Bali’s Hindu religion uses water to bless, cleanse and purify. As a result, the island is home to a number of sacred water temples.
Tirta Empul is a treasured temple complex with two bathing pools fed by a holy water spring. This heritage site is located just out of Ubud in the village of Manukaya in Tampaksiring. Founded in 962 A.D, the temple is dedicated to Vishnu, a manifestation of God Almighty who is considered the preserver of all life.
An inner courtyard attached to the temple features two bathing areaswith a total of 30 individual fountains. It is here where followers of the Hindu faith come to perform purification rituals that involves immersingoneself in the spray from each fountain. It is believed that the water at Tirta Empul has the power to heal the body, mind and soul.
These days, Tirta Empul is no longer just a site for Bali’s Hindu community. The rise of social media means that curious travellers now flock to the temple complex to bathe in its pools and partake in a spiritual experience. All visitors, regardless of their religious orientation, are required to respect local traditions by dressing appropriately in a sarong and praying upon completion.
Encompassed by lush greenery and expansive ponds brimming with colourful fish, Tirta Empul has become one of Bali’s most popular sites of cultural interest. It is open daily to local worshippers as well as international guests. It is important to note thatspecial ceremonial days on the Balinese calendar such as full moon can be particularly busy. The best time to visit is early morning before crowds of people arrive.