Pegulingan Temple, Tirta Empul, Mengening and Gunung Kawi are tourist attractions offering the uniqueness of their own. The four tourist attractions are located in Tampaksiring, Gianyar County, perching in the same path to Kintamani tourist attraction, Bangli. They pose a spiritual tourist center with their own advantages, so they are not only visited by Hindus to worship, but also by domestic to foreign travelers. Other than offering convenience to seek peace, those temples also become the center of research and historical objects. At Pegulingan Temple, for example, the sanctum located at Basangambu hamlet, Manukaya village, is synonymous with Buddhism and Hinduism acculturation. The temple retains a lot of ancient relics, such as octagonal stupa, panca datu, Buddha statues and Shivaitic yoni.
There is also a rock stone box containing clay seal that outlining the spells of Mahayana Buddhism. Existence of such high-value objects caused the Pegulingan Temple to become one of the national cultural heritages and world cultural heritages. Preservation of the historic objects could create the tourist attraction into a spiritual object and archaeological tourist destination. As they are closely located, having visited the Pegulingan Temple travelers usually resume their visit to Tirta Empul Temple. It is really a spiritual tourist center since the days of yesteryear. Hindu community in Bali often takes advantage of the springs as a water source for melukat or purificatory rite. Since this place becomes a tourist center, many foreign travelers also do the same. Every full moon, new moon, Kliwon (fifth day in five-day week) or other Hindu holy days, the temple having a shower is always thronged by pilgrims wishing to do purificatory rite. It is said the holy spring emerged during the battle between Lord Indra and the evil king named Mayadenawa.
At that time, Mayadenawa escaped by tilting his legs in order not to be known by Lord Indra, so the place was then named Tampaksiring. In his hideaway, Mayadenawa poisoned the water which was then drunk by the troops of Lord Indra. As a result, the troops were killed. On knowing this, Lord Indra then plugged something into the ground that sprang fresh water taken advantage as antidote. The spring was then known as Tirta Empul. The first President of the Republic of Indonesia, Sukarno, made the presidential palace in the west of the sacred area. On that account, the palace area also became an interesting tourist attraction.
Still in the region, there is Mangening Temple becoming one of the cultural heritages. It is situated at Saraseda village having cool and tranquil natural ambience. To get there, visitors must down the stairs. The temple area is very beautiful because it has some ponds with crystal clear water. In the main part of the temple, there are three-tiered meru shrine where lingam-yoni statue was discovered. At the outermost courtyard lies a landscaping garden with five showers, while in the middle courtyard can be found buildings like gamelan pavilion, kulkul pavilion, pegambahan pavilion and pegat pavilion. Another unique spiritual tourist attraction is Gunung Kawi. It is located at Penaka hamlet denoting a cultural heritage of Bali. Uniquely, it has carved temples on ravine rock. The object serves to glorify the spirit of King Udayana and his family. Gunung Kawi stands next to Pakerisan River, a sacred tributary flowing from the mountain in the north. There are ten large niches with carved stone shrine, which is said to be the tombs of the kings and their consorts. In terms of design, it strongly reflects the influence of Indian culture. (BTN/Ocha/015)