Tirta Empul is a temple which has spring where water flows constantly through the years from as early as the 10th century or year 960. The temple is divided into several court yards. Walking from outside, you will arrive at outside area where there is a big tree with a shrine under it. Next area is the temple hall, an open pavilion usually served as an area where people work to prepare for festival.
Area of waterfalls (Madianing Mandala)
Located further to the inner area of the temple are two ponds with many small waterfalls from which the water flow form. The Balinese, wearing sarong, and other religious uniform, and holding offering will walk in the pond to the small waterfalls. Then, they cleanse themselves in a certain manner. They do it not just in one waterfall, but they cleanse themselves in every waterfall in the pond.
The waterfalls are divided into several groups. First, the eastern 5 waterfalls where you can see a statue of Gangga Goddess, are the place to obtain holy water. The Gangga Goddess statue symbolizes the sacred Gangga River in India.
Next, to the west of the 5 waterfalls, is the eight waterfalls group. The eight waterfalls are subdivided into two groups, the first 5 waterfalls are for penglebur gering (curing disease) and the next 3 waterfalls are for upadrawaning cor.
Then there is the group thirteen, which is situated west of the eight group. The first and second waterfall from east are for Toya Pangentas or (cleansing holy water related to ceremony). The third is purifying holy water for the soul of those who have passed away. The fourth waterfall to the twelfth waterfall is for cleansing mind and spirit (body and soul). The thirteen waterfall is a place for purification for a certain manifestation of God.
There is also a unique group of waterfall in the west dedicated to cleansing wong cemer or ladies who get their period late (not because of pregnancy). After cleansing in this place, the ladies who have problem with their menstruation can have it back. (What is that smile in your face means?)
Note: this post is also crossposted at my other blog bali tour