Built in 1946, Tirta Gangga is a lavish water garden complex with a bunch of pools, ponds and fountains surrounded by perfectly cut lawns, stepping stones, statues and tropical gardens. Umm, yes please!
When you enter, the first thing to come into view are stepping stones which let you tour the pond. they are nice and sturdy so don’t be afraid. If you take the steps you can view the enormous koi and carp of orange, gold, white and black color up close in the clear waters. Can’t swim here though.
Behind the pond is a towering fountain flowing with water. It features guardian statues at its base. Reaching about 30ft in height, at the top is a beautiful lotus flower. On hot days the water flowing down and splashing against it help cool you off.
To the right of the entrance and located under the massive banyan tree you will find the cold springs. The water is considered holy, is used in religious ceremonies and is also used to collect potable water by the locals.
Below this are two clear pools. One of them is used by the public and visitors are welcome to swim. We didn’t but if you do, don’t swallow any water or you risk getting the infamous Bali Belly. There are even different depths, so people and children of all ages can enjoy cooling off in the heat.
TIRTA GANGGA TIPS
We were staying in the overrated city of Amed when we left for Tirta Gangga. Amed, a coastal city is about an hours motorbike ride away. Seems like a trip but you will be cruising through rolling hills of rice fields, lush green forestry and local culture whizzing by you left and right. Tailgate behind a colorful truck of tired workers or take photos as you fly by teeny moto rest stops overlooking enormous rice terraces. The ride to Tirta from Amed is the best thing Amed had to offer.
ARRIVE BY 8AM
Tirta Gangga is convenient for tour groups to visit while traveling along Bali’s eastern region. There is a massive parking area along Amlapura Road for large buses. There is a small entrance fee but don’t pay for parking. We grew so tired of entrance fees at unkept temples that we were skeptical of paying it here but we were rewarded handsomely after doing so. Get there by 8a before tour groups start rolling in and selfie sticks fill the air at nine.
If on a budget, visit the local warungs outside surrounding the parking area. They are much cheaper, add a bit more local flavor and are way more fun than the typical tour trap restaurant. The complex is home to Tirta Ayu Hotel & Restaurant which does have a great cup of coffee however, you will be plenty satisfied with options outside the temple gates.
Location: Jalan Abang, Karangasem
Tel: +62 (0)363 225 03