This is a stunningly beautiful garden with beautiful fountains, ponds and an amazingly beautiful setting, that offer a delightful little adventure that probably not many people expect.
A little about Tirta Gangga
Now, it is not everyone that knows what Tirta Gangga is, so to understand the special thing about this adventure, here is a little background knowledge.
Tirta Gangga is a beautiful palace, that was designed and constructed in 1948 by the Raja of Karangasem. After visiting Versaille Palace in France, Raja was inspired to build this beautiful palace in the mountains overlooking his kingdom. He named the palace Tirta Gangga which means “the Holy water of the Ganges” in Balinese, however, the water is not entirely from the Ganges in India.
The palace itself is amazingly beautiful and the garden consists of 11 fountains, which also has become the symbol of Tirta Gangga. There are small ponds, sculptures, greenery, lush and a sense of magic around the palace. It is safe to say that the magic is there and that it also contributes to the local healers who say that the palace holy springs have a healing effect and rejuvenating forces.
Swim and snorkel in Tirta Gangga
The idea of bringing swimwear, towels and snorkelling equipment was not exactly the first thing that occurred to me when we wanted to visit the holy palace. It was our manager, at the place where we staying, who suggested that we should bring our swimwear as well as snorkelling equipment. Although it sounded a little silly in our ears to bring swimwear and snorkel with us. We decided to bring it anyway and it turned out to be a good idea.
The palace itself is extremely beautiful and it is a peaceful place to be. But after being there for 30 minutes, it felt like everything there was to see had been seen, and the baking sun created a great desire to be cooled down again. We chose to find out where it was possible to swim.
It turned out that there were two pools, where it was possible to swim in. We paid a little money to get access to the pools, we changed and then Lise and Sebastian jumped into the water. From the sound of both Lise and Sebastian, I had no doubt that the water was cold. Now, it was no wonder that it was cold, the clear and clean water comes from the mountains and it is, therefore, colder than the sea and the swimming pools we had swum in on Bali.
Once I got in the water, I also cried out a little but after a short while, the water felt really nice. We had packed our snorkelling equipment – which I think we were the only ones who had done, but it had to be tried – now that we heard it was a good idea. Sure enough, it was not a bad idea at all, especially for our son, who had only tried to snorkel in a swimming pool before. The water was so clear and there was several freshwater fish swimming around.
Although I have been snorkelled several times in my life, was it a wonderful reunion with snorkelling, it had after all been almost 9 years since I had last snorkelled around in the sea. It was obviously not the same as snorkelling where there were corals and large schools of fish, but for children, it is certainly worth a try.
Are you in Bali, Tirta Gangga is definitely worth a visit and remember to bring the swimwear with you!
If you are a woman and want to visit the Water Palace, then it is very important that you keep in mind that it is considered offensive, if the shoulders are bare. It is quite possible that the locals will not say anything about it, but they consider it as offensive. It is, therefore, a good idea to bring a scarf that can cover the shoulders.