Jatiluwih: Rice Terraces of Bali




      The name Jatiluwih means ‘truly marvelous’, and indeed, it is one of the many touristy places to visit on the island. Situated 700 meters above sea level, and surrounded by mountains and tropical forests, the air here is cool and fresh, and the land is the most fertile in all of Bali, making it ideal for agriculture. The rice fields here are distinguished by their large size and high quality.






      Jatiuwih is the name is given to the vast stretch of rice field dug in terraces on the slope of mount Batukaru. The rice terrace forms beautiful sight at all seasons, during the watering, or before planting the rice looks like a tremendous construction big glass with irregular size of frames. When the rice almost reaches harvest time, often the color varied between green, and dark yellow.




      Jatiluwih was also recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its preservation of traditional and organic Balinese farming techniques. These include the ‘subak’ irrigation system where farmers share water – a tradition that dates back centuries. The process of growing and harvesting rice is a large part of the unique Balinese culture, and here you can witness the way of life that revolves around rice.




      It’s a great place to enjoy the village atmosphere of Bali surrounded by spectacular scenery, observing farmers at work, accompanied by flocks of ducks and water buffaloes – all part of rural life in Bali.  Unfortunately, we got rained out when we visited this tourist spot … and ended up spending an hour in the roadside cafe sipping good Balinese brewed coffee.






      So this question comes to mind.  Which is more spectacular, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces or the Banaue Rice Terraces?  It has been over 30 years since I was in Banaue, but I remember it to be more spectacular and grand (a whole mountain side).  But I heard it has since been neglected.  What is great about Jatiluwih is that they have preserved it through out all these years and have maintained it as a source of rice in Bali – and not just a tourist attraction.  By the way, one has to pay a fee in entering this village.  I guess, nothing comes free in Bali!



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