Tirta Empul Temple or Tampak Siring Temple is a holy spring water temple located in Tampak Siring Village, Gianyar regency and it is about 42 km eastwards from Denpasar town. It is set in the dale and encircled by the hill. In the west side of this temple, there is an Indonesian President palace which has been found by the first president.
Historically, archaeologists have dated the founding of the site around 964 AD when two ponds were found. In a small village, Manukaya, just north of Tirta Empul an inscription was found which after being translated verified the founding of this sacred site. An archaeologist, Sutterheim, did not complete the deciphering of the inscription until 1969. The inscriptions detailed the ritual cleansing of a holy stone that for more than 1,000 years was taken to the spring for purification on the exact day of each year of the founding of Tirta Empul. The complex was completely restored in 1969.
This large temple complex is divided into three main courtyards. There is a front and middle sections as well as an inner sanctum. Two rectangular bathing pools, one for men and the other for women, back onto the outer courtyard. Spring water gushes from a line of fifteen spouts, and according to traditions, each spout has its own function. These include a spout which cleanses evil, another a poison antidote 4and yet another for spiritual cleansing and so on. At the rear of the complex is the source of the sacred water. Directly inside the complex there are three public bathing pools. On the right hand side in the middle of the complex is the ‘holy garden’, and further towards the rear are several pavilions and bale’s each with their own function within the temple complex. A linga and a yoni are housed in a small pavilion opposite the garden.
I particularly like the legend that surrounds Tirta Empul: At one time demon set himself up as a god. He refused to let the people conduct their religious rites and this resulted in the air above Bali becoming so dirty that the true gods could not peer through it. Eventually Indra and numerous other deities were ordered to clean the air, and upon seeing Indra and the deities, the demon fled to Tampaksaring where he poisoned the river. When the deities drank the water, they died. Indra was furious and shot an arrow into the ground to create a source of fresh and clean water. He used the water to bring his companions back to life. The spring became known as Tirta Empul.
The whole area of Tirtha Empul Temple is divided into 4 areas. At the most outer area we will find a giant bayan tree where just below of it lies a shrine where the worshippers usually do their offering, it's a kind of permission to enter the temple area.
Then the second area is the area where we can find a big wantilan (halls) where the people prepare themselves before taking bath at the holy showers area. In this area we also find a dressing room, a toilet and a restaurant. The next area is the holy showers area. There are 2 open chambers and 2 close chambers in this area.
The first chamber where the people usually worship before taking bath there are 13 showers, across a walled fence there is another open/public chamber, in western pool there are 2 showers where the people start to shower themselves before move to the 13 showers outside. It is some kind of purification procession. The other pool consists of 6 showers that considered to be the main Tirtha Empul shower.
The inner most chamber is closed and locked for public. It only can be entered if we wish for holy water for certain religious purposes. Inside of the pool there is a small shrine to put the offering.
The other chamber located in other direction outside of these 3 chambers complex. This chamber is closed for public and only for girls those are not having their menstruation although their age is old enough to have menstruation.
The next area is the middle area where we can find a pair of statue of Siva and his wife Durga each with their vehicle cow (Siva) and lion (Durga) between the two statues there is a lingga as symbol of prosperity.
Across the wall of this middle area is the pool of which the whole water are come from. We can see the bubbling water come out constantly. Separated by a wall to north direction of the middle area is the most sacred area of this temple. This is the place of the main shrine called Tepasana-a flat surfaced shrines the one and only can be found in Bali . This shrine is dedicated to Indra considered to be the god who creates the holy spring temple.
West direction to Tirtha Empul Temple upon the hill is Kintamani Presidential Palace, one of 4 official palaces of Indonesian President where the president use to welcome and meet with chief or leader from other countries.
For day or half day tour bookings to the Place please contact Ketut Maryana at DriversBali.com
Phone: +62 81 2397 7705 (Mr. Ketut Maryana)