This temple is in an amazing environment. It's beside a really beautiful cliff from which there are lovely views. The temple is full of monkeys. Be very careful because they try to take any object that catches their attention. Watch glasses, hats, small cameras, wallets. If you can go in the afternoon there is a beautiful sunset. You can also see many people surfing.
The name "Tirta Empul" means crystal-clear stream that is used as if it were "holy water" for ceremonial purification. Legend has it that the Hindu god Indra gave these waters acquire miraculous properties as he used them to achieve immortality. This spring is inside the Temple of Tirta Empul, and has been used since the 10th century (more than a millennium) and the people of Bali have a tradition of coming here. The water comes up through 12 different springs and there is a specific ritual to follow: first, build the offerings, and then enter the pond and immerse yourself. Inside, the temple is a haven of peace and tranquility, and every stone of this ancient sacred temple is covered with moss growing due to the humidity. The silence is only broken by the sound of holy water that flowing out of the twelve springs and the bathing of the pilgrims ve believe the sacred waters will bring health and prosperity. Sometimes, the locals even bottle the holy water to bring to relatives ve are incapable of reaching the springs but need the "miracle water."
This Balinese temple located within Lake Bratan, is a marvel. It is dedicated to the Goddess of Water and peasants make a pilgrimage to ask for a good year for their crops. It was one of the visits we made on our honeymoon. Being surrounded by mountains you usually have a lot of fog making it very enigmatic.
Pura Besakih, is a temple complex on the slopes of the Mount Agung volcano. The people of Bali call it "The Mother Temple." In 1963, the volcano erupted, killing more than 1,700 people. Lava was just metres from the temple, and the Balinese people thought it was a sign from God, that the temple was too precious and important, and so it was saved. Getting up to the temple is not easy, especially when the island is so humid and hot too. The sight you see when you reach the top is well worth it. Right on the slope, you'll find young people on motorcycles, offering you a ride up.....Upon payment, of course. The temple was built by the original inhabitants of Bali, called the Besukian Naga (Dragon God), becoming the main temple of the nearly 2000 there are on the island. Every year there are many religious ceremonies, but the most important is the "Betara Turun Kabeh", according to the Balinese this is when all the gods descend to earth.
Bali is perhaps the site of the world that has the most temples, and, as well as the huge temples that are known, there are also the wealthy families who build temples in their homes for their own private uses. One of the most famous and beautiful temples is the Temple of Taman Ayun, dating from the early 1600s. This temple was built by the Mengwi royal family, and the most remarkable thing about it are its gardens, and its twenty-nine Meru shrine towers. In one of its towers (which is at the entrance) you can go up and see a wooden bell as well as stunning views of the gardens and moats filled with water coming from a nearby river. The Meru towers are accessible by a long corridor that surrounds the entirety of the building.
In Bali, you can visit many temples where religions intermingle and result in colourful secular sites of worship. But, in this specific temple is where the royal family stays. It's one of the places you shouldn't miss during your itinerary if you visit this wonderful island.
Although not a big city, Ubud has become one of the places you can not miss in Bali, and it does not have many tourist attractions, just 5. The funny thing is that the dances and art performances are the most real things someone can enjoy here. They are wonders of tourism. Although it has little more than a street that crosses from one side to another, one will see that it is full of shops, restaurants and services as varied and is a center of attraction for any visitor to Bali. There are times of day when it becomes really busy and this is the best time to visit the temple of Pura Desa, while on the same strip. Usually they don´t appreciate if someone comes by and tries to enter during times of prayer, but if you get up with a smile and they invite you to get close and take a photograph, which is more than I could have asked for anyways. So taking advantage of the innate kindness of the Balinese, and always with respect, we came and we enjoyed their most intimate moments of faith. The 2nd courtyard of the temple is normally used for ordinary ceremonies, while the former, the bigger one, is used only for large events.
Lost aboard my motorcycle, in the jungle near Ubud, I stopped to ask a girl for directions. She invited me for a coffee, and told me she was the guardian of this small temple, which proudly sits off the beaten tourist track. I visited it alone. Incredible.