Tirta Empul is the name for a Hindu temple in Manukaya village, Tampak Siring sub-district, Gianyar district, Bali province. The unique architecture and the presence of a spring in the area within the temple, make this temple very attractive and visited by many domestic and international tourists.
If one day you are on vacation to the island of Bali, then visit various Hindu temples. Then the Tirta Empul temple is one of the tourist spots that you must visit.
There are many famous temples on the island of Bali as the center of Balinese Hindu religious rituals. However, you will find that Tirta Empul Temple has its own uniqueness when compared to other Hindu temples on the island of Bali. Actually, there are several other temples in Bali that are no less interesting for you to visit while traveling, including the Uluwatu Temple and Tanah Lot Temple.
The Uniqueness of Tirta Empul Temple
One of the main uniqueness of Tirta Empul temple is the existence of natural springs in the temple area. This natural spring is widely used by local people for bathing, as water to purify themselves, and as to ask for holy water from the gods. The name of the god worshiped in this temple is the god Indra.
Temple Construction Period
Tirta Empul Temple was discovered around 926 AD, namely during the Warmadewa dynasty which reigned from the 10th to the 14th century. According to Usana Bali’s papyrus, the footprints mentioned in the name of the sub-district where this temple is located are the footprints of a king known as Mayadenawa.
Mayadenawa is a king who is very powerful and also has the knowledge of disappearance, and is able to change himself into many forms. However, King Mayadenawa was evil and even thought that he was a god.
Due to his crime, a priest named Kulputih then prayed to the god Indra, so that the god would eradicate and stop all the evil actions of King Mayadenawa.
The request of the Kulputih priest was then fulfilled by the god Indra. Then, the god sent an army to fight and destroy the king Mayadenawa. Finally, King Mayadenawa lost the war against Lord Indra and fled into the forest.
At night, King Mayadenawa entered the encampment of Indra’s army of gods secretly and put poisoned water into the drinking water of Indra’s army of gods in the encampment area. The goal is that the poisoned water is drunk by the troops of the god Indra.
When sneaking in, Mayadenawa used the sides of his feet when walking. It was meant to remove his footprints from the encampment, which he thought would make the god’s army suspicious. These slanted footprints later became the name of the Tampak Siring sub-district, where the Tirta Empul temple is located.
The end of this legend tells that with the poisoned water, Mayadenawa managed to weaken some of Indra’s troops, and made Mayadenawa not caught at that time.
The Legend of the Tirta Empul Spring
With the aim of curing his troops from Mayadenawa’s poisoned water, Dewa Indra then stabbed his weapon into the ground. After that, a spring appears for the antidote to the poison. After the troops drank the water, the troops of the god finally recovered from the poisoning.
This spring was later given the name Tirta Empul, which means holy spring from the ground. Furthermore, around the spring, a temple was built to worship the god Indra, which was later known as Pura Tirta Empul.
After Mayadenawa found out that his plan to poison the god’s army failed, he then tried to run to the forest area, then changed himself into many forms. However, the god Indra and his army continued to pursue him.
Tired of being chased, Mayadenawa then transformed himself into a big rock. However, this was known by the god, then he shot him until he was killed with the god’s arrow. The day of the killing of King Mayadenawa is then always commemorated by Hindus in Bali, which is every 210 days with the name Galungan Day.
Location of Tirta Empul Temple
Tirta Empul Temple is located on Jl.Tirta Desa-Manukaya, Tampaksiring District, Gianyar Regency, Bali Province.
The name Tampak Siring is now the name of a sub-district located in Gianyar regency, Bali province. Tampak Siring District has an area of about 42.63 square kilometers.
Tirta Empul Temple on google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/ZAFCNdzNL15QsiC28
In the tourism travel route, Tirta Empul Temple is a stopover route for tourists who are finished from visiting Ubud tourist attractions, from terraced rice fields tours, as well as from Kintamani attractions which are heading towards tourist attractions in the southern Bali area.
From Ngurah Rai airport located in Denpasar City, it takes no less than 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach Tirta Empul temple, which is approximately 52 kilometers. If you are from the Ubud monkey forest tourist attraction and go directly to Tirta Empul Temple, then you will cover a distance of about 16 kilometers or about 31 minutes of travel.
Tirta Empul Temple is open from 09:00 to 17:00, and is open every day, apart from Nyepi.
Rules for Entering Tirta Empul Temple
All temple attractions in the province of Bali have a dress code and other regulations for all visitors who want to enter the interior of the temple. Therefore, you should learn some of these rules if you want to visit any temple in Bali.
If you want to be able to enter the area inside the temple, then you need to use a cloth in the form of a sarong as clothing on the lower body, especially the waist and legs. As for the upper body specifically, you can wear a t-shirt or shirt. Especially for the waist, you need to wear the scarf provided. There are also Udeng clothes (headbands), but this is not mandatory, but you can also try to wear them.
In addition to the rules for clothing, there are also several other rules that you must comply with when you visit and enter the Hindu temple building area in Bali, especially when you enter the area inside the temple, namely:
1) Not allowed to set foot on a special part of the place of worship;
2) It is not permissible for menstruating women, you should avoid entering the interior of the temple when you are unable or menstruating.
3) Do not spit carelessly in all areas of the temple.
4) Dispose of any garbage in the designated place provided.
5) Avoid harsh words while in the temple area.
If you want to soak directly in the springs in the bathing section of Tirta Empul temple, you should bring special preparations in the form of clothes to change, personal towels, sarong for wetness, as well as scarves and plastic bags.