The Tirta Empul temple is dedicated to Vishnu, the Hindu God of Water, and is considered one of the most holy temples in Bali. Pura Tirta Empul loosely translates to a holy temple with water gushing from the Earth.
This holy temple allows you to cleanse your soul in a shared fountain along with Indonesian locals and other travelers. In fact, this temple and cleansing ritual remind me of the Japanese Smoke Bath that I took at the Sensoji Temple in Japan. At both temples, you are meant to immerse yourself within a substance (smoke / liquid) while making sure you douse the top of your head to promote good dreams.
Not only does the purification ritual promote good dreams, it is also known for its healing properties. The fountains are located in the central yard called Jaba Tengah. Before entering this area you must get a sarong at the front, which is included in your entrance fee. After you are covered up, and following all of the rules, then you may follow the steps below to complete the ritual:
Steps of the Purification Ritual (Melukat) at the Pura Tirta Empul
Give gratitude and make a wish.
Wash your hands under the fountain.
Drink from the fountain water three times.
*Although holy, the once considered clean water has at times not been considered safe. In August 2017, incidents of pollution due to nearby dumping of garbage became known. E.coli was the result. Better double check before your visit.
Submerge yourself under the fountain, especially the top of your head.
Give gratitude again before moving onto the next fountain.
Repeat steps at each fountain (except for ones reserved for respecting the dead).
*These are fountains #11 and #12
In addition to the Jaba Tengah area, you should also explore Jaba Pura (front yard) and Jeroan (inner courtyard). These are beautiful areas of the temple complex which include original architecture from 926 AD, a koi fish pond and Indonesian ceremonies which you can peek at through the gates (entry is not allowed in those areas).
Here is some more important information to know before you visit the Pura Tirta Empul
Pura Tirta Empul Address
Tampaksiring, Gianyar Regency, Bali 80552, Indonesia
Hours & Fees at the Pura Tirta Empul
Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: 50,000 IDR ($3.48 USD) per adult, and 25,000 IDR ($1.70 USD) per child
Lockers: 10,000 RP (¢68 USD)
Pura Tirta Empul Rules and Tips:
- Menstruating women may not enter the fountains
- Both men and women must wear sarongs in the water
- Bring extra cash for donations and parking fees
- Bring a change of dry clothes for the ride home
The Pura Tirta Empul in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia is a very cool experience. I love visiting real temples that locals actually go to and pray at, not just the attractions made for tourists. We had a great tour guide for this temple who did an awesome job filming Cedric and I while we were in the water. If you'd like to book a tour with him, message Komang Edy on Facebook and tell him I sent you!
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