Pura Tirta Empul and Pura Mengening
high-definition creative commons photographs from Pura Tirta Empul and Pura Mengening, Bali together with further information.
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Pura Tirta Empul
(The Temple of Purification)
At one time Bali had a wicked king called Mayadenawa who didn't believe in the gods, and forbade the people from worshipping them. When Indra heard this he came and drove Mayadenawa and his followers out.
The wicked king however snuck back in the night and poisoned the waters, so that Indra’s followers died when they drank from them. Indra pierced the earth with his staff, and a holy spring of water shot up which revived his otherwise dead followers.
This was the origin of the Tirta Empul. To this day it is the pool of purification for the Balinese par excellence, and people come from all over the country to bathe in its waters.
Besides the waters or springs at the temple, it also features many fine free standing statues of gods, demons and guardians, some of whom are pictured below.
Tirta Empul is situated near the head waters of the Pakerisan river, which has many Tirtas (sacred waters) along its banks. Another of these, at Pura Mengening, is featured below.
(A Temple for Purification)
Not quite 1km away from Tirta Empul is this less frequented temple and springs, the Pura Mengening. The temple itself sits atop a small hill alongside the many Tirtas, which fall into the valley below.
When we were there the temple itself was closed to outsiders, but the Tirtas are open and available. Its natural setting and quiet atmosphere made this a very pleasant visit after the hustle and bustle of the more well-known Tirta Empul.
Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu