The Tirta Empul complex was built around 960 AD, at the time of the Warmadewa Dynasty. It’s one of the busiest and most popular temples in Bali, with a mix of locals and tourists making daily visits.
The complexl is located near the town of Tampaksiring in the village of Manukaya, which is a 30-minute drive to the from Ubud. When you arrive in Tampaksiring, you’ll see plenty of signs promoting the temple to guide you.
You will find the entrance to Tirta Empul, just off the main road, with a large parking lot with plenty of tour buses and cars. Before entering the temple you will need a sarong, and can get one at the entrance for a small donation.
Just as most of the temples around Bali, Tirta Empul is open seven days a week. Opening hours are between 9 am and 5 pm. The entrance fee is Rp 15,000 for an adult and Rp 7,500 for kids.
The complex is large, so plan on at least 30 minutes to an hour to explore the entire site. There are four main parts to the temple, and as soon as you enter you walk through the large stone doorway and arrive in the central courtyard. This area of the temple is called ‘Jaba Pura.’
Local vendors are around the courtyard offering bananas and drinks to visitors. At the end of the courtyard are two large doorways built into the wall, that leads you to the inner courtyard.
The Jaba Tengah is the most famous part of the complex, as it contains the two purification pools. The water in the pools is believed to have magical powers and local Balinese come here to purify themselves under the 30 water spouts that feed the pools, while tourists take their photos of it all.
There is a mixture of Balinese worshippers, and tourists crowding in to take selfies, not all of whom are always polite. Please be respectable of locals, and always ask to take their photos when possible, and try to stay quiet.
The people in the baths follow a ritual, by starting in the pool on the left and dipping under the first water spout. Once they have cleansed themselves there they wait for the next spout. They continue this process until they have been cleansed under each of the 30 waterspouts in the pool.
Behind the purification pools is the final section of Tirta Empul holy water temple, the Jeroan. The Jeroan, or ‘inner courtyard’ is easy to miss, so be sure to check it out as well. There will probably be less people here, and more quiet and relaxing.
This courtyard has the usual awesome stone carved Hindu statues and pools, and some nice scenery.
Near the exit is a large koi pond, with giant koi in it that tourists feed. Along the wall by the pond are more vendors selling snacks and souvenirs, and the usual goodies.
So if you are looking for another iconic and picturesque temple in Bali, be sure to check out the natural springs of the Tirta Empul Temple complex!