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AMLAPURA (Eastern Bali)

Tirtagangga (www.tirtagangga.nl)

Tirtagangga, meaning holy water of the Ganges in Balinese, is one of the world's romantic gardens out of time. Gushing springs flowing from beneath an ancient Banyan tree and holy temple fill the myriad reflecting and swimming pools that grace the Water Palace.

The prominent 11 tiered lotus fountain has become the symbol for Tirtagangga since its creation by the late Raja of Karangasem in 1948. After a tour of the Versailles Palace in France, the Raja was inspired to create his second Water Palace in the mountains overlooking his kingdom. The waters of the holy spring have been praised by island healers for their healing and youth giving powers. Thus the Raja named them after the holy river Ganges in India which is famous for these qualities. It is said that if one bathes in the waters of Tirtagangga on the full moon you will be blessed with lasting youth and your illnesses will be healed. Tirtagangga is the "Fountain of Youth" of Bali.

Villa Djamrud (Emerald Villa) and Villa Tirta Ayu (Villa of the Beautiful Spring) overlook the magnificent Water Palace spring fed pools and fountains. They are situated in Tirta Ayu, the home of the youngest son of the late Raja. Beyond the gardens are sculpted rice terrace fields in classic Bali style which lead the eye to surrounding mountains, hills and the deep blue sea with Lombok Island floating peacefully in the distance.

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