It is located in at Bedugul village, Baturiti district, Tabanan Regency, 1240 meters above the sea level .It is about 62 km from Denpasar and can be reached by motorcycle as the roads are fairly good
This high land destination is located just outside of the small town of Bedugul. A beautiful temple is sited on the soars of lake Bratan and casts a neat reflection it its still waters. Ulun Danu Temple takes on an ephemeral quality at dawn, five hundreds meters from the fruit and the vegetable market Bedugul, and actually projecting into the lake, is the Hindhu / Buddhist temple of Pura Ulun Danu. It’s very picturesque, with a large banyan tree at the entrance, attractive gardens and one courtyard isolated on a tiny island in the lake. Ulun Danu Temple founded in the 17th century, is dedicated to the goddess of the waters.
It is the focus of the ceremonies and pilgrimages to ensure the supply of water. Ulun Danu has classical Hindhu thatched-roof merus (multi-roofed shrine) and an adjoining Buddhist stupa. This very important Hindu-Buddhist temple was founded in the 17th century. It is dedicated to Dewi Danu, the goddess of the waters, and is actually built on small islands, which means it is completely surrounded by the lake. Both pilgrimages and ceremonies are held here to ensure that there is a supply of water for farmers all over Bali.
The temple is truly beautiful, with classical Hindu thatch-roofed Meru (multi-roofed shrines) reflected in the water and silhouetted against the often cloudy mountain backdrop – one of the commonest photographic images of Bali. A large banyan tree shades the entrance; walk through manicured gardens and past an impressive Buddhist Stupa to reach the lakeside. An unfortunate aspect is the small animal zoo, left of the main entrance, where tourists are encouraged to be photographed alongside snakes, bats and iguanas, all of which appear to be kept in less than humane conditions.
Historically, the Balinese village of Ubud can trace its roots to as far back as the 8th century. It is documented on ancient palm leaf scripts that a revered holy man from India by the name of Rsi Markaneya embarked on a spiritual journey across Java and eventually came to the island of Bali to spread the teachings of Hinduism. It was on his travels that he received a divine revelation that in Bali he was to bury five precious metals on a mountain slope where the mother temple of Besakih now stands today. Along with a group of followers, Rsi Markaneya was magnetically attracted to a destination located in the central foothills of the island that radiated light and energy.
This place was Campuhan in Ubud at a junction in the Wos River and it was here that he felt compelled to build a temple by the name of Pura Gunung Lebah. On subsequent expeditions around Bali, Rsi Markaneya built a number of other significant temples and created a shared irrigation system for the terraced landscape that is still practiced by farmers today. The formation of the banjar, which is a village council responsible for community and religious affairs, was also inspired by this holy man. In essence, it can be said that Rsi Markaneya is responsible for the foundation of Balinese Hinduism in it purest form referred to as Agama Tirta or the religion of holy water.
Ubud Palace 2Since being discovered backing the 8th century, the area of Campuhan has always been highly regarded by the Balinese for its immense spiritual powers. Even the term Ubud is derived from the term ubad, meaning medicine in reference to the traditional healing properties of the array of plants that randomly grow here. Generations of Hindu worshippers have made special pilgrimages to the fork in the Wos River to mediate, bathe and collect holy water for temple ceremonies and cleansing rituals.
There had always been ties between Java and Bali, but it was the disintegration of the once mighty Majapahit kingdom in the 15th century that saw a mass exodus of nobles to Bali. A new kingdom on the island’s east coast called Gelgel was consequently established and gave sanctuary to many important ruling families. They brought with them an artistic legacy and the principles of the caste system. By the 17th century Bali invariably experienced a rapid emergence of new kingdoms, including the founding of several royal houses in Ubud. However, this period also saw much conflict between the royal clans with supremacy as the ultimate goal.
A prince from Klungkung was sent to create a palace in Sukawati as a centre of great power and aesthetic beauty. Artisans came from all over Bali to help in its construction and once completed many of them chose to stay. Sukawati today is a community that strongly supports all forms of artistry as well as dance and music. With the successful establishment of a reigning authority in Sukawati, palace retainers were then sent in the late 1700′s to secure the area of Ubud. A pair of cousins formed rival communities in Padang Tegal and further north in the area of Taman.
Following subsequent fighting between these neighbouring villages the king of Sukawati sent his brothers Tjokorde Ngurah Tabanan to Peliatan and Tjokorde Tangkeban to Sambahan to establish palaces with the notion to control these troubled areas. Despite early feudalistic struggles between the kingdoms of Peliatan and Mengwi, the two overcame their differences following a battle that is said to have involved magical powers.
Thereafter, the people of Mengwi moved to help populate Ubud and during the latter 1800′s the entire area began to flourish with plentiful rice supplies and a booming economy. By the middle of the 19th century there was a certain anti-Dutch sentiment brewing within the kingdoms and conflict was still rife. Mengwi experienced a bitter defeat and all land was distributed between its aggressors.
