Tirta Empul is a temple complex and a holy mountain spring, located in the village of Manukaya in central Bali. It’s perfect to visit as a day out from Ubud. The village is a 30-minute drive from Ubud (approximately 15 Km~9 miles).
The temple was founded around a naturally occurring spring (Tirta Empul meaning Holy Spring) and is over a thousand years old. This temple is dedicated to Vishnu, who is the Hindu god of water.
Tirta Empul was discovered in AD 962 and believed to have magical powers, the holy springs here bubble up into a large, crystal-clear pool. The spring feeds various purification baths, pools and fish ponds, which all flow to the Tukad Pakerisan River.
Hindu worshippers stand in the pools waiting to dip their heads under the water spouts in a purification ritual known as ‘melukat’. The water in the pools is believed to have magical powers and local Balinese come here to purify themselves.
Visitors are welcome to take part in this self-cleaning process. Just bring a towel and a change of clothes if you want to take part in the purification ceremony.
Behind the purification pools, is the ‘inner courtyard’ the place where people go to pray.
How to get there: the best way is the rent a scooter (~Rp.60,000 $4 day) the journey is very pleasant and beautiful through lush green rice fields and coconut trees.
Entrance Fee: Rp15,000/ adult ($1) and Rp.2,000 ($0.13) to park your scooter
Dress Code: Sarong is required to enter the temple as parts of the site are considered holy. Sarongs are available at the temple’s entrance to be and can be rented for a small donation.
There are lockers and a changing area available, and women should wear a shirt, preferably one that covers the shoulders.
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha