Tirta Empul Temple dates back to 926 AD (Warmadewa dynasty from the 10th to the 14th century). Legend says that Tirta Empul Temple was built by the god Indra after his forces were poisoned by Mayadenawa, the first (Demon-) King of Bali. Indra pierced the earth to revive his forces with the help of the fountain of immortality.
Pura Tirta Empul, which was fully restored in 1969, is nestled in a lush green environment making this Temple simply magical. To reach Tirta Empul Temple’s main attraction you first have to stroll through the well maintained gardens. Furthermore one of Pura Tirta Empul’s main attractions, outside of the temple complex, is a carved pool, full of Koi fish.
Pura Tirta Empul, is surrounded by a big wall to keep evil spirits at bay, its location is close to the Government Palace, enthroned on a hill in 1954.
The crystal clear and fresh water inside the temple is supplied by 12 sacred spring fountains. The spring which supplies these fountains is also the source of Sungai Pakerisan (Pakerisan River).
The bathing area is divided into 3 stone carved sections to separate women from men and to also give the most pure the chance to be separated as well.
Holy water still plays a very important role in the Balinese religion. For this reason the holy water of Tirta Empul Temple, is considered to be one of Bali’s holiest and is even taken home by the locals. The Balinese still believe that the holy water of Tirta Empul Temple has not only magical but also healing powers. They also believe that water from Pura Tirta Empul ensures eternal youth.
Throughout the year, pilgrims from all over Bali meet at Tirta Empul Temple for their ablution. Before worshippers start to bath and pray, they make an offering at the temple.
Tirta Empul Temple is well worth a visit and gives you an idea of how religious the Balinese really are. It is sad but true that you can’t get this impression in the south of Bali anymore and especially not in Kuta.
Tip1: Buy some food and feed the Koi
Additional Information 1: Tirta is derived from the Sanskrit word “amrita” which means nectar or life elixir.