Once a grand royal palace, today Tirtagangga is one of eastern Bali’s most magnificent tourist attractions. The pools and fountains winding through the 1948 water palace and its lush garden full of koi fish and stone carvings draw in many visitors.
Tirtagangga’s main attraction is this one-hectare palace complex, centred around an eleven-tier fountain. For an additional fee, besides admission, visitors can enjoy a soak in the pools. Technically, Tirtagangga is only the name of the palace itself, but it’s often used to refer to the greater area as well. A walk through the terraced rice paddies surrounding the water palace is worth the extra time. Other nearby attractions include Lempuyang Temple and the earlier Taman Ujung water palace.
Bali has next to no public transportation available. Visitors are best served by renting their own scooters to drive around the island. Tirtagangga is located about five kilometres from the town of Karangasem on Bali’s main east coast road.
The name Tirtagangga translates to “water from the Ganges”. This connection to the sacred Indian river has made the site somewhat sacred to Balinese Hinduism. For tourists, the beautiful stone carvings and the close proximity to great trekking are enough of a draw.