Several of the battles that took place were actually fuelled by the Dutch and it was an unusual time that saw opposing kingdoms suddenly form alliances. The colonizing Dutch authorities chose to start interfering with the island’s politics at the beginning of the 20th century. Under the leadership of Tjokorde Gede Raka Sukawati, Ubud came to be known as a sub-regency and then much later in 1981 became a sub-district taking over the administration of 13 neighbourhoods and 7 traditional villages. The district of Ubud today encompasses all areas within the boundaries of Tegallalang, Peliatan, Mas and Kedewatan.
Bali saw a significant influx of overseas visitors during the 1930′s. This first wave of tourism was focused in and around Ubud due to the business confidence of Tjokorde Gede Agung Sukawati who was proficient in English and Dutch. He had established a small guest house and his older brother Tjokorde Raka Sukawati, who lived across the street, took the initiative to welcome the celebrated artist cum composer Walter Spiers to Ubud to live and work. This set a trend for other foreign artists and soon the likes of Rudolf Bonnet and Willem Hofker arrived to set up easel and paint.
As word of Ubud and its enchanting beauty spread, the village went on to host a circle of famous faces such as Noel Coward, Charlie Chaplain, H.G Wells and the recognized anthropologist Margaret Mead. The vision to establish a painters association was born in 1936 and saw a collaboration to form the Pita Maha between Tjokorde Gede Agung, Spies, Bonnet and several local artists. With the help of the American composer Colin McPhee, who had built a home along the stunning Sayan Ridge, the group was responsible for bringing together some of Bali’s greatest artists to teach painting, dance and music to a younger generation.
Ubud developed the reputation as being the cultural pulse of Bali and that image still stands today. World War II brought hardship to the island and Ubud suffered considerably. The Japanese invaded and this was later followed by a violent struggle against the Dutch for independence. Indonesian gained its freedom and its first president in 1945, but some 20 years later a so called ‘communist coup’ saw thousands of murders across the archipelago. Many lives were stolen, especially in Ubud and it is local folk lore that the white egrets inhabiting the area of Petulu are actually the lost souls of those who were massacred.
After almost 20 years of uncertainly, tourism resumed in Ubud during the 1970′s when backpackers and hippies set out to seek new experiences. A steady flow of visitors have since found themselves captivated by the intense beauty of the landscape and gracious hospitality of its people. Ubud has managed to embrace the 21st century with dignity and still retain its timeless artistry, culture and religion. It is a unique destination blessed with a strong sense of community and rare spiritual energy.
It is about 36 km from the city of Denpasar, in Tampak siring district, Gianyar regency. The roads are good and paved can be reached by any cars.
Tirta Empul Temple bequeathed to the people by ancient Rajadom is perhaps one of the most fascinating spot in the area. On the west side of this temple, high on the hill could be found a Presidential palace that was built during Soekarno’s time. Which is an unspectacular; single-storey structure with several outbuildings designed by Sukarna himself and built in 1954 on the site of a Dutch rest house. The name of Tirta Empul derives from large spring in the center of the Temple “Tirta “mean holy water and Tirta Empul is Holy spring water.
The Tirta Empul’s water flowing down to the Pakerisan’s river. Along the Pakerisan River there are some ancient monuments. The temple was built around 960 AD, during the ruled of Raja Candra Bayangsingha from the Warmadewa dynasty. Coforming with the structure of the most Balinese temple, it is divided into three main courtyards such as: the outer yard, the middle yard and the inner yard or the holiest part of the temple where the prayers take place.
Mayadenawa Raja Batu Anyar, of Bedulu, and Bhatara Indra. In the ancient tale the Raja Mayadenawa was such a tyrant forbade the people to carry out their religions activity to request the blessing of God. The Gods heard about this tyranny, and led by Bhatara Indra they attacked Mayadenawa. In the end he lost the battle and run away to hide in the forest to the north of the village Tampak Siring. With his magic powers He created a spring of poison.
Which coursed the death amongst Indra’s troops who drank the water with poison from the poisonous spring? In fury Bhatara Indra drove his spear into the ground at the point where the spring was bubbling up, rerouting it come out through the centre of Tirta Empul. His holy water was used to splash upon the afflicted Gods and revive them from the grasps of death. This mythology the expedition of Patih (minister) Gajah Mada from Majapahit courned Bali 1343 is symbolized Bhatara Indra, and the evil Raja Mayadenawa as Bhatara Cri Astasura Bhumi Banten.
According to folklore this myth is also connected to the Galungan day, which is celebrated every 6 months (210 days) according to the Balinese calendar, on a day known as “Hari Rebo Kliwon Wuku Dungulan” Galungan is a day on which battle beween good (Darma) and evil (Adharma) is commemorated. Every year on the day of Galungan all the sacred dance masks in Gianyar district are brought to the temple of Tirta Empul to be bathed in holy water.
The holy springs Temple at Tirta Empul are believed to have magical powers where most of the Balinese do the purification so the temple here is an important one. Despite its antiquity, the temple is glossy and gleaming new – it was totally restored in the late 60s. The inscription mentions the construction of Tirta Empul temple in 960 AD, when the king Chandrabhaya Singha Warmadewa ordered this which is already 1042 years ago.