Tirta Gangga water palace is a cool retreat in the eastern highlands of the Karangasem regency in East Bali. It lies on the south-eastern slope of the island’s highest mountain, Mount Agung, and was built in 1946 during the reign of the late king of Karangasem, Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem (1887-1966
Owned and maintained by the royal Karangasem family, the lavish water gardens feature 1.2 hectares of pools, ponds and fountains surrounded by neatly cut lawns that are adorned with stepping stones, ornate statues and tropical gardens. It saw a series of restorations following the destructive hot showers of volcanic ash from the Mount Agungerruption in 1963.
Entering the site, the first thing that comes into view is a pond where rows of guardian figures holding cudgels are neatly arranged. Also, polygonal stepping stones which enable visitors to ‘tour’ the pond are set out in order. This allows viewing the old and large golden carpfrom up close in the clear and shallow ponds sight.
The springs are located at a higher ground to the right of the entrance of the site, under a large banyan tree. The water is considered holy by the locals and is used during religious ceremonies, while also being a source of potable water for daily use