Saturday, September 09, 2017

Pura Tirtha Empul (Holy Spring Temple) on Bali Island @ Indonesia

A light drizzle greeted us when we disembarked from the passenger vans and while we were contemplating if we should give the holy spring temple a miss, two from our entourage didn't know our discussion and had already purchased the admission tickets!

Oh well, i am the kind who would drink the juice if life gives me lemon; hence, fate it shall be and Alex and i also paid the entrance fees (15,000 rupiahs per person).

Majority of our group decided to give the temple a miss which was a great pity for two reasons; (1) the temple is actually one of the largest water temples in Indonesia and (2), since we had to wait for the two persons who went in anyway, we might as well go in too!

Towering statue and i would have stepped forward for a closer look if not for the drizzle - on one hand, i didn't have any brolly / raincoat and on the other hand, such religious statues are common in Bali and there didn't seem to be any plaque / information panel that explains which god / demi-god the statue was based on.

Spider webs on hard-to-reach spots; essentially the top of the statue. However, don't you think they add to the beauty of the statue? Especially given the fact that the temple was built over a thousand years ago.

I was drawn to the nangka fruits on the tree as it has been quite a while since i last had the pungent yet sweet fruit which tasted like a cross between a durian and a jackfruit.

A mini pura in front of a massive tree; at this time, we had yet to step into the main compound of the holy spring temple. As you can probably see from the partially blocked plaque, entry is strictly for devotees.

Finally, the entrance with an "attention" panel which i didn't remember seeing when i paid for the tickets (i could have missed out). Anyway, it has the basic temple rules like wear decently, ladies on period to stay away etc.

Frankly, i thought i was decently attired but as i was exposing my hairy legs, i was advised to go to the sarong counter and get a sarong to cover up!

The panel, giving a short description of Pura Tirta Empul (Holy Spring Temple), could have been bigger and better placed as foreigners like myself could have benefited from its information.

Going in!

One of the most iconic Balinese architecture would be the two pillars that made up a gateway; known as candi bentar (split gateway), it apparently doesn't have any religious connotation and according to Wikipedia, isn't unique to Bali.

Courtyard with a huge single-storey pavilion; already targeted this place for a potential place to hide out the rain should the drizzle become a storm.

Even the dog knew that.

Although not as well known as Tanah Lot temple and Uluwatu temple, Pura Tirta Empul commanded a certain standing on the island and is popular with the locals.

Tree with exposed roots.

Another dos and donts for holy spring usage but in a language i don't understand - rest assured, there's an A-stand with English translation on the side.

Maybe i should have checked out the temple before my trip as i honestly didn't know the spring water was for bathing! I thought it was for drinking! To be fair (to us), this wasn't indicated on the itinerary sent to me before the trip for our reference.

If i had known, i might have prepared a new set of clothing and read more on the rituals required to undertake the supposed water cleansing.

Okay, i say only as the typical me would prefer to cover more places and take tons of pictures. Furthermore, i am hardly a pious person and prefer to live life in a way that doesn't compromise the principles and ethics i hold dearly.

In addition, there were fishes in the purification pool; i am thinking more of the fish waste.. swimming in the shit in an enclosed area. In any case, it's not as if we are drinking the water.

More photographs for your view pleasure. By the way, you are not allowed to go into the pool using the sarong from the sarong counter!

Second purification pool (next to the first one) and in total, 30 water sprouts in the two pools. Devotees are required to shower under each sprout in order to complete the ritual. Hence, do allocate sufficient time if you decide to sign up for the water cleansing ritual.

Me at the side entrance of the second purification pool. Wearing a sarong and walking in it is a skill as it's so difficult to walk in it and mine kept dropping!

Pura Tirtha Empul is a sprawling complex and we were not even halfway done! With statues all over the place, this spot was filled with people taking pictures / selfies with them.

Me too even though i was really curious to know if there's anything hidden in the bowl. Maybe a few guppies or something. In Singapore, a hole would be drilled at the bottom to prevent mosquito breeding.

Another candi bentar.

Head sculpture of don't know who. English translation is not widespread in this temple and i had difficulty deciphering the temple map as the Indonesian words are foreign to me. Even google translation fails mostly to provide an intelligible meaning.

Panorama of the inner courtyard; unlike some temples which would limit entry to only those praying, Pura Tirtha Empul allows foreigners to step in. Given the privilege, the least we can do is to behave respectfully.

Photo galore as i don't know what the individual structures are for. In typical Chinese religions, we usually pray to statue of gods and i guess it's not the same for Hinduism.

Like this row of nicely adorned structures with flower offerings (canang sari); are they decorative in nature to serve an aesthetic purpose or are there some religious references?

Designs on the structures that stood out; doesn't the last one look like the love symbol? First one is likely that of a mythical creature.

Statues are much easier on the brains as what you see is what you get. Don't you just love the ferocious looking beasts in the second photo? I have absolutely no idea why the body had horizontal lines, as if they were placed on top of each other to form the statue.

A main feature of the inner courtyard would be the source of the spring water; contained within the pool surrounded by the stone fence.

It's swimming pool size with earthen pots, algae and plants inside. It didn't caught my attention for being extraordinary and it would likely be mistaken as a common pond by many.

Was about to leave when i noticed visitors peering from the section as shown above. Why that particular section? Of course i have to check it out!

Reason: you can see movement on the floor where it appeared that water was gushing out; hence, disturbing the sediment. This photo doesn't do any justice to what i actually saw.

Therefore, please check out the above 16-second clip. :)

Attention: don't throw coin into the holy spring! I am not sure if it is a Chinese thing as we have been "trained" since young to throw a coin and make a wish!

See that comparatively modern building on top of the hill? That's built for Indonesia's first president when he visited in 1954. Now, it's apparently used to host important guests.

Given the low wall separating the mother of spring water (as in the source) and the purification pools, it's quite a good spot for photo taking! I could have spent more time here but looking at the time, i don't think we want to keep the rest of our tour mates (who didn't want to come in) waiting.

Steps leading up to the "presidential" villa.

The statues kept me captivated for a while; you just need rumours that whoever take pictures with the above would be blessed with a child and a one-hit coincidence would result in long queues in the future.

Another split gateway and yes, another place for us to check out! Keeping in mind the time, i know it's a literal touch and go!

It's yet again another pool although this was specifically tagged as a koi pond and the smell of fish would make this very hard for a person to want to swim within. The lack of any barrier, however, does increase the risk of visitors accidentally falling into the water. 

On our way out! 


Jalan Tirta, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, 
Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia

Temple Map
As above. Only as a reference to reflect the scale of the temple and apology for the badly taken picture as the rain had resulted in a wet surface.

Adult - 15,000 rupiahs
Child - 7,500 rupiahs

Additional Information
Have some quiet (and crazy) time at the pavilion surrounded by water next to the ticketing counter. 

Want to do some shopping? There was a row of commercial entities further towards the carpark.

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