The word tirta (derived from the Sanskrit) means "water" and empul is a Balinese word that means "spring." Balinese regard these springs as sacred and people come from miles around to bath in these waters. The temple has rice fields to the north, the Pakerisan river to the east, a palace built in Sukarno's day used as a Presidential retreat to the west, and craft stalls to the south. The temple dates from 960 B.C. in the period of the Warmadewa Dynasty. Twelve water spouts pour holy water from 12 sacred springs into a long pool; two Olympic-size pools are used for communal bathing. The main temple courtyard contains shrines and pavilions, one for Brahma, Siva, and Krishna, one for Mt. Batur, and one for Indra (Dewi Indra).