Looking for a spiritual experience that may also bring you good luck? Head to the Pura Tirta Empul Temple.
Our driver Wayan suggested this temple as it had the springs that tourists can access inside. And the experience was incredible.
Located approximately 25 minutes from central Ubud, it’s a scenic drive through villages and rice paddies to the massive temple and it’s grounds.
Upon arrival you pay 1500rp (approx AUD$1.50 each) to enter the temple grounds. There are locals selling fresh fruit and lots of locals and tourists milling around, so you will be asked to “buy” even at the temple!
Further towards the main temple entrance, you will be given a sarong to wear inside. A tip, take some small notes as it’s good luck to make a donation as a token of thanks to the locals who allow tourists to use the batik printed temple sarongs. It is custom for everybody entering the temple to wear a sarong including children and men.
You then walk inside the temple walls and it’s really quite breathtaking. There’s wide open communal spaces and in front, the high walls of the holy springs.
We chose to cleanse ourselves in the holy springs, so we then turned right to a little office to pay 5000rp (approx AUD$5.00) for a locker and a different colour sarong. If you’re entering the holy springs you need to change from your batik printed sarong into a green sarong with a red tie. The batik sarong is not allowed to get wet.
Once we’d changed, we walked through the walls of the holy springs and slid into the pool of holy water. In a line, we wad towards the actual springs coming from the wall through large concrete spouts. There are 8 water spouts and you move along stopping at each one, saying a prayer or affirmation, dunking your head under the water, taking a moment to reflect then moving onto the next one.
There are two spouts that are for the dead. Make sure you do not put your head under these ones as it’s bad luck!!
We then crawled through a fence and did it again at the next spring pool. It’s very slippery in these pools so be aware when moving about and out of the water.
Feeling cleansed of our negative energy and renewed from being blessed by the water, we then got changed back into our clothes and batik sarongs. A gentle walk around the temple was great as a prayer ceremony was happening that we were able to watch.
The entire experience went for approximately 2 hours. When you’re ready to leave the temple your driver will point to the exit and you will meander through even more Bali souvenir stalls until you reach the carpark. It’s all very overpriced so buyer beware.
I am not religious and really went along to see the temple and because my mum really wanted to visit. I’m so happy I went and took the kids, as it was a cultural trip we would never see, feel or witness at home.
On the way back to our hotel we stopped for lunch by the rice paddies which was a wonderful way to finish.
If you’ve been to a Balinese temple, let us know which one and your experience.