Balinese cultural landscape: Subak system, manifestation of the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana – World Cultural Heritage in Indonesia

Bali is an island, one of the 33 provinces of Indonesia, with 3.15 million inhabitants (in 2000), an area of ​​​​about 5632 km2. This is a fertile land, from volcanic activity, combined with a tropical climate to create an ideal location for farming.

English name: Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy
Year of recognition: 2012
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(v)(vi)
Acreage: 19,519.9 ha with buffer zone 1,454.8 ha
5 areas: Supreme Water Temple Pura Ulun Danu Batur, Lake Batur, Subak Landscape in Pekerisan Basin, Subak Landscape in Catur Angga Batukaru, Royal Water Temple Pura Taman Ayun.

Here, rice is seen as a gift from God and the Subak systems are part of the culture of water worship and agricultural culture.

Subak is a unique social and religious organization of the Balinese people, developed in the 9th century, which plays a decisive role in the use of irrigation (irrigation) water in traditional rice farming.

Subak’s water organization is based on the philosophy of three things that make up happiness – Tri Hita Karana:
Parahyangan: to ensure a harmonious relationship between man and the supreme being.
Palemahan: ensure a harmonious relationship between people, nature and the environment.
Pawongan: to ensure a harmonious relationship between people and their communities.

bali cultural landscape: subak system, manifestation of tri hita karana philosophy - world cultural heritage in indonesia

The Subak system is located within 5 communes: Badung, Bangli, Buleleng, Gianyar and Tabanan, including:

– Forests to protect water sources;
– Lake Batur (derived from volcanoes; rainwater flows into the lake, dissolving phosphate groups and minerals in the lake bed, thereby providing water for the whole area);
– System of canals and tunnels (River Irrigation Calal Subak);
– Weir weir (Weir);
– Religious establishments associated with the custom of worshiping water, water gods and participating in water management (Water Temple); The temples are the focus of collaborative water management in the irrigation sub-basin, which are unique institutions, rooted in the ancient religious traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and of the Austronesian region;
– Terraced rice fields associated with drainage sub-basin (Catment Basin);
– Neighbor.

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All linked together through the Subak water management system, to ensure equitable water supply to the rice-growing areas and shape the landscape here with a total area of ​​​​about 19,500 hectares, including consists of about 1200 drainage subdivisions (water management) and 50-400 people involved in managing the supply of water from water sources.

Subak is a technological system that arranges cooperative farming among community members, passed down from generation to generation according to religious rituals and ancestral traditions. The equitable distribution of water is accomplished through: Discussing and making arrangements, even about rice varieties and planting time; Pray to the gods for good luck; The oath is taken according to the commitments and regulations sanctioned for violations carried out by the rituals performed in the temple.

The farming system here is perfectly operated to this day in the traditional Balinese style without the help of fertilizers or pesticides, where the natural landscape is sacred.

The main groups of work items in the Heritage Area:

Consists of 4 groups:

1) The area of ​​Lake Batur and the main water temple Ulun Danu Batur (Supreme Water Temple of Pura Ulun Danu Batur), located at the end of Lake Batur, the starting point of the Subak irrigation system.
2) Subak Landscape of Pakerisan Watershed area (Subak Landscape of Pakerisan Watershed).
3) Subak Landscape of Catur Angga Batukaru area (Subak Landscape of Catur Angga Batukaru).
4) Taman Ayun Temple (Royal Water Temple Pura Taman Ayun), one of the largest temples with the most famous architecture in the Heritage area, represents the full expansion of the Subak system under the imperial government Balinese in the 19th century.

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1. Supreme Water Temple Pura Ulun Danu Batur and Lake Batur

Pura Ulun Danu Batur Temple is the Supreme Water Temple (Supreme Water Temple) located on the shores of Lake Batur, originating from the crater, located at an altitude of 1200m above sea level, considered the ultimate source of each rivers and streams in Bali.

The temple was built in 1633, is the place to organize offerings related to the Balinese custom of water worship and worship of the river goddess Dewi Danu. This is the second most important temple after Pura Besakih in Bali.

In 1926, the temple and the surrounding villages of Batur were completely destroyed by a volcanic eruption. Later, the temple and village were rebuilt in 1926 at the edge of the crater. The temple abbot plays an important role in the distribution of water in the Subak system.

Pura Ulun Danu Batur Temple today is a complex of 9 temple clusters, including 285 rooms to worship the gods of water, agriculture, arts, crafts… The main temple cluster has 1 tower of 11 floors, 3 towers of 9 floors…

There is a small island near Lake Batur, where the Danau Beratan temple is located.

2. Subak Landscape at Pakerisan Watershed Area

Subak Landscape at Pakerisan Watershed Area (Subak Landscape of Pakerisan Watershed – Area B) is a small scale, located to the south of Area A, is a system of terraced fields interspersed with water temples and areas. population located along the Pakerisan River. Here is the Gunung Kawi temple (Gunung Kawi Temple of the Pakerisan watershed), built in the 11th century, including 10 shrines cut into the rock.

3. Subak Landscape at Catur Angga Batukaru . Area

Subak Landscape in Catur Angga Batukaru Area (Subak Landscape of Catur Angga Batukaru – Area C) has a large area of ​​about 17,000 hectares, including Buyan and Tamblingan lakes, Batukaru mountain forest. Currently there are 20 Subak groups and temples with a total membership of about 4,500 farmers.

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In the area there is Pura Luhur Batukaru temple, a Hindu temple in Tabanan, located on the southern slopes of Mount Batukaru, the second highest volcano in Bali, surrounded by 4 supporting temples (Tambuwaras, Muncaksari, Petali) and Besikalung). The temple was built in the 11th century, destroyed in 1604, and rebuilt in 1959. In the temple there is a 7-storey main tower dedicated to the mountain god Batukaru.

The system of terraced fields here is also known as Jatiluwih (Jatiluwih Rice Terrace; Jati means real and Luwih is special, good, beautiful), extending from the foot of Batukaru mountain with an altitude of 700m to the coast; covers an area of ​​about 636 hectares.

4. Royal Water Temple Pura Taman Ayun

Pura Taman Ayun Temple (Pura Taman Ayun Temple) was built in 1634, restored in 1750, is the largest Royal temple of Bali at that time. The work is representative of the importance and maximum expansion of the Subak system under the Balinese kingdom.

Pura Taman Ayun means beautiful garden and is considered one of the most attractive temples of Bali. The temple is located in a park, near the village of Mengwi, Badung, Bali; surrounded on 3 sides (east, south and west) by canal system. The main entrance to the temple is via a bridge on the south side. The temple has two gates: the outer gate (Split Gate) and the inner gate (Covered Gate). The inner temple area has a rectangular plan, limited by a moat.

Bali Cultural Landscape Map: Subak . System

Supreme Water Temple Pura Ulun Danu Batur

Pura Taman Ayun Royal Water Temple

Video on Bali Cultural Landscape: Subak System, manifestation of the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana

UNESCO World Cultural/Natural Heritage Sites

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