Tirta Gangga is a beautiful water park in East Bali and definitely not to be missed. The name Tirta Gangga actually refers to the name of a majestic water palace that was commissioned and built by the king of Karangasem province in the 1930’s and 40’s. It is situated midway between the coastal cities of Candidasa and Amed and close to the main road so easy to find. Tirta Gangga, Taman Ujung and Amed are located in the same regency (karangasem) regency.
Tirta Gangga literally translates as ‘water from the Ganges’. The Balinese are Hindu’s, and the Ganges river in India is the most revered of sacred spiritual water in the world if you are of Hindu faith. The Water Palace is the main draw card where the gardens, the huge koi fish and the spring fed swimming pools are worth the stop.
There are also about a dozen eateries located around the entry to the Water Palace and you can roam around endless garden paths or take a hike off the beaten track through rice paddies or be brave and do a hike up Gunung Agung (for the fit). An easy free option is to do the walk from outside the wall of the Water Palace on the low side. Walk about 300mt along the wall from the road and you come to a large concrete lined water channel off to the left. You can comfortably walk along the top of the channel for about 3km through the rice paddies.
But for the not so adventurous, I would suggest just spending a day watching the Koi, enjoying the water features, examining the architecture and hopping across the stepping stones on the water paths. You can bathe in the pools at a small cost or choose an eatery and enjoy reasonably priced, good quality food.
The area around Tirta Gangga holds some stunning rice paddy terraces. If you have seen postcards of terraced rice paddies they are usually taken from this area. Lempuyang Temple (Pura Lempuyang Luhur) is about 10 km east of Tirtagangga and is one of the key nine directional temples on the island
Although it can reportedly get quite busy with tourists, we arrived there on a Saturday evening, paid our $2 USD entry fee and found the palace fairly quiet. The gardens are not huge, but are incredibly beautiful and the giant fountain was quite something to see.
We spent hours just wondering around the pools, watching the huge koi and appreciating the sheer natural beauty of the place. All the man made decorations seemed to flow organically with the natural surroundings and is a tribute to the artistry of the Balinese people.
With thanks to Bryan for the article and our favorite tour guide Nana Artana for the photos.
Contact Nana Artana via Facebook for more information or to plan a guided tour to this and other magical sites all over Bali.