Tirta Empul means “holy water spring,” and it is the name of a spring located inside the temple complex. This spring flows to a purification bath and other pools, including one with colorful koi.
The main highlight of this temple is the purification bath. There, the spring water flows into the bath through 30 elaborately carved spouts.
At the bath, devotees pray before entering the pool. Once in the pool, the devotees start at the leftmost spout, and then move from one spout to another. At each spout, they clasp their hands and bow under the spout while the holy spring water washes over them.
The temple itself was designed around a natural spring around the 10th-century CE. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu.
Know Before You Go
Tirta Empul is located near Tampak Siring village, about 30 minutes drive northeast of Ubud. This temple is considered holy, so bare knees and bare shoulders are not acceptable.
It is best to wear a sarong while visiting. While it may be tempting for visitors to participate in the purification ritual, participate only if it is personally meaningful. If in doubt, ask a temple staff whether it is appropriate to participate.