is Tirta Empul Temple in Tampaksiring. A large rectangular pool is fed by holy spring water that flows from of a series of 12 stone fountains. Worshippers first make an offering at the temple, and then climb into the main pool to bathe and pray. Many people collect the holy water in bottles to take home and use in their own family temple.