Nothing is more refreshing than embracing nature in all its avatars. It rejuvenates the soul and brings one in contact with one’s inner being: The smell of the earth, the colours of green and gold juxta-positioned against the azure sky and breakers that dance along the shoreline. But where can one enjoy this without having to travel into the wilderness of some strange land? The answer is here, in Bali, to be precise, in the Tabanan Regency. This area covers, perhaps, the most enchanting aspects of the isle.
Let us begin with the UNESCO protected Jatiluwih rice terraces that are sculptured out of the land surrounding Mount Batukaru. The first impression one gets is that of a painting that one can feel, touch and walk through. It is not just a fascinating image but one that lives and breathes life into the environment and at the same time helps feed the multitude with many varieties of rice grown here. The ancient ninth century Subak system of irrigation helps sustain these rice fields. This water system comprises of terraced rice fields and sacred temples. The sacred temples are the focal points in this community based cooperative water system. The supreme water temple is Pura Ulun Danu situated on the bank of Lake Batur. It is believed to be the origin of every spring and river. The synergy between Faith and Reason appears in complete harmony in the Subak system of irrigation.
Pura Ulun Danu, Tabanan, Bali.
© Courtesy of Instagram account: @adisumerta
A short distance from Jatiluwih is the 11th century Pura Luhur Batukaru, a sacred Balinese Hindu temple on the southern slope of Moung Batukaru, Bali’s second highest volcano. It was destroyed in 1604 and restored in 1959 with the seven-tiered Meru dedicated to Mahadewa, God of Mount Batukaru.
Pura Luhur Batukaru is one of the nine Pura Kahyangan Jagats (temples/palaces of the gods). These temples have been constructed across the isle in eight wind directions and one in the centre to protect Bali from demonic (evil) attacks.
When you are in the area visit this temple and seek the Divine’s blessings with floral or fruit offerings and incense sticks.
The next stop on this sojourn is Pura Tanah Lot, an hour and thirty minutes drive from Jatiluwih. The name is Balinese for Land in the sea. The temple rests on an impressive rock formation that can be accessed at low tide. The rock has been beautifully sculptured by the breakers. The main deity of the temple is Dewa Baruna (or Bhatara Segara). It is believed that Dang Hyang Nirartha (aka Pedanda Shakti Wawu Rauh) a 15th century Shaivite Hindu Priest came across this rock and decided to rest on it. Fishermen soon began bringing him offerings. He instructed them to build a temple on the rock to worship the Balinese sea gods, the most important being Dewa Baruna.
From Jatiluwih, on the slopes of Mount Batukaru, to Pura Tanah Lot on the coast is an unforgettable trip of beauty and enriching encounters with Faith and Mother Nature.
Take a WakaLandCruise Jatiluwih Trip by a classic Land Rover Defender with all its attendant creature comforts for this sojourn across Tabanan Regency.