Just entering the park just mind feels fresh. Gurgling and clear water make the heart peaceful. Tirtagangga Park, Karangasem never runs out of water and loses its clarity, including during the dry season when several water sources run low. Why?
There are several hills in several directions in the East Bali region which is about 83 km from Denpasar City. The trees look tight. There is also a green area of rice fields around it. Located at the foot of Mount Agung and the Lempuyang hills which are sacred because of the location of several large temples in Bali, the groundwater basin is maintained.
There is a heroic story from the residents of Padangkerta, the neighboring village of Ababi, the location of Tirtagangga at the end of 2012 to save this very valuable water source. The customary village of Peladungan resulted in a unanimous decision from its residents to reject water exploration from a well-known bottled water company in Indonesia.
Residents realize that if sucked up it will have an impact on the need for clean water and agriculture in the vicinity. Meanwhile, the Karangasem Regency Government has granted an exploration permit.
Tirtagangga as a tourist destination provides important ecological education for visitors if there is dissemination of information related to the impact of maintaining the forests, rice fields, and surrounding mountains. But unfortunately, this is not given much attention.
“ The catchment area there is good, the water source from Lempuyang Hill is still good. Residents don’t dare and are not allowed to encroach because the area is sacred,” said Luh Kartini, an agriculture lecturer at Udayana University and a soil researcher about the Tirtanggangga location. In addition to the hills that store water in the ground, they are also combined with rice fields.
According to him, the quality of the water in Tirtagangga is good, very clear. “The shadow is visible if it looks safe,” he added.
The result of maintaining the hilly ecosystem is a piece of nirvana that quenches thirst. This tourist attraction is often crowded. The cool, shady, and refreshing atmosphere is medicine.
As soon as we hand over the entrance ticket to the officer, we can already see the expanse of the landscape of the pond, statues, and gardens. The gurgling of water from the overlapping tower (level ) 9 immediately relieves fatigue.
Hundreds of colorful goldfish swim close to visitors hoping to be fed. There are sizes up to baby mammals. They continued to move nimbly around the pool water which was clear and quite cold.
The pool that contains the water tower is the most crowded because visitors can walk as if on water. There are lots of pillars with steps secure enough for a pair of feet that surround the pool. Make it easier to see the line of fish and greet them on the surface of the water.
If you go deeper and higher there is a pool area that can be used for swimming, meditation, and wanting. Various statues of goddesses called water nymphs are placed around the meditation area. This corner was noticeably quieter. An old bracketed temple adds to the magical atmosphere.
A website, tirtagangga.nl, summarizes in full the history and concept of this more than one-hectare site. Including recording the improvement process to date in several parts. This website was written by Anak Agung Gede Dharma Widoere Djelantik, the grandson of King Karangasem who founded Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem (1887-1966).
The next level is the middle called Bwah. There is a large water tower Nawa Sanga in the center of the complex surrounded by statues from the Mahabharata epic. The pool with this tower is hand in hand with a large pool for swimming.
The lowest level is called Bhur, a large pond on the left connected by two bridges and an area called Demon Island in the middle.
The landscape of Tirtagangga, which has terraces, makes mountain water flow down and seep smoothly to the outside of the complex, the rice fields. This is where the productive area is feared to dry up if a bottled water company drills deep groundwater.
If you take a walk around the rice field bunds and irrigation canals outside the Tirtagangga complex, clear water flows. Including on the side of the highway.
Tirtagangga is open from morning to evening including holidays. The ticket price is listed at IDR 20,000 in February 2017. There is an additional fee if you want to swim in the two children’s and adult pools inside the Tirtagangga complex.
Prepare at least 2 hours to walk around and enjoy Tirtagangga. The day can pass very quickly when you sit and enjoy the sound of the water, mingle with the fish, or swim here. There are also hotels with limited rooms and restaurants on the hillside which provide access to a wider view of Tirtagangga.
Raja Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem is an architect and lecturer who likes to write. No wonder the historical heritage that the current generation can enjoy is several water parks such as Tirtagangga and Taman Ujung in Karangasem. The two water parks are located in two areas that are interconnected in an ecosystem, namely the mountains and the sea.
King’s son, Dr. Anak Agung Made Djelantik (1919 – 2007) was a doctor and had served WHO. He studied in Java and the Netherlands.
His son, Widoere Djelantik (1953) 1971 went to the Netherlands to study architecture, art, and information technology. “Since childhood, this water park has always been a place of fun. Together with my sisters, I jump and play in the pool all day long,” the man wrote on the website.
Mentioned, since 1979 rehabilitation began with the improvement of parks. It was continued with another part, assisted by funds from entrance tickets because it was visited by tourists again in the 1980s. Then the government took part in rehabilitation. Maintenance and rehabilitation must continue and require funds to restore this magnificent place and to incorporate Balinese Hindu-Buddhist concepts into the building design complex. Making this website is part of fundraising.
In 1988 one of the signs that Tirtagangga returned to life in its rehabilitation process was to drain the water again from the water tower and several statues. The history of Tirtagangga is also marked by an earthquake that caused several parts to collapse. As well as vandalism, when several residents take items during an emergency.
The ecological footprint of the Tirtagangga water park should be understood by groups of students from various regions in Indonesia who regularly visit during school holidays. Also, residents enjoy the pool and clear water for bathing and swimming.