What is Tirta Empul?
Pura Tirta Empul is built around a sacred spring with inscriptions dating the holy grounds back to 926 AD. The temple and two sacred bathing pools have been used by the Balinese for over a thousand years for religious ceremonies.
Holy water, or Tirta as the Balinese call it has three important purposes.
- The first is Tirta Gering for cleansing evil spirits
- Second is Tirta Merta which brings prosperity
- Third is Tirta Sudhamala for the purification of mind, body, and soul
How to pray at Tirta Empul?
Both locals and visitors are welcome to take part in this self-cleaning process, though you should make sure to abide by the rules and do your best to perform the ritual correctly.
Unfortunately, we did witness a number of tourists who did not and it was cringe worthy to say the least.
We recommend hiring a guide when you arrive to walk you through the steps. It is an incredible experience and most are donation based. We found our guide once we had arrived.
What to wear to Tirta Empul?
Both men and women are required to wear a sarong which can be rented from the Temple staff for a small fee.
There are also lockers and a changing area available. Women should wear a shirt, preferably one that covers the shoulders and is not see through when wet.
Where is Tirta Empul?
Tirta Empul is located near the small village of Tampak Siring located approximately 15 KM (~9 miles) outside of Ubud.
How to get to Tirta Empul?
Hire a driver
From Ubud, you can hire a driver to take you to the Temple. We recommend contacting our friend Wayan (Remy) who actually lives in Tampak Siring and can give you a truly local experience.
He speaks English very well and is an excellent guide and friendly dude to hang out with. He may even offer to take you to his family home!
We stayed with Remy and his family for 5 days and had a wonderful experience.
Hail a Grab
Hailing a Grab is another (and far cheaper option) for getting to the temple, but you may want to arrange for the same driver to wait and take you back.
Arrange a visit Through a Tour Agency
There are also countless tour agencies that can arrange to take you to the temple as part of a group or private tour. Simply ask around at the tour agencies in Ubud Center to ensure you get the best price!
While you are in Tampak Siring we recommend you also check out the villages second sacred temple site, Gunung Kawi. This one is our personal favorite and is a perfect place to explore after your self-cleaning ritual. There are several places to eat nearby as well 😉
Have more time to explore the area? Check out the smaller and less touristy Mengening Temple. When we visited we were the only people there and it was one of the coolest temple visits we have ever had!
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