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Tirta Empul, a Sacred Temple to Cleanse your Body and Soul

Here are some facts about Pura Tirta Empul, a sacred water temple in Bali.

Tirta Empul Temple. via Instagram/

Pura Tirta Empul is a temple complex located in Manukaya Village, Tampaksiring District, Gianyar Regency, Bali. Within this complex, there are springs, baths, and pools which are considered sacred by the Balinese Hindu community.

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Praying before showering. via instagram/yana_leventseva

Even though it is a sacred place of worship, Tirta Empul Temple is open to everyone, including tourists. In addition to providing a fresh shower for bathing, this temple is believed to be able to purify the body and soul of people who bathe there. Here are some facts about Pura Tirta Empul.

The Legend of Tirta Empul

People lining up for a bath. via Instagram/audimou

In the local language, Tirta Empul means a spring that spurts out from the ground. According to legend, the springs were created during a battle between Lord Indra and an evil king named Mayadanawa. The king created a poisonous spring to kill Dewa Indra’s army, but then the Lord created a spring that could cure all diseases and poisons. Tirta Empul is believed to be the spring created by Dewa Indra.

The Construction History

The sacred bath. via Instagram/papa_leguas

Physically, the bathing pool of Tirta Empul was built in 962 AD by the order of King Sri Candrabhaya. It was a religious project so that the surrounding community who wants to worship and obtain spiritual benefits from this spring can easily get it.

Tirta temple and the pool. via Instagram/

A temple was then added in the complex during the reign of King Masula Masuli around 1178 AD. In recent history, Tampaksiring Palace, a State Palace of Indonesia, was built in the vicinity of the Pura Tirta Empul complex under the order of President Soekarno.

Religious Self-Purification

Praying in the pool under the shower. via Instagram/kakadevi

Pura Tirta Empul Complex has three main parts; Nista Mandala as the outermost part, Madya Mandala in the middle, and the Utama Mandala as the main place of worship. There are two sacred shower pools in this complex, each shower is believed to have its own benefits and religious function.

The pool and the showers. via Instagram/ojeda_184

The tradition of self-purifying at Pura Tirta Empul is still ongoing. The ritual of self-cleansing is known as Melukat, usually done by putting offerings and incense on top of the shower, pray, and then take a bath in the shower.


Tourists present their offerings and burning incense. via Instagram/theyogi_travelbook

Tirta Empul Temple is not only visited by Hindus who want to worship here. Along with the popularity of Bali tourism, Tirta Empul Temple is also increasingly popular among tourists. To enter this temple, you are required to wear a Balinese sarong. You can rent them on the spot for this.

People lining up for a shower. via Instagram/ootsteps_ontheworld

Even when bathing under the showers, there are many rules which should be adhered and you must always be respectful. Even with quite strict requirements, there are still many tourists who come to purify themselves in this place.

Showering under the Dragon. via Instagram/baliyogalates

Pura Tirta Empul is a place of worship with the main feature of a cool and refreshing bathing pool. Although it is considered a holy place by the Balinese Hindu, this place is also open to tourists. If you are visiting Tampaksiring, Tirta Empul Temple is a destination that you must not miss. Next


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