Luscious Rice Fields of Jatiluwih

Luscious Rice Fields of Jatiluwih

As much as we wanted to stay in our little retreat in Balian Beach a little longer we left and headed for Jatiluwih, Located in Tabanan Regency and framed by Mount Batukaru and Mount Agung.

The Jatiluwih rice terraces are another of Bali’s links to its rural glory days. Going to these rice terraces takes a bit of effort as no local transportation goes there. You either have to drive yourself or hire a driver, which is why not a lot of tourists have Jatiluwih on their destination list.

Regarded by UNESCO as a world heritage site, the 53,000-hectare rice field is protected by the Tabanan Regency Administration. To preserve this national treasure, any planned developments that don’t
meet environmental requirements are not allowed in the area. In addition, a 300-hectare protected paddy field zone has been established with a 100-hectare housing zone outside of it.

I must tell you, I think whatever they’re doing out there, it’s working. Because it’s green as far as your eyes can see, broken only by simple temples built for the rice goddess Dewi Sri dotting the fields. The farmers grow different varieties of rice in Jatiluwih including the very tasty red rice, which is what we had for our lunch along with nasi and mie goreng while we were looking out the vast rice fields.

After Jatiluwih, we made our way to the holy east temple of Batukaru. The temple is in thick jungle on the side of the mountain covered in mist and magic. When we got there, all we could hear were the distant sound of the birds and our gasps of awe as we saw the tall trees and vines surrounding the temple. Dressed in traditonal temple clothes of kebaya, sarong, and sash, we followed a path that lead us to a beautiful lake where we cleansed ourselves as preparation for prayer.  My friends and I really enjoyed this special time when we could give thanks for all the blessings that have come our way and our loved ones.

Once this ritual was over we bundled into the car and headed back to suburbia of Ubud for the next leg of our adventure.

Sound divine?