Tirta Empul Temple the Holy Spring in Bali

Tirta Empul Temple

Tirta Empul Temple was built around a holy spring in Tampak Siring, Gianyar. For more than a thousand years, Balinese devotees have been attracted to  Tirta Empul Temple whose sacred spring is said to have been created by Indra and has curative properties. Tradition has not changed at the temple until today. For more than 1000 years, the temple and its two baths have been used by people for good health and prosperity due to the healing power of spring water.


History of Tirta Empul Temple:


Tirta Empul Temple This is a myth described in a manuscript called Usana Bali which says that an arrogant Balinese king named Maya Denawa did not believe in God, and refused people to worship God. Then the punishment for the king came. Bhatara Indra's warriors came to attack Maya Denawa and remove her from the throne. However, Maya Denawa used chemical weapons which caused all of Bhatara Indra's warriors to be poisoned. Seeing this Bhatara Indra then planted his pole in the earth, and spouted water. This water was used to spray the dead soldiers and the backs of the living. So that this water source now is believed to be a source of life and prosperity. Especially if we associate this spring with an irrigation system around the area that provides hundreds of hectares of rice fields from Tampaksiring to Pejeng.

tirta empul


The inscription mentions the construction of Tirta Empul Temple in 960 AD when king Chandrabhaya Singha Warmadewa ordered this which was already 1042 years ago. It seems this place did not appeal to an ancient king but in 1954 Indonesia's first president Soekarno built his presidential villa right on the west side of the temple. Originally the residence of Dutch colonial officials, it was later used by the first president of Indonesia, President Soekarno during his trip to Bali. This villa also carries the name Tampaksiring known to the world widely.

The temple which is now a public temple in Bali, the layout is divided into 3 courtyards.

  • 1) Pool with 13 fountains, used as holy spring for cremation or death ceremonies,
  • 2) A pool with 8 showers, is used as water for symbolic cleaning (spiritual purification) when a person is sick and is believed to be infected by immaterial impurities.
  • 3) A pool with 5 fountains for holy water is used by people from outside to come to pray.


On the first page, there is also a pool for public bathing. The number of temples at Tirta Empul Temple is 30 temples, after which the local community responsible for the temple was added. This ceremony is performed every 210 days, and the fixed date can be read in the Balinese calendar. There is an old stone statue that is preserved in the last courtyard of Tirta Empul Temple in the form of a buffalo. The condition of the engraving has been badly damaged, so it cannot be observed in detail to improve its type. Buffalo in the Hindu pantheon is considered the mount of Lord Shiva and this animal is called “Nandi”.


Tirta Empul Temple includes a traditional Balinese split gate along with shrines to Shiva, Vishnu, Braham, Mount Batur, and Indra. In the main courtyard, There is also an open pavilion useful for relaxing in the shade. But the main attraction at Tirta Empul Temple is the rectangular pool carved out of stone, filled with koi, and fed by holy springs via 12 fountains. Worshipers first make offerings at the temple, then go up to the main pool to bathe and pray. Many collect holy glasses of water in bottles to take home. Nearby are two small ponds fed by springs.

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Last changed Aug 22 2022 at 9:16 AM o'clock

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