Tirta Gangga is a beautiful park with the huge water fountain and wide pond located at Abang Sub-district, Karangasem Regency in east part of Bali. Tirta Gangga Park is built in the year of 1948 by the Karangasem King of Anak Agung Agung Angluerah Ketut Karangasem. Before this park is found, there is big wellspring found in this area which the local society believe that this water come from the land is holy spring therefore they call this place is Embukan means wellspring. According to the local believe that this wellspring functioning as a bath place for the god and also used as drinking water for the local community from the nearest village. Therefore this wellspring is sacrificed by local people and keeps the park naturally. The King of Karangasem has got an idea to improve this park into a good looking and nowadays, it becomes one of the famous tourist destinations in east part of Bali.
Tirta Gangga Water Garden scratches on a 1,2 Hectare area, which consists of three complexes. The first complex lies on the lowest level of this area, where we can find two ponds and a water tower. The second complex in the middle level is the location where we can find swimming pools; while in the third part, which is the main complex, we can find the rest house of the King. Before the construction of the water garden, there was a big spring water in this area.
Attractions in Tirta Gangga
The primary draw in this area for visitors is the Tirta Gangga water palace, a lovely maze of pools and fountains surround by a lush garden and stone carvings and statues. The one hectare complex was built in 1946 by the late King of Karangsem but was destroyed almost entirely by the eruption of nearby Mount Agung in 1963. It has been lovingly re-built and restored and has an air of authentic royal magnificence. The centrepiece of the palace is an eleven tiered fountain, and there are many beautiful carvings and statues adorning the gardens. This is a great spot to unwind and it has a real atmosphere of old Bali. You can bathe in the pools for a small charge which is additional to the Rp 20,000 (foreigners) entrance fee.
The area around Tirta Gangga holds some stunning rice paddy terraces. Those postcard pictures of Bali rice terraces which you have all seen are usually from photographs taken here.
Lempuyang Temple (Pura Lempuyang Luhur) is about 10 km east of Tirtagangga on the slopes of Mount Lempuyang. This is one of the key nine directional temples on the island. Park in the car park and walk up the steps to the temple. The lower temple is always open but the upper temple (at the top of the dragon staircases) is often locked, so it is best to go with a Balinese driver who will usually be able to arrange for the temple priest to open it up for you. It’s situated high up a mountain and there are magnificent sunset views at dusk.
Taman Ujung to the southeast of Karangasem (Amlapura) is another water palace built by the predecessor of the King who constructed Tirta Gangga. It must be said that it is rather inferior, but still a charming attraction and worth a visit. Taman Ujung was built in 1909 as a relaxation and recreation palace by the then King of Karangasem, I Gusti Bagus Jelantik. It was largely destroyed by the eruption of Mount Agung in 1963, damaged again by an earthquake in 1979, and has not been restored on the same scale as Tirta Gangga. You do get a sense of how lovely it must have been though. From Tirta Gangga, head back south to Karangasem and then take the minor road south east to the village of Ujung. Taman Ujung is another 2 km past the village, very close to the coast. If you are staying in Tirta Gangga or Candidasa, you will certainly be offered tours which include Taman Ujung.
Activities in Tirta Gangga
This is a great trekking area with some of the best walks in Bali to suit all levels of fitness. Guides can be arranged easily at the water palace or from your hotel. The areas around Selat and Sideman (off the main Karangasem to Rendang road) are especially good. A good stating point for trekking information and for finding a knowledgeable guide is the Genta Bali restaurant at the water palace. As a rule of thumb, look to pay about Rp 70,000-100,000 per hour for a reputable guide.
Bathe in the pools at Tirta Gangga.
Tirta Gangga Park is also featured by the wide public pool with the cool and clean water where it can be used by everyone who visiting this place. It is situated on the foot Abang Hill with cool temperature in particular night time or morning time. The lush tropical garden are well surround the park and big fish ponds are running away at another ponds to give the impression for every tourist who pay a visit to this beautiful park. Some buildings and other decorations are intentionally made as according to the spirit from Puri Agung Karangasem (Agung Karangasem Palace), so it can be said that between Tirta Gangga Park and Sukasada Park (Taman Sukasada) which is located at Ujung countryside is a union.
How to get there:
Tirta Gangga is strategically located beside of the main strait from Karangasem to Singaraja Town and it is just 20 minutes from the local town or 2 hours and 15 minutes from Denpasar.
Tirta Gangga is a popular side trip from the nearby coastal resort towns of Amed and Candidasa. Organised tours are widely offered. Public buses run from nearby Karangasem town and Perama buses can be chartered from Candidasa.
If you are driving yourself, Tirta Gangga is on the main east coast road just north of the town of Karangasem (Amlapura) and is fairly well sign posted. getting aroundThis is a great area of Bali in which to walk with many small roads and paths to explore.