Tirtha Empul Temple or better known as Tampak Siring Temple or Holy Water Temple is a place to purify our self from the bad influences in life where we can discover the traditional showers sourced from the springs at this temple. The water that comes out from the shower is believed to eliminate all kind of diseases including adverse effect in the human life and give the new holy spirits. This place is very famous in Bali and many visited by local people and tourists every day since it has been appointed as one of the tourist destinations in Bali.
Tirta Empul History
Tirtha Empul’s name contained in an inscription which is now stored at Sakenan Temple, Manukaya Village, Tampak Siring District about 3 km from Tirtha Empul. In this inscription, the Tirtha Empul was called Tirtha ri air hampul and slow down the name was changed into Tirtha Hampul and finally change into Tirtha Empul.
According with the Balinese believe that the springs rising from the earth is the God’s creation, hence in 882 Saka (990 AD) arranged to be a pond purified by the kind of Indrajayasinghawarmadewa with the name of Tirtha ri air hampul. The data contained on an inscription at Sakenan Tempe.
Transcription of the inscription that mention the Tirtha Empul was in row and 5 those are: Indrajayasingha Warmadewa masamahin tirtha ri air hampul. In addition to the above epigraphic data, at Tirtha Empul temple is also found the following archeological items as follows:
- Linga Yoni is located in the second courtyard, on top of an altar (Bebaturan) behind the façade of the gate that faces to the west. Yoni Linga is a worship symbol of Lord Siva with Goddess Parvati to invoke the fertility, especially for the agricultural fertility.
- The Lion Statue that was worn on it faces making difficulty to be identified. In the Hindu mythology, lion is a vehicle of Durga Goddess which is the wife of Siva God in angry aspect. In that aspect, the Siva God as Siva Mahakala. In the angry aspect, the Siva God is manifestation as the god who returns home all the contents of the universe.
- Tepasana is a building or altar which was originally just a patio/Bebaturan. What seen now is a building that has been restored/renovated in 1067 AD.
- Tirtha Empul pond with it water source from the earth because it’s location on the ground surrounded by hills that can be said a bless from the god. In 960 AD, the spring had been built and expanded by the Indrajaya Singhawarmadewa King where on his inscription says Masamahin Tirtha, which mean to build and expand the holy pond.
In the Lontar (Holy Bible written on palm leaf) of Usana Bali is mentioned that Tirtha Empul is created by Indra God when fighting against the king from Bedahulu. He is known as a very powerful king, could be lost or disappear suddenly called cyberspace (Maya). Therefore he is called Mayadenawa. Because of his power, he become arrogant and claimed he was a god. Mayadenawa King has an assistant called by Kalawong. The forbid the people to do the ceremony, so frequently happened the natural disasters, diseases outbreak, unsuccessful agricultures that make people live in poverty.
To overcome this problem, the God Indra with his army and fought against Mayadenawa King and his assistant. It is said that the in a battle occur in Tampak Siring area, the soldier of Mayadenawa King was troops pressed and eliminate traces. Mayadenawa walk with his feet in the oblique position (oblique position = miring), so that this area called Tampak Siring. In this area, Mayadenawa also created the pond with it toxic water. After fighting, the soldiers of Indra God feel thirsty then they drink it water that make them died. After knowing the emergency situation, Indra God sticks the Umbul-umbul to the earth immediately then suddenly the holy water come out from the land that is called Tirtha Empul. By drinking this water, all soldiers who have died able to life back successfully. Because the purity of spring water has efficacious as Tirtha Amertha Pengentas Urip (The holy water revive the spirits).
After the crisis from the battle, it is said that Mayadenawa with his soldiers getting squeezed and run to the north. Mayadenawa disappear and change into a big bird and then that place is called by Manukaya (Manuk = bird, raya or aya = big). His tricks were soon known by Indra God and then finally Mayadenawa fled to hide behind of rock located in Pangkung Patas area. Nevertheless, because of his sin, finally Mayadenawa was killed, died because of Indra God’s arrow and his blood flow condemned as a river called by Petanu River.