Bathing pool at Tirta Empul Temple, Bali, Indonesia 13 Jan 2017
About this photo
Holy water pours into a bathing pool at Tirta Empul Temple in Bali. Built around 960AD near the town of Tampaksiring, the temple takes its name from the Balinese term for holy water. It was built near to a freshwater spring, which legends say was created by Indra in a fight against King Bedahulu. The spring is the source of the Pakerisan river but is also filtered into a number of petirtaan (bathing places), including the main pool, where people can bathe after making an offering at the temple. Balinese Hindus believe the water to be holy so bathe for ritual purification. Others believe that bathing in the water will bring good fortune and health and eliminate disease.