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Tirta Empul at Tampak Siring

Tirta Empul Temple or Tampak Siring Temple is a holy spring water temple located in Tampak Siring Village, Gianyar regency and it is about 39 km eastwards from Denpasar town. It is set in the dale and encircled by the hill. In the west side of this temple, there is an Indonesian President palace which has been found by the first president.

The name of Tirta Empul is loaded in a inscription which is kept at Sakenan Temple, Manukaya village, Sub district of Tampak Siring, about 3 km from Tirta Empul Temple. In this inscription, the Tirta Empul is named by the Tirta Ri Air Hampul and then the name has changed into Tirta Hampul and finally become the Tirta Empul. Tirta Ri air hampul is meaning the water emerge or the holy pool (Petirthan) which is the water emerge from the land. Tirta Empul It is a myth described on a manuscript called Usana Bali says that a Balinese arrogant king named Maya Denawa did not believe in god, and objected the people to worship god. Later the punishment for the king came. The warior of Bhatara Indra arrived to attack Maya Denawa and put him away from the throne. But Maya Denawa used chemical weapons causing all the warriors of Bhatara Indra were poisoned to dead. Seeing this Bhatara Indra than planted his pole to the earth, and sprang water. This water was used to spray the dead warriors, and they alive back. So this water source until now is believed to be the source of life and prosperity. It is especially correct if we associate this water spring with the irrigation system around the area, as it gives hundreds of hectares of rice field from Tampaksiring until Pejeng areas.

tampak siring temple

Historically Tampak Siring with Tirta Empul temple is a continuation of Pejeng areas of archaeological sites, where along Petanu river that split the area of Gianyar and Bangli preserved a great number of ancient remains although it is a small stroke of chisel on the steep drop of the river up to the intricate rock carving such as Gunung Kawi temple, and Mangening stone shrine which are only less than 2 kms each others.
The inscription mentions the construction of Tirta Empul temple in 960 AD, when the king Chandrabhaya Singha Warmadewa ordered this which is already 1042 years ago. It seems that this place was not interesting for ancient king but the first Indonesian president Soekarno had built his presidential villas just at the west side of the temple. This villa has brought also the name of Tampaksiring become known world wide.
The present temple as a common temple of Bali, the layout is divided into 3 courtyards. At the middle courtyard is constructed and first courtyards were constructed swimming pool with 13 fountains, used as holy water for cremation or dead ceremony. Other has pool with 8 fountains, used as water for symbolic cleaning ( spiritual purification ), when a person is sick it is believed he is infected by immaterial dirt.
Pool with 5 fountains for holy water used people from outside come to pray.
At the first courtyard is also a pool for public bathing place.
Total number of shrines are 30 units currently, after later addition by local people who have the responsibility for the temple. The ceremony is performed every 210 days, and fixed date can be read in Balinese calendar.
There is an old stone sculpture being preserved at the last courtyard of the temple in the form of buffalo. The condition of the carving is badly damage, so it can not be observed in detail to fix the type. Buffalo in the pantheon of Hindu is considered as the mount of god Shiwa and this animal is called " Nandi "

main temple at tampak siring temple
banyan tree and temple at tampak siring

When Indra found out what happened, he created Tirta Empul, a well of water that would cure his forces. The water flow running from this well later became known as the river Pakerisan.
Mayadenawa fled, chased by the forces of Indra. During his flight he transformed himself a number of times, but he couldn't trick Indra with his transformations. When he had transformed himself into a stone, he was shot by Indra with an arrow. A stream of blood flowed from the stone, forming the river Petanu. And for a thousand years long this river would be cursed. Rice fields irrigated with its water would make the rice grow fast, but once harvested blood would come out of it and it would smell bad.
The death of King Mayadenawa is symbolic for the victory of good (dharma) over evil (adharma). The day of Mayadenawa's death is still celebrated, every 210 days according to the Balinese Pawukon calendar, and this day is generally known as Galungan Day.
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