Tirta Empul : A Room to Purify Corporeal and Spiritual Body

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Tirta Empul Gianyar Regency. The sub district with the area 042.63 square km has 8 villages. And, the name Tampaksiring has been famous because of the presidential palace located there.

As a matter of fact, the districthas many tourist objects being well known throughout the World like Gunung Kawi, Tirta Empul Temple and historical sites up to the south region. It is estimated the name of Tampaksiring is originated in Balinese words tampak (sole) and siring means “tilting.” Allegedly, the meaning of both words is associated with a piece of the legend of explicit and implicit in a palm leaf manuscript stating the name derived from the former traces the feet belonged to a king named Mayadenawa.


According to “Mayadanawantaka” palm-leaf manuscript, this king was the son of Bhagavan Kasyapa with Goddess Danu. But alas, this clever king and had a nature of evil magic, was eager to conquer the world and got drunk for power, Moreover, he claimed himself as a god requiring the people to worship him.

His bad character caused the Lord Indra angry. Then, the Lord invaded and attacked him by sending a number of troops. As Mayadenawa ran into the forest, he was trying to outwit his pursuers by tilting his soles when he stepped a swindle so that the pursuers could not recognize his footsteps.

It is said, by his supernatural powers he could assume himself into any forms and even he could create a toxic spring, which caused many troops die after a shower and drink the water. On the contrary, Lord Indra created detoxifying springs. Later on, the water bidder came to be called with Tirta Empul (holy water). Meanwhile, the forest area passed through by Mayadenawa running by tilting his soles was then known as Tampaksiring. In the book Sejarah Pembangunan Pura-Pura di Bali (History of Temples Development in Bali) written by Ktut Soebandi is mentioned the Tirta Empul bathing place was built during the reign of King Sri Candrabhaya Singha Warmadewa.

It can be known from the existence of a stone plaque at Manukaya Village containing text and figures saying that Tirta Empul was established in the fourth month of Caka Year 884 or around October 962 AD, while Pura Tirta Empul was built during the reign of King Masula Masuli ruling in Bali starting from 1100 Caka Year or 1178 AD, for 77 years.

In other words, there were approximately 216 years of time difference between the development of Tirta Empul bathing place and its temple. Architecturally, the bathing place and Tirta Empul temple have historical value, spiritual vibration, distinctive character, as well as becomes familiar and friendly to the environments lts architectural style rellects the elements of local tradition and looked harmony with the natural conditions in the vicinity.

Similarly, its spaces imply religious significance If studied further in terms of its architectural function, the object as springs gets in touch with the space, namely the space for bathing, spatial image as a religious space to wash up physically and spiritually. Aside from relationship built by the shape and the space will determine the rhythm, aesthetic value and religious value of the building.

This bathing place is not merely a shower room for cleansing the corporeal body but also for spiritual body where in Balinese language it is called melukat or spiritual purification.
lf observing the environment from the cliff side connecting the Tirta Empul Temple and Tampaksiring Palace along with its bathing place, from a distance northwardly will be seen a bluish spectacle of Mount Batur and the panoramic beauty of Mount Agung in the east.

Similarly, from that point it is visible the people’s settlement in the surrounding and rice-terraced scenery on hilly slopes. On the sidelines of the building lies the beautiful landscape of the hedge foliage and ornamental plants with green grass, interlocking old trees. This generates the shady and quiet atmosphere in the temple area.

Visit : ATV & Kintamani Tour

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