Holy Springs

Tirta Empul TempleFor over a thousand years Balinese Hindu worshipers have been drawn to a mysterious place in the center of Bali, the Tirta Empul Temple. Known to the Balinese as Pura Tirta Empul and more casually as Holy Springs the temple is the site of bubbling fresh water springs that are believed to bring protective blessings and release from illness.

Bather at Tirta Empul Temple
Hindu legend says that the sacred springs were created by the Indra, god of rain and thunderstorms, by piercing the earth, after his forces had been poisoned by King Mayadenawa, to create a fountain of immortality to reinvigorate them. An inscription dates the founding of a temple at the site to 926 AD.

Family Bathing at Tirta Empul Temple
It is quite moving to watch as devotees come to soak in the cool water. To me bathing at the springs appears to be a multi-generational celebration with the pious slowly performing ritual cleansings at each station while young children learned to swim in the clear waters.

Grandfather teaching his Grandson to Swim at Family Bathing at Tirta Empul TempleDevotees Bathing at Tirta Empul Temple

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Author: Jonathan Look

In 2011 Jonathan Look decided to change his life and pursue adventures instead of comfort and possessions. His goal is to travel the world solo; one country at a time, one year at a time. To accomplish this he got rid of most of his possessions, packed up what little he saw as necessities and headed out. His goal is to spend ten years discovering new places, meeting new people and taking the time to learn about them, their values and their place on this tiny planet. He embraces the philosophy that says a person is the sum of their experiences and rejects the fraud of modern consumerism that makes people into slaves of their consumption. He doesn’t intend to be modern day ascetic, just more mindful of his place in the world and to make decisions according to that new standard.

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