Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Task 2 - Tirta Empul Tampaksiring, Bali

Our lecturer Encik firdaus assigned us to search for a historical building in Indonesia. And what I've found is located in Bali. It has an interesting story behind it. It is the Tampaksiring Temple.

Tampak Siring is one of Indonesia presidential palace situated on the top of a hill with a stunning mountain panorama. This area very familiar with handmade carvings. The carvings are made from tusks and bones of hunted animals. The sacred spring of Tirta Empul in Tampaksiring has a special story behind it. It brings us back to legendary times. According to Usana Bali, an ancient Balinese manuscript and legends, there was once an evil king named Maya Denawa who did not believe in god, and objected to his people worshipping gods. The gods sent a punishment in the form of the warriors of Bhatara Indra, who arrived to attack Maya Denawa and overthrow him. However, Maya Denawa poisoned the warriors and died. Seeing this, the god Indra pierced the earth to create a spring called amerta the elixir of immortality. When the water was sprinkled over the dead warriors, they came back to life.

The waters are believed to have magic healing powers. People come from all over Bali every year to purify themselves in the clear pools. First they will leave a small offering to the god of the spring, and then men and women go either side to bathe. On the full moon of the fourth month each year, the villagers from nearby Manukaya take a sacred stone to be cleansed at Tirta Empul.

When the weathered inscription found the stone was deciphered, it noted the bathe of Tirta Empul's foundation as A.D. 962 and described the cleansing ceremony. For a thousand years these villagers had been surviving, by this tradition without having been aware of the meaning incised on the stone! In 1969 the temple at Tampaksiring was completely renovated. Many of the shrines were built anew and painted in bright colors. There are fine carvings and Garudas on the courtyard. The palace is divided into two connected main portions with a bridge. Wisma Merdeka was the building where the president stayed and Wisma Negara was the guesthouse for the friends and the guests of the state, like Ronald Reagan and Soviet president Krustsjov. There is a house for the press! The Wisma Yudistira, and the one that is for the life-guards, Wisma Bima. The palace constructed by president Sukarno is ignoring the temple of Tirta Empul. The buildings of a history are said to be designed by president Sukarno, who had training of the engineering of Bandung.

Outside the temple are rows of sales stands where you may buy souvenirs-the bargain being carved bone jewelry. There's a number of treats in store in Tampaksiring. One is that it is home to numerous woodcarvers, and their wares are available in great quantities from roadside stalls.
RUMOR has it that President Sukarno used a telescope to spy on naked women who took baths during dusk. And when he found a girl he liked, she was sent to him. Supposingly he fathered several children in the island. What a perverted president!

South of Tirta Empul, on a line joining with Gunung Kawi, is Pura Mengening. There is a definite connection between these three places. At the latter temple there is a freestanding candi similar to those candle the facades of which are hewn from the rock at Gunung Kawi. Like Tirta Empul, the temple has a spring of pure water, which is also a source of the River Pakrisan. Pura Mengening might be the commemorative temple of King Udayana.

The site is open to visitors, but buildings are out of bounds. Only VIP’s are known to be allowed in Tampaksiring. Such as Ne Win, Myanmar President, President Tito from Yugoslavia, President Ho Chi Minh from Vietnam, Queen Juliana from Netherland, and Lord Hirihito from Japan.

Currently I'm searching for more on this interesting site. I tend to look into books about this temple. And will share with you soon enough. Before that I have a video I found on YouTube recrded by tourist who went there and experienced the bath.

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