Spring of Tirta Empul located in the area of Tampaksiring, Gianyar County, is famous for its uniqueness. The holy water is often used as an option to perform self-purificatory rite or melukat to acquire serenity and clarity of mind as well as inner peacefulness. It has been believed by Hindu community in Bali since the 10th century to the present. On holy days like full moon, new moon and Kliwon, the springs situated on the spiritual tourist area is thronged by many people, starting from local community, those of outside Bali to overseas. They usually come with their relatives and then submerge themselves, clear mind and heart.
People performing the self-purificatory rite usually bring along ritual oblations such as canangsari and incense to be presented on the Padmasana shrine. After saying prayers, the journey is continued to the sacred area in the upstream of Pakerisan River. In this upstream area is called Madya Mandala, equipped with a pond having tens of showers. Here is the location of implementing the self-purificatory rite by means of canangsari and incense. With a piece of cloth to wrap the majority of body, the pilgrims do self-purification by soaking themselves in the water source through the showers. After that, they change clothes and come into to the innermost courtyard to pray at the shrine of Tirta Empul Temple.
People believe that the shower water can improve the existing kundalini aura in the body, where there is a shower used to get rid of negative elements such as pain and bad feelings. Before plunging into the pond, the pilgrims must deliver an offering with the intention of getting permission that they will start the self-purificatory rite. The Tirta Empul as relics of the kingdom in Bali has many ancient relics. On the highland in the west side of the temple sits the Presidential Palace which was built during the rule of President Sukarno.
One of the local temple attendants told that the temple name was taken from the name of spring located within the temple namely the Tirta Empul. ‘Tirta Empul’ means the water springing out of the ground. The name Tirta Empul has something to do with the mythology on the battle of King Mayadenawa of Batu Anyar (Bedahulu) with Lord Indra. In the mythology, it is told that the King Mayadenawa was authoritarian and did not allow people to carry out ceremony to beg salvation to God Almighty. After the act was known by the gods, then the gods under leadership of Lord Indra attacked Mayadenawa.
Ultimately Mayadenawa could be defeated and fled northwards and arrived at Tampaksiring village. Due to his power, Mayadenawa created a poisonous spring causing many troops of Lord Indra to die after drinking the water. Seeing this, Lord Indra immediately plugged the spear so it emitted water out of the ground (Tirta Empul) and the holy water was then used to sprinkle all the gods so that not long after that they regained their life. For travelers wishing to visit the Tirta Empul must first purchase a ticket worth IDR 6,000 (adult) and IDR 3,000 (children). (BTN/015)