Tirta Empul is one of Bali’s most beautiful and important temple complex, over one thousand years old and built around a natural spring. The site serves as a legendary setting of a traditional tale about good versus evil. It is also a national cultural heritage site.
Pilgrims come from all over the island to participate in a ritual water purification that involves immersing oneself in two large pools within the temple and praying before thirty fountains.
Legend has it that the sacred spring was created by the god Indra. His forces had been poisoned by Mayadanawa, so he pierced the earth to create a fountain of immortality to revive them.
An inscription dates the founding of a temple at the site to 926 AD. Ever since – for more than a thousand years, the Balinese have come to bathe in the sacred waters for healing and spiritual merit.
Our guide for this mystical and moving experience will be Ibu Kadek Lastrini, a Balinese woman with many years of interpreting local culture for guests from abroad in a profound yet accessible manner .
Once we have been ritually cleansed, Ibu Kade will lead us into the inner temple for a traditional blessing ceremony with a Balinese priest. Following this, we’ll enjoy a delicious megibung lunch prepared by Ibu Kadek (who is also the head chef for the world famous Green School, and one of the best cooks on the island ), served on the ground on banana leaves and eaten communally , with the hands.
This entire experience lasts only half a day, including transportation time , and is a beautiful way to not only gain a deeper understanding of Bali’s rich spiritual traditions, but also to use the cleansing power of water , both literal and symbolic , to set intentions and clear away thoughts and behaviors that may no longer serve you .