For 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.
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.
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.