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Bathing in holy water at Pura Tirta Empul

August 18, 2010

My blogpost “Relax, you are on the island of the Gods” described the way we experienced our trip through Bali. One of the highlights of our Bali trip was without a doubt Pura Tirta Empul, the Temple of the Holy Water. I decided to make this post a photographic journey, a feast of colours, traditions and ceremonies. Hope you like it.

Tirta Empul is divided into 3 courtyards. At the first courtyard there is also the pool for public bathing and even tourists can enter the pool. The water source at Tirta Empul is believed to be the source of life and prosperity.

The pictures show people who stand in line to make their offerings and to start bathing at the first fountain of holy water. They then continue to the next fountain until the last one, no. 13.

People from all over Bali travel to Tirta Empul once in a while. They come to bathe but also to collect the holy water in cans or bottles to take home. The water is then used at local ceremonies.

We visited on a Sunday when dozens of people gathered to enter the long rectangular pool. Balinese people have come to this temple for more than 1000 years to bathe in the holy water for healing and spiritual merit. A truly wonderful tradition and a feast to the eye.

Praying with the family Performing his ceremony

Bathing Bathing at the fountains

From babies to elderlies Just came out of the cold water

Old man bathing at Tirta Empul

Lots of offerings on a busy Sunday

At one of the 13 fountains Lots of offerings in detail

Sprinkling holy water Holy water for the ceremony

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and should you decide to visit the temple, don’t forget to please respect the religious rules.

Rules at Tirta Empul Temple, Bali


From → Asia

  1. Gorgeous photos! It truly looks like a magical place 🙂 Thank-you for sharing Emiel!

  2. Dear Danielle,
    Thanks so much! I really appreciated your lovely comment. Talking about magical places, what about NYC? Completely the opposite from Bali, but I guess (I have not been there yet) it’s magic as well. Enjoy your stay in NYC!

  3. It’s simply an enchanting place which I enjoyed very much – certainly my favourite temple in Bali. I didn’t bathe in the pools but instead chose to wash my face and hands. 🙂 Great post Emiel!

    • Thanks Keith! I asked that lovely lady on one of the pictures if the water was cold. “Very, very cold”, she said. But I also hesitated because I didn’t want to intrude. But it actually is not a problem at all for you (as a foreigner) to go in and bathe. Next time?

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